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The Conference Board of Canada released Economic Impacts of Waste Diversion in North America.

This policy briefing report contains extensive and relevant information for Ontario regulators and politicians currently deadlocked on waste diversion reforms.

The report describes the significant potential net economic opportunity associated with increasing waste diversion in Ontario from the current rate of under 25 percent to 60 percent.

Rob Cook, chief executive officer of the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) observed, “Increasing Ontario’s waste diversion rate to 60 percent would support close to 13,000 net new jobs in the province. This jobs calculation, which is deemed conservative by the OWMA, would be accompanied by a boost to GDP of $1.5 billion and a decreased dependence on U.S. landfills as home for Ontario waste.”

The OWMA contends that three priority actions will put Ontario on the correct path to reap the benefits of more jobs and enhanced environmental

1.    Fix the broken waste diversion framework.
2.    Increase waste diversion in areas of low diversion by utilizing economic instruments such as disposal bans and extended producer responsibility.
3.    Require direct accountability for achieving environmental outcomes.  

Cook noted, “With Ontario’s election pivoting around jobs and the economy, the OWMA has taken the step of distributing copies of Economic Impacts of Waste Diversion in North America to each provincial party leader. We trust this is the right information, provided at the right time to aid politicians of every stripe to understand and embrace the potential employment and waste diversion benefits.”

ReThink Waste (released by the OWMA in 2013) complements the new Conference Board of Canada report. ReThink Waste is a blueprint to unlock Ontario’s resource recovery potential and sets the stage for a multi-million dollar investment by expanding Ontario’s waste management infra-structure.

Published in the July 2014 Edition of American Recycler News