Ontario Wasting More Resources and Money

    Statistic Canada Bi-Annual survey report finds Ontarians generating more
    garbage than ever before

    TORONTO, June 24 /CNW/ - Yesterday, Statistics Canada released its
biennial report on the waste management industry revealing Ontarians are
generating more waste than ever before, at a cost of $870 million to taxpayers
each year. Garbage disposal rose from 9.8 to 10.4 million tonnes, an overall
increase of 4 per cent, while Ontario's diversion rate has actually decreased
one percentage point, dropping to 2.3 million tonnes.
    "This survey confirms that we need to do more to reduce waste - Ontario
has clearly fallen behind," says Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director of the
Recycling Council of Ontario. "The garbage crisis needs to be addressed on
several fronts, starting with curbing our consumption habits with an emphasis
on prevention. We need strong leadership from government to enforce
regulations and support recycling infrastructure and programs. It is also
essential that businesses and industry commit their participation."
    According to survey results, the amount of waste received by public and
private waste disposal facilities rose 8 per cent from 2004, representing
10.5 million tonnes of waste to landfill annually. The majority of the waste
(66 per cent) was generated from industry and business, with the other
one-third from homes.
    The most surprising number in the survey was linked to cost. Ontario
spends a staggering $870 million a year on waste disposal, up $2 million from
2004 which represents about $55 per person per year. Transportation and
collection of trash represents more than 50 per cent of that number. The study
also concluded that provinces that spent more money per capita on waste
management activities were able to divert greater amounts of waste.
    Another survey unveiled today by the Toronto City Summit Alliance further
reiterates the issue of excessive waste but on a more local scale. According
to the survey, two-thirds of all waste in the Greater Toronto Area comes from
non-residential sources. As the municipalities do not have the authority to
regulate commercial waste as they do with residential waste, it is a
provincial responsibility.
    "The Toronto City Summit Alliance survey further proves the point that we
need more focus by the province to mandate recycling from businesses," said
St. Godard. "The escalating cost of waste disposal in Ontario demonstrates a
real missed opportunity. These investments are literally going to waste. So
much could be done to reduce waste generation and disposal if we reinvested
that money into reduction and diversion programs and infrastructure."
    More detail on the Stats Canada survey can be found at www.statcan.ca.
    For more information about the Recycling Council of Ontario, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director,
Recycling Council of Ontario, (416) 657-2797 ext. 3 (office), (905) 586-5866
(cell), joanne@rco.on.ca

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