REDUCING LITTER AND WASTE IN OUR COMMUNITIESBlog
HEJSupport joined the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Citizens’ Network on Waste Management, Citizens Environment Alliance, Grand River Environmental Network, and Environment Hamilton in objecting “thermal treatment” as the primary means to reduce waste volumes going to landfill.
In our view, all forms of thermal treatment (e.g. waste incineration, energy-from-waste (EFW) facilities, pyrolosis, plasma gasification, industrial burning of waste as “alternative fuel”, etc.) should not be considered as diversion measures. Instead, these kinds of projects are – and must remain closely regulated as – waste disposal activities under Ontario’s environmental laws.
Accordingly, our organizations submit that if the province is serious about reducing litter and waste in Ontario, then all necessary steps must be taken to expeditiously implement the 3R’s hierarchy (reduce, reuse, recycle), and to ensure that valuable resources presently found in the waste stream are neither disposed by thermal treatment nor buried in landfills. Among other things, this means that Ontario’s environmental approvals system for waste disposal (e.g. landfills and thermal treatment facilities) must become more robust and ensure meaningful public participation in all key stages of the decision-making process.