How will the Waste Free Ontario Act impact this facility?
The facility will still be necessary under the new regulatory structure. Management of garbage and organics are anticipated to still be the responsibility of the municipality and this facility is necessary for the transfer of curbside and facilities garbage with the closure of County landfills (anticipated to occur between 2023 and 2025). In regard to blue box recyclables, it is anticipated that any changes to the provincial system will take years to be fully implemented and the County will still be responsible for the collection and transfer of these materials in the interim, beyond the anticipated 5.5 year payback period of the MMF. A CIF study determined that there is a shortage of blue box transfer capacity locally. The MMF capacity, therefore, can be utilized by whomever is responsible for recyclables management in the future, generating revenue for the County, or the County can utilize excess capacity to divert other materials. The County has secured CIF funding of up to $2,187,840 for the facility regardless of the status of the legislation.
In regard to organics, the province has been quite clear that the Waste Free Ontario Act will focus on diversion of more waste from disposal and this will be accomplished, in part, by developing an Organics Action Plan to reduce the volume of organic material going to landfill. As a result, it is anticipated that the Waste Free Ontario Act will increase demand for organics processing capacity. Development of this infrastructure secures capacity for the County’s material and allows space for neighbouring municipalities as customers in the interim while we grow to design capacity. The MOECC has a definitive mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a local OPF would reduce the need for trucking of this material outside the County and provide local processing capacity.