The city’s new Solid Waste Master Plan must be built in a way to reduce as much as possible GHGs from waste, recycling, and green bin collection and processing. On April 24, 2019 the city declared a climate emergency and directed city staff to identify new concrete actions to achieve GHG emissions reduction targets:
WWO supports the June 2021 adoption by city council of a Zero Waste vision for the city to be achieved through progressive, collective and innovative action.
In 2018 – the last year that national numbers are available – Statistics Canada calculated that Canadians directly and indirectly generated 959 kgs of residential and industrial, commercial and institutional waste per person. Only around 27% of the waste generated was diverted into recycling or organics programs. The vast majority of the waste generated, approximately 73%, was disposed of in landfills, at waste incinerators or exported to the US for landfill disposal.
Starting in July 2023 funding and operation of the city’s blue and black box recycling programs is transitioning to the producers and users of the packaging and printed paper materials that are collected in the program. Click here for more information.
Single Use Plastics and Plastic in the Green Bin
Along with many other environmental advocacy organizations Waste Watch Ottawa is concerned about the proliferation of single use and non-recyclable plastic packaging and products. Governments at all levels need to take steps to address the environmental concerns associated with run- away production and use of plastics.
Organic materials such as food waste that is disposed of in a landfill are a significant source of GHG emissions. In the absence of air in a landfill organics bio-degrade and produce methane gas that is a GHG twenty five times more potent than Co2. Forty five percent (45%) of Ottawa’s residential waste is organic material. In order to reduce GHGs and for Ottawa to meet its climate change objectives effort needs to be made to divert all residential organic waste from disposal.
With concerns about climate change and the city’s corporate GHG footprint, with signals from the province’s organics strategy, and concerns about the life expectancy at Trail Road landfill, the continued collection of large quantities of organic waste from high rise apartments and townhouse complexes and sending it for landfill disposal is no longer sustainable.
WWO believes that a waste management strategy based on maximizing waste diversion from disposal and the application of proven best practices can result in extending the life expectancy of the city’s Trail Road landfill site to meet the 30 year timeline of the waste plan.
Waste Watch Ottawa supports the transition of the blue and black box recycling program from a municipal responsibility to a fully funded and operated producer responsibility program. The transition is due to take effect in Ottawa on July 1, 2023 and will be phased in across the province by regional areas until fully implemented by December 31, 2025.