Durham Region Long-Term Waste Management Plan


    Welcome to the Online Meeting for the Durham Long-Term Waste Management Plan

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    Durham Region Virtual Engagement

    Thank you for participating in our online engagement. The entire session should take about 10-15 minutes to complete, including a short survey at the end. We look forward to receiving your input and continuing to work with you throughout the Long-Term Waste Management Plan (Waste Plan).

    This presentation will be available throughout the Waste Plan development, but the survey will only be open from August 19 to November 8, 2020.

    We want to hear from you about the options our team is exploring! You can click here to give us your feedback now or you can read through the presentation and complete the survey at the end.

    Drop us a line throughout the project at wasteplan@durham.ca.

    How to Navigate

    • Click on the arrows on the right side of your screen
    • Use the navigation bar at the left of your screen to revisit any part of the meeting

    Why do we need a Waste Plan?

    Why do we need a Waste Plan?

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    We successfully completed all the objectives of our old Waste Plan.

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    Over the last 20 years we have doubled the amount of waste we have diverted.

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    We have recycling programs for paper and packaging, yard waste, food waste, waste electronics, batteries, scrap metal, hazardous waste.

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    We built the Durham-York Energy Centre in Durham Region where electricity is generated from your garbage.

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    We are going to build a facility to recover more recyclables, food waste and other organics from garbage and create a renewable natural gas.

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    But, our population is expected to double in the next 20 years to over 1 million residents, and we need a plan to manage the waste all these additional people will generate in the Region.

    Durham Region needs a plan to manage our waste for the next 20 years. We’ve accomplished great things with the old plan, now we need to look to the future. Now, more than ever, we need to consider:

    • Population growth
    • More people means more waste to manage
    • Changes to regulations
    • Climate change
    • Waste as a resource
    • Circular Economy

    Durham Region is also promoting innovation and environmental sustainability in its Strategic Plan. We’re looking to the future with clean energy solutions, green technologies, programs that divert waste, increasing resource recovery, and concentrating on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    To support these objectives, Council approved a Mixed Waste Pre-sort and Anaerobic Digestion Facility. This new facility will result in more waste diversion and the production of renewable natural gas.

    The Mixed Waste Pre-sort facility uses equipment to remove recyclables and organics, like food waste, from garbage. The organics go to the Anaerobic Digestion Facility where bacteria digests the organic waste and creates renewable natural gas.



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    Proposed Vision & Objectives

    New Waste Plan: Proposed Vision & Objectives

    The Proposed Vision

    The Region of Durham will manage solid waste as a resource through innovation and adaptability to enhance environmental sustainability.

    The Proposed Objectives

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    Increase diversion of waste from disposal and support the Circular Economy.
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    Support the Region’s greenhouse gas reduction and climate change mitigation efforts.
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    Reduce the quantity of waste to be managed.
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    Protect or improve water, land, and air quality in Durham Region.

    Did You Know?

    Methane is a potent Greenhouse Gas and a climate pollutant, responsible for about 25% of the human-caused global warming we feel today.
    Environment and Climate Change Canada

    Landfills are a significant source of methane. EPA Climate Change

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    Do you support the Waste Plan’s Proposed Vision & Objectives?
    Let us know in the survey found at the end of the meeting

    Reduce & Reuse

    New Waste Plan: Reduce & Reuse

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    Reducing and reusing sounds easy, but changing behaviour can be difficult. We don’t have to manage waste that never gets created. Not all people recycle or compost and most who do, don’t do it to the fullest.
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    How can we encourage people to distinguish between “need” and “want”. There’s a big difference between the two.
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    Reducing and reusing are the most important things you can do for the environment. It saves money, reduces GHG emissions, and reduces the need for disposal. One of the biggest ways to make a difference is to reduce food waste in your home.

    These are some examples of initiatives related to reduction and reuse that other communities have implemented to encourage residents to choose to reduce and reuse:

    • More education about ways residents can reduce waste (e.g. resources on the Region’s website) and behavioral change campaigns
    • Policy changes to reduce waste (e.g. single use plastics)
    • Partnerships with charities to collect textiles (e.g. Diabetes Canada, Salvation Army)
    • Support for repair cafes to teach people how to fix things (e.g. small appliances, bicycles, clothes)
    • Support for sharing libraries (e.g. for tools, kitchen appliances, party supplies)
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    What should the new Plan include to help you reduce & reuse?
    Let us know in the survey found at the end of the meeting

    The Region has some creative ideas for reducing food waste:
    Buy it, Eat it

    Did You Know?

    If global food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the U.S. 


    New Waste Plan: Recycling

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    Ontario’s curbside blue box recycling started in the early 1980s. Municipalities have been running their own recycling programs ever since. But now, the Ontario government has created a law to require producers (aka companies) to manage packaging and paper products. Starting in 2023, producers will decide how to run the Blue box program under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations. Until then, the Region will continue its programs and help residents prepare for the coming changes. All municipal Blue Box programs will move to EPR by the end of 2025.

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    Future EPR programs may include large items like mattresses and carpet.

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    There are many organizations that collect and manage used textiles, furniture and household goods for donation. The Region has partnered with organizations to collect these materials at our Waste Management Facilities, in apartment/condo buildings and at monthly Reuse Days from March to October each year. These partnerships could be expanded to collect more materials from more locations.

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    Ontario has set targets for food waste diversion for municipalities (for single family homes, apartments and condos) and industrial and commercial facilities (for businesses, schools, hospitals etc.) starting in 2023. The Region’s Mixed Waste Pre-sort and Anaerobic Digestion facility will help to meet these targets. To be successful, we need residents to participate in our diversion programs. Click here for more information for Ontario's proposed targets.

    What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)?

    A system where producers (which can include companies that design, create and market products and packaging) of a product (e.g. newspaper, water bottles) are responsible for collecting and paying for the collection and recycling of the products they sell into the marketplace. This can encourage better product design, take-back programs, container deposit programs, recycling, etc. and contribute to a circular economy.

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    How can we help you to increase diversion of food waste in the Green Bin? What are some additional materials we should be recycling at the curb, at drop-off depots or both?
    Let us know in the survey found at the end of the meeting

    Recovery & Waste as a Resource

    New Waste Plan: Recovery & Waste as a Resource

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    The Region took the proactive step of building an energy-from-waste facility to manage garbage locally at the Durham York Energy Centre (DYEC). Continued growth in the Region has resulted in more waste being generated than is permitted for processing at the DYEC. We want to optimize the use of the existing DYEC capacity.

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    The Region is developing a Mixed Waste Pre-sort and Anaerobic Digestion facility to recover organics and other materials from the garbage that the Blue Box and Green Bin did not capture and convert food and other organic waste into energy. This facility will help increase diversion from the garbage and free up capacity at the DYEC.

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    We will continue to explore partnerships with the private sector to support the development of new technologies and uses of waste materials.

    Did You Know?

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    Food waste can be processed in an aerobic composting facility (like in your backyard composter) to produce compost or in an anaerobic digestion facility (without any oxygen) which produces gas which can be used for energy.

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    Durham Region and York Region partnered to develop the Durham-York Energy Centre to process garbage. This facility creates enough energy to power about 10,000 homes. The DYEC is one of the newest and most modern energy-from-waste facilities in North America.

    These facilities can help limit climate change emissions.

    From our last survey in 2019, we heard:

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    Energy should be generated from energy-from-waste

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    Waste should be managed as a resource

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    More promotion and education is needed to ensure residents are aware of “energy-from-waste”

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    The Region is already moving forward with a number of initiatives for recovery and waste as a resource. Is there anything else the Waste Plan needs to consider?
    Let us know in the survey found at the end of the meeting

    Promotion & Education

    New Waste Plan: Promotion & Education

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    What’s the best way to get information to residents about:

    • Our waste management programs and services
    • How to recycle correctly
    • Where to get bins
    • Where to find more information
    • How to dispose of materials properly
    • How to reduce, reuse, recycle

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    How can we help you get the information you need?
    Let us know in the survey found at the end of the meeting

    Have you downloaded the Region’s Waste App? You can schedule pickups for bulky goods, metal items, and more! You can also get info about your collection schedule and waste management facilities durham region trash icon

    Apartments and Condos

    New Waste Plan: Apartments and Condos

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    As the Region’s population increases, the number of apartments and condos is also expected to increase. To achieve our diversion targets, we need to increase the recycling rates in these buildings.

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    Recycling rates in apartments and condos are significantly lower than in single family homes. Studies show that there are a number of reasons for this: buildings aren’t typically designed for easy recycling, garbage chutes allow for easy disposal of all materials, it’s difficult to enforce proper recycling, recycling in buildings is not as visible as blue boxes on a street, high turnover of residents, there’s no room to store materials in an apartment, etc.

    Did You Know?

    Diversion rates in apartments & condos averaged 13% in 2018 compared to the Region-wide diversion rate of 63% (2019).

    These are some examples of ways to increase diversion in apartments & condos that other communities use:

    • More/better communication for management and residents
    • Smaller recycling containers sized for apartments
    • Policies that require recycling and enforcement of policies
    • Use of technology (e.g. sensors to monitor fullness, tri-sorters, or multiple chutes)
    • On-site food composting

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    What are some of the barriers facing residents of apartments and condos to recycling? What can we do to remove these barriers and increase diversion?
    Let us know in the survey found at the end of the meeting

    Next Steps

    New Waste Plan: Next Steps

    Thank you for visiting our online meeting

    The comment period for this online meeting will close on November 8, 2020.

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    Fall 2020

    We’ll summarize feedback from this online meeting

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    Winter/Spring 2021

    We’ll be considering the feedback and preparing an outline of the Waste Plan

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    Late Spring/Early Summer 2021

    We’ll be holding more meetings to get your input on the draft Waste Plan

    We Want to Hear from You

    Click here to take the survey now!

    For More Information

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    Comment Form

    Note: Please note that including your email in the comment box does not add you to the project mailing list. To be added to the project mailing list, please fill out the text boxes on Slide 1.