September 13, 2004

Exporting Toronto's Trash

Kerry would ban Canadian garbage shipments There are two very good examples of alternatives to garbage dumping that should be considered by not only Toronto but also all of Ontario if Kerry wins and goes ahead with plans. One is in Alberta; the other is in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has a very extensive recycling and composting program. They recycle almost all of their trash with the exception of materials that are essentially un-recyclable and compost everything from fruits and vegetables to coffee grinds and toilet paper. They even have a list of items that are banned from being in the landfill that essentially includes the majority of items that can be recycled or composted. Though the system is not perfect, it has allowed Nova Scotia to cut back on their landfill waste by over 50%. The program in Alberta, though not used provincially, used a co-composter plant based in Edmonton. The idea behind the plant is to mix sewage, trash, river sludge, etc. and in the end come out with useable compost. The goal of the plant is to separate and breakdown as much garbage as possible. Anything that cannot be broken is removed and that which can be recycled is. The rest is essentially 'cured' and the compost is sold-off. The plant is co- owned by the City of Edmonton and a company called TransAlta Utilities. Much like Nova Scotia, the result has been a 50%-plus reduction in landfill for the City of Edmonton and surrounding area. Basically, Edmonton's venture is a mechanical version of Nova Scotia's. If Kerry is to win the election and go ahead with banning Toronto's garbage export I believe that these are two ideas that not only Toronto should use but all of Ontario. First, Ontario should implement the same level of restrictions and regulations as Nova Scotia has concerning garbage coming out of all areas of Ontario. Second, a plant, such as that found in Edmonton, should be built to directly deal with the trash coming out Toronto and the GTA. Why the two-part implementation? Even with strict recycling and composting regulations there is still a great amount of trash that would come out of the GTA, just due to the amount of people in this area. To speed up the process of composting and recycling, a plant would help deal with the excess flow of trash coming out of the GTA. The rest of Ontario, which is not as populated or even densely populated as the GTA, could be managed well enough by the tighter garbage regulations.

1 comment:

John said...

WooHoo E-town! not really. Cool site kyle.

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