The provincial government recently informed stakeholders that it’s no longer a question of if Ontario will pursue a disposal ban for organic waste; it’s a question of when.
This policy direction was emphasized at a recent meeting in Toronto where producers, consultants, waste management professionals and municipal officials gathered to discuss food waste prevention and recovery.
Following the meeting, the government issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on April 27, to find a consultant who can assess the impacts of a disposal ban in Ontario.
The disposal ban will play a key role in the province’s Food and Organic Waste Action Plan, which the government committed to developing in the Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario.
The RFP states that a potential disposal ban would:
- Require generators, including restaurants, households and food processing facilities, to separate organic waste; and,
- Ensure organic waste is sent to a facility for composting, anaerobic digestion, rendering or conversion to biofuels; or is managed through on-site composting.
The government has stated it intends to soon release a draft discussion paper on organic waste, as well as post a disposal ban proposal on the Environmental Registry in autumn.
In light of this development, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will bring together stakeholders for a fourth working group meeting on May 11 to provide an update and discuss Organic Materials Diversion. The meeting was to focus solely on organic waste processing capacity, but that topic will now be examined in more detail at a later date.