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April 30th - City completes first phase of Solid Waste Plan

City completes first phase of Solid Waste Master Plan and outlines opportunities for public engagement

The City has completed the first phase of its Solid Waste Master Plan, a 30-year plan that will guide how it manages solid waste. Phase one provides an overview of the current state of the City’s waste management system, including collection, diversion and processing. It outlines the legislative tools available to the City to influence waste diversion and reduction, and highlights emerging trends and technologies in waste management. The report also explains the public engagement approach for the two remaining phases in the master planning process.

The City collected more than 338,000 tonnes of waste in 2019, and diverted 44 per cent of it through green bins, yard waste bags, blue boxes and black boxes. Still, nearly 60 per cent of the waste being sent to the landfill in garbage bags is recyclable or organic.

While developing the master plan, staff are working on eight supplementary projects to improve waste diversion:

Projects to be completed this year:

  • A pilot to divert waste from parks

  • Consultation about diverting waste at special events

  • Work to prepare for the forthcoming transition when the Province will make producers fully responsible for waste diversion programs

Projects to be completed in 2021:

  • A strategy to increase waste diversion at multi-residential properties

  • A new policy to determine if additional items, like compostable coffee pods and utensils, could be accepted in green bins

  • A review of service levels for curbside waste collection

Projects to be completed in 2022:

  • An assessment of whether the City can ban single-use and foamed plastics from its facilities

  • Research on how we could process organics after the current contract ends

While awaiting further direction from the federal and provincial governments on proposed changes to waste management – including possible bans on single-use plastics and on food waste in landfills, as well as efforts to make individual producers fully responsible for waste-diversion programs – staff are exploring how the City could influence waste diversion and reduction.

In addition to widening the scope of the Solid Waste Management By-law, the City could impose waste-management conditions – for example, source-separated waste collection and diversion plans – on business licenses, special event permits, site plan control applications and development applications. The City could also set fines to deter people from using or distributing certain types of packaging waste.

All options are on the table. Staff will outline the financial, environmental, operational and regulatory implications and the anticipated risks and benefits of each option in a report to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management later this year.

Residents and stakeholders will have opportunities to provide feedback during the next phases of the master plan, including:

  • This summer on overall satisfaction with the City’s waste management, the kinds of waste management system they want in the future and the master plan’s vision, guiding principles, goals and objectives.

  • This winter on proposed options for the master plan.

  • Next fall on the draft master plan.

The Standing Committee and Council will consider the final master plan and a five-year implementation plan in 2022.


“The aim of the Solid Waste Master Plan is to reduce the amount of waste that goes to our landfill. We’re going to consider all possible options to do that, and I encourage every resident to participate in the engagement process to help us. We’re waiting on a lot of pieces from the federal and provincial governments, but we’re moving forward now to create an adaptable master plan that will address our needs over the next 30 years.”

-Councillor Scott Moffatt, Chair of the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management


©2019 by Jan Harder.