RCO’s comments on Statistics Canada’s Biennial Report
Jun 24, 2008
Ontario Wasting More Resources and Money
Statistics Canada Biennial survey report finds Ontarians generating more garbage than ever before
TORONTO – June 23, 2008 – Today, Statistics Canada released its biennial report on the waste management industry revealing Ontarians are generating more waste than ever before, at a cost of $870 million to taxpayers each year. Garbage disposal rose from 9.8 to 10.4 million tonnes, an overall increase of 4 per cent, while Ontario’s diversion rate has actually decreased one percentage point, dropping to 2.3 million tonnes.
“This survey confirms that we need to do more to reduce waste - Ontario has clearly fallen behind,” says Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director of the Recycling Council of Ontario. “The garbage crisis needs to be addressed on several fronts, starting with curbing our consumption habits with an emphasis on prevention. We need strong leadership from government to enforce regulations and support recycling infrastructure and programs. It is also essential that businesses and industry commit their participation.”
According to survey results, the amount of waste received by public and private waste disposal facilities rose 8 per cent from 2004, representing 10.5 million tonnes of waste to landfill annually. The majority of the waste (66 per cent) was generated from industry and business, with the other one-third from homes.
The most surprising number in the survey was linked to cost. Ontario spends a staggering $870 million a year on waste disposal, up $2 million from 2004 which represents about $55 per person per year. Transportation and collection of trash represents more than 50 per cent of that number. The study also concluded that provinces that spent more money per capita on waste management activities were able to divert greater amounts of waste.
Another survey unveiled today by the Toronto City Summit Alliance further reiterates the issue of excessive waste but on a more local scale. According to the survey, two-thirds of all waste in the Greater Toronto Area comes from non-residential sources. As the municipalities do not have the authority to regulate commercial waste as they do with residential waste, it is a provincial responsibility.
“The Toronto City Summit Alliance survey further proves the point that we need more focus by the province to mandate recycling from businesses,” said St. Godard. “The escalating cost of waste disposal in Ontario demonstrates a real missed opportunity. These investments are literally going to waste. So much could be done to reduce waste generation and disposal if we reinvested that money into reduction and diversion programs and infrastructure.”
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For more information please contact: Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director, Recycling Council of Ontario,
(416) 657-2797 ext. 3 (office), (905) 586-5866 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org