More recycling, composting and re-using of waste could support thousands
OTTAWA, May 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Less than a quarter of the garbage produced
in Ontario is currently diverted from disposal sites through practices
such as recycling, composting, and reusing waste material. A Conference
Board of Canada report, released today, estimates that diverting
significantly more waste would increase employment and economic
activity in the province, while reducing Ontario's dependency on U.S.
landfills in Michigan and New York State.
While 47 per cent of residential waste was diverted, only 11 per cent of
non-residential waste—produced by the industrial, commercial, and
institutional sector—avoided disposal. Non-residential waste accounted
for nearly two-thirds of the total amount sent for disposal.
• While almost half of residential waste in the province is recycled,
composted or reused, only 11 per cent of non-residential waste is
• Studies indicate that increased waste diversion is a significant
economic opportunity for Ontario.
• If and when Ontario's rate of waste diversion reaches 60 per cent, it
would support almost 13,000 jobs and add about $1.5 billion to
provincial gross domestic product.
• Greater waste diversion in Ontario could reduce dependency on U.S.
landfills and replace exported jobs with waste diversion jobs in the
"Diversion is an increasingly important aspect of solid waste
management. Increasing diversion supports a significant number of jobs
and economic growth. Furthermore, diversion would support new jobs in
Ontario instead of exporting them to U.S. states," said Vijay Gill,
Director, Policy Research, and co-author of Opportunities for Ontario's Waste: Economic Impacts of Waste Diversion
Programs in North America. "Waste diversion also has the obvious benefits of preserving
much-needed landfill capacity."
The research reviews economic impact studies of waste diversion in
jurisdictions across North America. The findings from several studies
are applied to Ontario, in order to estimate the possible effects of
increased waste diversion.
These studies suggest that increasing waste diversion from its current
23 per cent to 60 per cent would — once the 60 per cent-rate is reached
(and maintained) — support the equivalent of an additional 12,700
direct and indirect full-time jobs, and add $1.5 billion to provincial
gross domestic product. For every 1,000 tonnes of waste diverted, at
least two jobs are supported.
The Ontario government has a stated goal of diverting 60 per cent of the
waste collected in the province into recycling, reuse and composting.
The research was financially supported by the Ontario Waste Management
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
For further information:
Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221