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Tackling Ontario's Waste

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Tackling Ontario's Waste

McGuinty Government Seeks Input On Proposed Approach

The province is looking for public input on its proposed new approach to keeping more waste out of landfills.

The proposed approach, which will help Ontario businesses and residents move to a green economy, includes:

  • Making product manufacturers and importers responsible for the recycling of their products and packaging - and giving them the flexibility to do so in a way that best suits their business
  • Diverting more waste from landfill by giving Ontarians more opportunities to recycle a wider range of materials
  • Encouraging more diversion through incentives and banning specific materials from landfills.
These ideas came out of the government's consultation on how to improve the province's Waste Diversion Act. The responses form part of a report titled From Waste to Worth: The Role of Waste Diversion in the Green Economy.  The report also includes other proposals to improve Ontario's waste diversion efforts.

The report is posted on the Environmental Registry under number 010-8164. The deadline for comments is January 11, 2010. The Ministry of the Environment will also be undertaking consultations on the report. Further details on these consultations will be posted on the Environmental Registry.

Quick Facts

  • Residential waste is less than half of Ontario's total waste. Current waste diversion programs only cover about 15 per cent of Ontario's waste and focus primarily on residential waste.
  • Ontario's current diversion rate stands at approximately 22 per cent.
  • Landfills leave potential problems for future generations including greenhouse gas emissions, and potential groundwater and odour problems. The methane produced at landfill sites is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 21 times that of carbon dioxide.
  • Diverting waste helps green the economy by promoting investments and jobs in the reuse and recycling industries and creating eco-friendly products and packaging.

Additional Resources


“We need to dramatically increase Ontario's overall waste diversion rate. We are challenging all Ontarians to reduce waste and packaging and find innovative ways to reuse and recycle. Increased diversion from landfill will ultimately mean more investment in new technologies and new green jobs for Ontarians.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment

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