Waste Diversion in North Dundas

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North Dundas is currently undertaking an Environmental Assessment of the Townships Waste Management Plan. This is being carried out under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act, in part to help figure out the best way to divert garbage from the landfill, including all organic waste by 2023, as mandated by the province.

Ontario plans to ban all organic waste from landfills by 2023. Ontario will be the third province to ban organic waste from landfill, after Nova Scotia and PEI. Nova Scotia banned organics from landfills in 1998, and has since had difficulty finding enough people to take the compost they have made, because it ended up contaminated with plastics, glass, and other non-organics.

In 2018, Ontario generated over 3.6 million tonnes of food and organic waste. Approximately 60% of that was sent mostly to landfill. When food ends up in the landfill, it starts to decompose, and releases methane. It also contaminates the ground and water with lechate. Part of the answer is to redistribute food to people, then animals. Composting needs to be an end solution.

At the end of October, Minister of Environment, Conservation, and Parks, Jeff Yuek, and the Ontario Government committed over $5 million to help food rescue organizations, First Nations, and other Indigenous organizations buy storage space, freezers, and refrigerated trucks under the Surplus Food Redistribution Infrastructure Program. The Federal government has also set targets for reducing food waste. More than half of Canada’s food supply is wasted each year, and $49.5 billion of that wasted food is avoidable. Food is wasted from farm to plate, during production, processing, distribution, retail, food-service, and also at home.

Another part of the Made in Ontario Environment Plan, includes a plan to transition the Blue Box Program to a producer responsibility model. In short, the goal is to take the cost of recycling off of users, municipalities, and tax-payers, and putting the responsibility for the cost of recycling onto the producer. Producers will begin to be responsible for recycling in January 2023, and by the end of 2025, producers will be fully responsible for providing blue box services all across Ontario. Furthermore,

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