Review of the Provincial Solid Waste Management Strategy

Table of Contents:

Overview The Strategy Get Involved Privacy Statement Contact Us

Overview

On January 9, 2019, the Provincial Government announced it was undertaking a complete review of the Provincial Solid Waste Management Strategy.  The review is the first comprehensive one done since the strategy was announced in 2002. 

On February 19, 2019, the Terms of Reference for the review were released publically by the Provincial Government.  Click here to view the Terms of Reference.  The reporting deadline is December 31, 2019.

The Strategy

Goals

In 2002, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador released the Newfoundland and Labrador Waste Management Strategy.  Click here to view the Waste Management Strategy.  The strategy was intended to ensure that waste management within the province provided appropriate levels of protection of the environment and delivered modern waste management services at reasonable cost.

Estimated then at a capital cost of $200 million, implementation of the strategy was stalled in the early years, while efforts continued to identify sources of funding, garner the support of communities to close local waste sites, and develop new environmental standards. 

Government developed an infrastructure funding plan in 2007, which also resulted in the original timelines for implementation being extended.  Additionally, due to its geological features, the Robin Hood Bay waste facility in St. John’s was authorized by government to operate as an equivalent-to-lined landfill instead of requiring the construction of a new lined landfill to service the eastern region.

Regional Approach to Waste Management

Under the strategy, it was envisioned that modern waste management practices would be accomplished most effectively through regional waste management authorities with shared services and facilities.  The strategy originally called for the creation of 15 waste management regions and all communities in an area being part of a designated region.  Provincial planning since has reduced this number to 12 regions: eight on the Island and four in Labrador.  Please click here to view a map of the current waste mangement regions and a summary description of each.

Each region is to operate independently and be financially self-sufficient.  Each is also expected to deliver a comprehensive waste management program, including such services as: (a) residential curbside collection; (b) waste separate/recycling; (c) delivery of materials to transfer stations or a disposal (host) site; and (d) provisions for bulky, construction, demolition and household hazardous wastes.

To date, there are eight regional service boards on the island portion of the province established with legislative authority under the Regional Service Boards Act, 2012.  Only five are active currently:
•    Northern Peninsula Regional Service Board, 2005
•    Central Regional Service Board, 2008
•    Eastern Regional Service Board, 2011
•    Western Regional Service Board, 2013
•    Burin Peninsula Regional Service Board, 2013
•    Discovery Regional Service Board, 2013 (not active)
•    Coast of Bays Regional Service Board, 2015 (not active)

•    Baie Verte Peninsula-Green Bay Regional Service Board, 2018 (not active)

Three designated regional waste management facilities in the eastern, central and western regions on the island portion of the province were suggested originally to serve as the final disposal (host) sites for all waste generated on the island.  Currently, waste in the western region is collected and delivered to transfer stations and then transported to the central region.  Remaining regions (non-host) are expected to develop similar systems to transport waste to their designated host sites, as noted below in Table 1:

The strategy also envisioned having a number of material recovery facilities (of varying sizes) across the province.  Currently, two are operational, at Robin Hood Bay and Norris Arm.  The Western Regional Service Board recently decided to handle its own recycling through a third party contractor.

The strategy was not prescriptive for Labrador and the isolated and remote areas of the province.  These sites were proposed to be addressed on an individual basis with emphasis on improving waste disposal practices and increasing waste diversion where possible.

Strategy Performance

  • 25 per cent of material going to a landfill has been diverted;
  • 69 per cent of old dumpsites have closed;
  • 80 per cent reduction has been achieved in the number of sites using incineration or open burning; and,
  • 83 per cent of the province’s population now has access to lined, or equivalent to lined, landfills.

Click here to view more information on the strategy’s progress and status.

Funding the Strategy

In 2002, the expenditure estimate to implement the strategy was projected at $200 million, for capital costs only.  As Table 2 below notes, just over $200 million has been spent to date.  More work remains to implement the strategy fully, and another $50 million or more may be needed to finish all of the original work intended across the province (not including a provincial composting program). Table 3 presents information on landfill closures.

Strategy Partners

Implementation of the Waste Management Strategy involves a number of entities, including regional service boards, municipalities and other local authorities and committees, the provincial government and the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board.  Each have important roles to play in ensuring an effective waste management system. 

Conclusions

Continuing to implement all components of the strategy as originally contemplated can be expected to require significant additional funding, both capital investment and for ongoing operations.  For rural areas, implementing new waste management systems has been, and continues to be, challenging, due to small and dispersed populations, limited revenue base and distance from host waste disposal facilities in eastern and central Newfoundland.  Aggravating this situation are projections suggesting some of these same areas will experience population declines over the next 20 years.

Get Involved - We Want To Hear From You!

Waste management is an important issue affecting every resident and business in the province and we want to hear from you.

You can have your say by completing an online questionnaire and/or by submitting a written submission.

Discussion Guide:

This Discussion Guide provides background information about the current Waste Management Strategy, progress made to date on implementation of the strategy, relevant waste management statistics, the strategy review process, and the topics that are being considered as part of the review.

The questions asked in the online questionnaire are included in this Discussion Guide.

Click here to download/view the Discussion Guide.

Online Questionnaire:

The questionnaire is organized into topics and each section includes specific questions and space for a response.  There is also opportunity throughout the questionnaire for you to indicate any additional feedback.

It will take you approximately 30-40 minutes to complete this questionnaire depending on the detail of your answers.  Participants are encouraged to open the Discussion Guide to assist in completing the questionnaire. We thank you in advance for your participation.

Please note you are required to log in or register for an account with engageNL in order to complete this questionnaire. Click here to log in or click here to register an account.

The questionnaire will be available until Friday, September 13, 2019.

Click here to complete the questionnaire

Written Submissions:

If you prefer to participate with a written contribution, you can either fill out a copy of the Discussion Guide or prepare a letter/submission responding to the questions.

Written submissions will be accepted until Friday, September 13, 2019.

Please submit your submission by:

Mail:    Provincial Solid Waste Management Strategy Review
            Attention: Ann Marie Hann
            c/o Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment
            P.O. Box 8700
            St. John's, NL  A1B 4J6
 
Fax:     (709) 729-0943
 

Emailwastestrategyreview@gov.nl.ca

Privacy Statement

The collection of information for the online questionnaire is done under the authority of section 61(c) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015, for the purpose of collecting public feedback on the review of the Provincial Solid Waste Management Strategy.

Any personal information that may be received will be governed in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 and will only be used for the purpose of informing the review of the Provincial Solid Waste Management Strategy.

If you have any questions about how this information is being collected, used or disclosed, please contact the Executive Advisor leading this review (see contact details below).

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding this consultation, the Discussion Guide, or require an alternate format, please contact Ms. Ann Marie Hann, Executive Advisor, by email at wastestrategyreview@gov.nl.ca.