What's This About?
Ontario’s move to a more circular economy will require significant investment in new recycling, biogas and composting facilities to process an increasing amount of waste diverted from disposal. Unfortunately, Ontario’s current approvals system cannot meet this objective. Simple changes to environmental compliance approvals (ECA) can hold back the development of new projects or the expansion of existing operations, which are needed to increase recycling and organics diversion.
In fact, some businesses and organizations can wait up to 300 days to get a standard approval required for a facility upgrade. These delays must be reduced to attract the investment in processing facilities needed to help the province achieve its goal of a circular economy.
To support and assist the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change with its objective to transform the approvals process into a modern “risk-based approach” that protects the environment and human health “while expediting service to business through process improvements, electronic service delivery and strategic application of resources.”
The OWMA has made significant inroads with the government. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is already undertaking a process to streamline air and noise approvals and has said it will work toward making improvements for the waste management sector soon.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray indicated at the 2017 OWMA Annual General Meeting and Conference on March 1 that he wants to work with our association to make the province’s goals of modernized approvals a reality in the waste management sector.
We are continuing to collaborate with the government on this file and hope to have more progress to share very soon.