June 18, 2007

Waste management planning policy

In conjunction with this initiative, Broten also introduced a draft policy statement on municipal waste management planning. Based on a long-term integrated approach, the proposed policy is intended to address the critical issues associated with the pressure on infrastructure created by increased waste volumes accompanying economic and population growth. It acknowledges the need for sustainable methods of managing waste as close to the source as possible, as well as the need for greater progress on waste diversion.

The policy statement establishes the province's expectations for waste management and outlines a framework for decision-making by all waste managers. It provides specific direction on the development of long-term municipal waste management plans. Large municipalities (with populations of 100,000 or more) are directed to develop waste management plans within two years after the policy statement is finalized, with smaller municipalities (populations of less than 100,000) given two and one-half years to do so.

Municipalities that have already developed such plans, or are in the process, are encouraged to make whatever adjustments might be needed to bring the plan or planning process into line with the principles and expectations set out in the new policy. Among the principles and expectations articulated in the document are: integrated waste management systems; maximum diversion of waste from disposal; co-operation, wherever possible, between public and private sectors and between neighbouring municipalities; recognition of waste as a resource and management as close to the source of generation as possible; and incorporation of producer responsibility into waste reduction and management activities.

Commenting on the two initiatives, Doug Reycraft, president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) said, "The province has responded directly to AMO's call for an integrated policy framework for waste management in Ontario and, through numerous initiatives, has restored provincial leadership in waste management policy and environmental protection. The electronic waste program and the policy statement on waste plans are two more important steps the government has taken toward improving diversion and creating a sustainable, integrated waste management solution for Ontario."

The provincial policy statement has been posted on the Environmental Registry for a 45-day comment period ending July 27, 2007. The document may be viewed on-line at www.ontario.ca/environmentalregistry, reference No 010-0420.

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