climate change

  • Article
    Walker Environmental announced yesterday that it is repurposing a section of its closed east landfil see more

    Walker Environmental announced yesterday that it is repurposing a section of its closed east landfill in Niagara Falls into a Resource Recovery Area after recently receiving approval to move forward with the project from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. 

    The Resource Recovery Area will play a key role in Walker Environmental’s operations by diverting more materials from disposal while supporting Ontario’s transition to a low-carbon, circular economy.

    “The Resource Recovery Area aligns with our landfill diversion goals and presents another opportunity for Walker Environmental to contribute to the circular economy,” said Mike Watt, Executive Vice President at Walker Environmental.

    “It’s a great opportunity to continue to grow the resource recovery side of our business while providing safe and reliable infrastructure for materials that currently cannot be recycled or reused.”

    In addition to recovering resources, Walker Environmental’s new facility will be used to create a number of new products, such as manufactured soils, recycled asphalt products, livestock-feed supplements and alternative low-carbon fuels, which will serve as a replacement fuel for coal in cement kilns and coke ovens.

    Another key component of this new facility will be the development of several acres of pollinator habitat to support local agriculture. The OWMA and Walker Environmental recently provided a tour for the Toronto Star to see the company’s pollinator habitat areas at its Niagara Falls’ location while highlighting our association’s new guide on Enhancing Pollinator Habitats at Waste Management Sites. If you haven’t already, read the Star’s article: Niagara landfill transforms into farm for bees.

  • Article
    OWMA Letter in Support of Organics Action Plan see more

    The OWMA sent this letter to Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray to show the association's support for the development of an Organics Action Plan, which was a key committment of the provincial government indicated in Premier Kathleen Wynne's mandate letter to Minister Murray.

  • Article
    Read the OWMA's submission on the government's Landfill Gas Offset Protocol. see more

    The OWMA highlighted several concerns with the provincial government’s proposed Landfill Gas Offset Protocol in a recent submission, which was developed with the help of the association’s Climate Change Committee.

    The OWMA has continued to advocate on behalf of our members to open up offset crediting options to more landfills under the Landfill Gas Offset Protocol. Our submission, which was sent to the provincial government on June 18, emphasized the potential for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by enhancing existing landfill-gas capture systems at large landfill sites.

    Unfortunately, the protocol excludes landfills larger than 1.5 million cubic metres from generating offsets. The rationale given for this decision is that they are already required to capture and destroy landfill-gas under Regulation 232/98. As a result, landfill-gas capture projects at these sites would not achieve a voluntary reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in addition to what is already required under Ontario’s current regulations.

    The OWMA pointed out in its submission that Regulation 232/98 does not mandate performance standards for landfill-gas capture systems. If the protocol allowed large landfills to generate offset credits for system enhancements, significant emissions reductions could be achieved, according to our research. Unfortunately, it appears as though the provincial government will not make any further changes to the Landfill Gas Offset Protocol.

    The OWMA will continue to represent the priorities of the sector as the government rolls out new policies and programs under its Climate Change Action Plan while looking to potential opportunities to develop incentives for renewable natural gas through an anaerobic digestion offset protocol and a renewable fuel standard. (Read the OWMA’s submission on the government’s Discussion Paper: Developing a Modern Renewable Fuel Standard for Gasoline in Ontario.)

    If you have any questions about the OWMA’s submissions or next steps on climate change, please contact the office at (905) 791-9500.

  • Article
    The State of Waste reports offer the most comprehensive overview of waste facility data in Ontario. see more

    The OWMA embarked on a major data collection and analysis initiative to better understand data related to waste management in the province. This initial State of Waste Report is an annual publication, which is continually being expanded and refined based on the needs of the sector. The First Annual State of Waste in Ontario: Organics Report determined there are 76 organic processing facilities in Ontario. To access the report, click here.

  • Article
    The proposed landfill-gas offset protocol falls short of incentivizing further emissions reductions. see more

    The Climate Action Reserve delivered the first round of proposed offset protocols to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change last month, which includes a draft protocol for landfill-gas destruction.

    The OWMA has expressed concerns with this draft protocol since it is unlikely to incentivize additional greenhouse gas reductions through the development or improvement of landfill-gas-capture systems.

    Because Ontario already requires landfills with more than 1.5 million cubic metres of capacity to have systems in place to collect, flare or use landfill gas, the protocol does not provide crediting options for the destruction of methane emissions at any of these sites.

    This restriction severely limits the applicability of the new protocol, which is soon expected to be posted on the Environmental Registry for a 30-day public consultation period.

    For smaller landfills sites, a number of additional requirements within the protocol will make it difficult to move forward with new systems to capture and destroy methane emissions.

    Next steps

    The OWMA will continue discussions with the government about alternative ways to incentivize improvements to landfill-gas-capture systems, which were highlighted in a report compiled for the association by GHD. 

    In the meantime, the Climate Action Reserve is moving forward with the adaptation of the remaining offset protocols, which include one for “Organic Waste Management” and another for “Organic Waste Digestion.” The Reserve, which was retained by the provincial government to take existing offset protocols and adapt them for use in Ontario, has stated that all of the offset protocols will be completed by the end of this year.

    The OWMA plans to play an active role on the adaptation of the remaining offset protocols related to the waste management sector. We have also communicated the association’s priorities on offsets to the government in response to an Offset Credits Regulatory Proposal that was posted on the Environmental Registry in November 2016.

    Our association has called on the government to minimize the red tape associated with offset registration and compliance; maintain a level-playing field between Ontario companies offering offset credits and businesses in other jurisdictions with fewer compliance and regulatory costs; and align offset and energy policies for waste management companies, such as Anaerobic Digestion facilities, which require access to renewable energy markets.

  • Article
    Read GHD's cutting-edge research on the role of the waste management sector in reducing emissions. see more

    This study was commissioned by the OWMA with the support of Canada's National Brewers, the Region of Peel, the City of Toronto, the Region of Waterloo, the City of London, the Regional Municipality of Durham, the Regional Municipality York, and the Regional Municipality of Niagara. GHD notes that this Report is intended to accompany "Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Ontario Waste Management Industry" white paper report completed by Torrie Smith Associates, Sonnevera International Corp., and Kelleher Environmental, as well as provide more specific and detailed information related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Ontario waste management sector.

     

  • Article
    OWMA Submission on Discussion Paper: Developing a Modern Renewable Fuel Standard for Gasoline. see more

    The OWMA has expressed support for a modern renewable fuel standard, but has made several recommendations to make a future regulation more effective. To read our letter, click here.

  • Article
    The Ontario government has made it clear that it is pursuing a disposal ban for organic waste. see more

    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.

     

  • Article
    Read the third installment in the OWMA's leading publication series: ReThink Waste, see more

    Read the third installment in the OWMA's leading publication series: ReThink Waste. This report was prepared in partnership with the Biogas Association of Canada and the Compost Council of Canada. The recommendations contained in this report have had a noticeable impact on the development of organic waste management policies in Ontario. To download the report, click here.

  • Article
    Ontario should incentivize the development of renewable natural gas with new fuel standard. see more

    The OWMA supports the provincial government’s decision to pursue a modern renewable fuel standard (RFS) for gasoline, but maintains that a future regulation must include clear incentives for renewable natural gas (RNG).

    The association sent its comments in a letter to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) on March 12 in response to the provincial government’s Discussion Paper: Developing a Modern Renewable Fuel Standard for Gasoline in Ontario, which was released on Jan. 11.

    The paper discusses creating a standard to require fossil fuel suppliers to “reduce the lifecycle carbon intensity of the transportation fuels they sell each year” to support the province’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from gasoline by 5% by 2020.  

    To meet government-set targets, fuel suppliers could either increase the proportion of biofuels contained in gasoline, including cellulosic ethanol, or purchase credits to offset fossil fuel emissions with investments in low-carbon technologies, such as systems to convert methane into RNG.

    Methane, harnessed from wastewater treatment facilities, biogas plants and landfill-gas systems, has long played a role in the waste management industry to generate electricity and create pipeline-quality RNG that can fuel waste collection fleets.

    The OWMA believes the inclusion of RNG crediting within the RFS would not only help petroleum producers meet regulatory requirements, but would also encourage more fleet operators to switch from diesel to RNG, and, in turn, reduce GHG emissions.

    Taking this direction will also help Ontario eventually move toward a more comprehensive low-carbon fuel standard that includes all transportation fuels. To read the OWMA’s letter, click here.

  • Article
    The OWMA made several recommendations last year on modernizing approvals. see more

    This letter to the Ontario government, which was sent on Nov. 16, 2016, includes a comprehensive list of recommendations on how to streamline the Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECAs) process in a way that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the province’s move toward a more circular economy. To download the letter, click here.

  • Article
    The OWMA's most recent edition to its leading publication series: ReThink Waste. see more

    Read the second installment in the OWMA's leading publication series: ReThink Waste. The recommendations contained in this report have had a noticeable impact on the development of waste management policy in Ontario and the transition to a more circular economy. To download the report, click here.