Public feedback invited on waste reduction environmental plan

In a recent media release, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker said that his government is working for the people to keep the province clean and beautiful for generations to come by taking steps to reduce litter and waste in communities, increase and improve household recycling, and keep the province clean and beautiful, as committed to in the environment plan. The province is inviting public feedback on proposals to reduce plastic litter and waste in  neighbourhoods and parks, including those in Bruce, Grey and Owen Sound.

“We are looking at ways to divert and reduce food and organic waste from households and businesses and increase opportunities for people to participate in waste reduction efforts. A discussion paper has been posted on the Environment Registry for a 45-day period,” said MPP Walker. 

“We know that Ontarians want to do their part to reduce litter and waste, whether at home, at work or on the go,” added Rod Phillips, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “There are so many great ideas out there in the province that we want to build on to reduce waste and divert more of it away from landfills and get our diversion rate moving in the right direction again.”

Ontario is also committed to making producers responsible for the waste generated from their products and packaging, encouraging them to find new and innovative cost-effective ways to recycle their products and lower costs for consumers. The transition to extended producer responsibility will increase the amount of household material recycled, while shifting the cost of recycling from municipalities – and taxpayers – to producers.

“Litter-reduction efforts will hinge on fostering a greater sense of personal responsibility for the people of Ontario and, in particular, our youth,” said Phillips. “It begins with recognizing that real environmentalism involves more than just the social media of activists and celebrities but is instead founded on the personal decisions each of us make in our day-to-day lives.”

This is the latest step in part of the government’s made-in-Ontario environment plan to protect the air, land and water, prevent and reduce litter and waste, support Ontarians to continue to do their share to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help communities and families increase their resilience to climate change.

Among the statistics is that Ontario generates nearly a tonne of waste per person each year and the diversion rate has stalled at 30 per cent over the past 15 years.  The result is that 70 per cent of waste materials ends up in landfills.

A total of 60 per cent of food and organic waste in Ontario is also sent to landfills which, in turn, emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas, when it decomposes.

Waste diverted from landfills also generates jobs .  According to the government, every 1,000 tones of waste diverted creates seven full-time jobs and $360,000 in wages.

“The plan will help protect the Ontario we know and love, ensuring that its pristine beauties and strong communities can be enjoyed now and in the future,” says Walker. “By making a concerted effort to show civic responsibility through our commitment to reduce waste and litter, we can all make a lasting difference in ensuring Ontario’s environment is protected for generations to come and I know my constituents will be happy to participate and provide tangible and practical solutions for building a healthy environment, and a healthy economy here in Bruce and Grey, as well as across all Ontario communities.”