Committed to improving the city of Ottawa’s waste management practices and contributing to a greening of the city by supporting the development of new and improved waste diversion programs.

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Waste Watch Ottawa

The waste that we all individually and collectively produce has serious environmental, climate change, social and economic implications for the planet and our local community.  Reducing and managing waste is part of an environmental and sustainability agenda for Ottawa that includes energy efficiency, greening transportation, growing our tree canopy, stopping urban sprawl, protecting greenspace, and agricultural and ecologically sensitive lands.

The City of Ottawa has declared a climate emergency.  Reducing waste, diverting it from disposal, and managing residual waste are essential components of a sustainable environment. A sustainable waste management system which minimizes greenhouse gases, reduces disposal to the absolute minimum, that is accessible, and which supports a circular economy is possible. We all have a role to play.

Waste Watch Ottawa (WWO) is committed to improving the city of Ottawa’s residential waste management practices and contributing to a greening of the city by supporting the development of new and improved waste diversion programs and initiatives designed to minimize the amount of waste being disposed of and avoiding the greenhouse gas impacts associated with waste generation and waste disposal.

Waste from the industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) sectors is not a municipal responsibility in Ontario nor in other provinces.  While some ICI waste is managed in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, most of the tonnage, up to an estimated 400,000 tonnes per year, is shipped by waste contractors to New York State for landfill disposal in privately owned landfill sites.


April 2020

University of Ottawa MSc. Environmental Sustainability Capstone Project

Prepared By: Sara Hélène Dubé, Geniffer Emmanuel, Michael Hosken, and Edward O’Dea

on behalf of Waste Watch Ottawa

Ottawa’s Organic Waste Diversion

Excerpts from the report…

“Waste Watch Ottawa (WWO) has asked our team to research the effectiveness of Ottawa’s residential organics waste management system compared to that of other Canadian cities, with a focus on the impact of plastics and dog waste on compost quality.”

“Arguably, cities have the largest role in reducing organic waste diversion. The City of Ottawa is largely responsible for the collection, processing, and disposal of household waste. As “creatures of the province,” municipalities have the authority to pass by-laws for the environmental well-being of the municipality including the management and collection of waste. By-laws created by the city must adhere to federal and provincial waste management legislation.”

“The City of Ottawa also plays a role in influencing better management of waste in commercial properties and businesses, by requiring that waste diversion plans be in place before the business can be licensed in the city. The City of Ottawa can make changes to policies and programs to help meet targets and goals set by the Solid Waste Master Plan. Depending on the direction taken by the Solid Waste Master Plan, this legislation could be used to help achieve certain goals. Currently, the city’s Solid Waste Management By-law provides a framework for the collection of garbage and recyclable material from residential buildings and some Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) establishments. The Solid Waste Management By-law can be amended to widen its scope by setting limits on the amount of waste that may be generated by residents, fees for waste collection, and diversion or source separation requirements.”

To read more reports and presentations by Waste Watch Ottawa, check out the Resources and Projects page.