The City is developing a new Solid Waste Master Plan, to be completed in 2023. The plan will guide how to manage solid waste over the next 30 years.Ottawa.ca
For many years it appeared that the city had forgotten about the importance of managing the waste that Ottawa residents generate. The last waste management master plan dated back to 2011 and for almost a decade the city chased an environmentally and financially flawed proposal from Plasco to construct a plasma gasification incinerator that it claimed could process all of the city’s residual wastes. Plasco finally collapsed in 2015 after never proving operational success, environmental concerns and failing to find the necessary capital for construction.
With an almost exclusive focus for many years on the Plasco proposal and with the exception of the launch of the green bin program there was little or no other effort made to address other aspects of waste management such as enhancing and promoting more waste diversion.
A report by Waste Watch Ottawa released in September 2017 provided a damning analysis of the neglect of the waste management files. Using the city’s own data and a provincial database operated by the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) WWO confirmed the city’s very poor performance in diverting waste from disposal through the blue/black box recycling program and the green bin program (See WWO Reports) Ottawa diverted only 42.5% of its waste in 2015, a rate below the provincial average of 47.7% and well behind leading municipalities which were achieving rates of over 50% with best performers diverting over 60%.
The city finally decided to embark on a new solid waste planning exercise in July 2019. The new Solid Waste Master Plan, to be completed in 2023, will guide how to manage solid waste over the next 30 years.
All of the reports and background on the SWMP are available on the city’s Engage Ottawa website.
WWO is a member of the SWMP public consultation / Stakeholder Sounding Board.
We urge you to participate in the Solid Waste Plan engagement opportunities as they occur and to respond to surveys that the Plan has put out for public input. Results of the participation exercises are summarized in “As We Heard It” reports available on the Engage Ottawa SWMP website.
Solid Waste Master Plan Timeline
WWO Report on Ottawa’s Waste Diversion Performance
September 15, 2017
“Using City of Ottawa and provincial data, a review by Waste Watch Ottawa of the city’s residential recycling and green bin programs shows that they are performing poorly with low levels of waste diversion from disposal compared to other large municipalities in Ontario.
“Based on the city’s numbers, as reported to the provincial Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA), Ottawa diverted only 42.5% of its waste in 2015, a rate below the provincial average of 47.7% and well behind leading municipalities which are achieving rates of over 50% with best performers diverting over 60%. In a possibly worrying sign, the RPRA reports also showed that Ottawa’s 2015 rate of waste diversion had fallen from the 45% level of 2014 and the tonnages of waste going to disposal are increasing.”