Region ‘moving towards vision of world with no waste’

York Region is giving itself a well-deserved pat on the back after diverting 94 per cent of waste from landfill last year and surpassing its waste diversion goal by four per cent.

“Our achievements in waste management over the years continue to demonstrate excellence and leadership,” Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson says. “Based on diversion rates and a commitment to waste reduction and reuse efforts, we are well placed to move towards our vision of a world with no waste.”

As outlined in the 2019 Annual Waste Management Report, the Region continues to prepare for the Waste Free Ontario Act, 2016. At the heart of the legislation, which comprises the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act and the Waste Diversion Transition Act, is the idea that producers should be responsible for the end-of-life management of their products and packaging.

The new model means transitioning costs of the blue box program away from municipal taxpayers and making producers of products and packaging fully responsible for the waste they create. Among other things, the Act establishes full producer responsibility by making producers environmentally accountable and financially responsible for recovering resources and reducing waste associated with their products and packaging.

Producers have a range of options in deciding how they will comply with regulatory requirements that will be set out in the regulations. A producer may choose to fulfill its obligations individually by finding innovative ways to reduce material use, develop reusable products, or manage materials at their end-of-life by recycling and reintegrating them into the economy without disposal. Producers may also decide to work together to meet producer responsibility requirements, including by aligning efforts across multiple provinces.

With the transition, the reporting of waste generation rates now focuses on two key streams in curbside collection: organics and garbage, York reports. Though organics and garbage generation rates have remained steady over the past five years, and green bin and garbage generation reported for 2019 is “encouraging,” the Region says impacts from COVID-19 will “undoubtedly influence trends moving forward.”

York has achieved the highest diversion rate for a large urban municipality in the Resource Recovery and Productivity Authority data call every year since 2012. “For less than a dollar a day, the cost of delivering all waste management services in York Region is a great value for residents,” says City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of Environmental Services. “Compared to other utilities, the SM4RT Living Plan, curbside collection, processing, depot operations and education services is approximately $300 per household per year.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This