Follow us for great news on biosolids and clean out projects.
Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Waste-Free Ontario

In June 2016, the Ontario Government passed the New Waste-Free Ontario Act. This new legislation hopes to create “a circular economy where we have zero waste and zero greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector and where all resources, organic or non-organic, are used and reused productively to maximize the reintegration of recovered materials back into the economy”1

The historic linear thought of “produce-use-dispose” is harmful to the environment, financially risky, and not sustainable. Every year, approximately $1 billion worth of recoverable materials are lost to landfills across Canada.2 In 2013 alone, Ontario generated nearly 12 million tonnes of waste, which is the equivalent of almost a tonne of waste per Ontario resident each year.3

Organic waste is a particular problem because when it is landfilled it breaks down and emits methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more harmful to our climate than carbon.4  If Ontario’s organic waste diversion rate is increased by 10%, we could avoid emitting nearly 275,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.5

And yet, one particular organic waste, nutrient rich biosolids, is still being landfilled across Ontario. Each Ontario household creates approximately 1.2m3 of biosolids per year.6 And as populations across Ontario continue to increase, the amount of biosolids produced is going to continue to increase. Landfill space in Ontario is precious. There is a continuing landfill capacity deficit in Ontario, which means we have to export a significant amount of our waste to foreign landfills.7 So why are we still wasting landfill space on a material when it can be beneficially reused?

Land application of municipal biosolids is a sustainable way to not only reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfills, but also as a way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and to provide essential micro and macro nutrients to agricultural soil across Ontario. Land application closes the circular loop outlined in the Waste-Free Ontario Act. Instead of biosolids being wasted and sent to landfill, they can be reused on agriculture fields as a very valuable source of nutrients.

  1. Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
  2. Natural Resources Canada, 2006.
  3. Based on data from Waste Diversion Ontario, 2013; Residential GAP Diversion Rates, and Statistics Canada, Waste Management Industry Survey 2012.
  4. Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
  5. Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
  6. Water Environment Association of Ontario.
  7. Ontario Waste Management Association, 2015