Progressive Waste Solutions has opened a waste reduction facility in Vaughan, Ontario, that the company says will redirect up to 85% of the construction, demolition and renovation waste it receives away from landfills for reuse or conversion to biofuel.
The construction and demolition industry in the greater Toronto area is estimated to produce nearly 500,000 tonnes of waste annually. The new Progressive Waste Solutions facility is equipped to process about 20% of the market’s construction and demolition debris, or 100,000 tonnes of waste per year, representing the equivalent of 3,500 tractor trailer loads of material that can be diverted from landfills, the company says. The wood that is recovered at the facility will be processed into clean fuel to be used at electricity and steam generating plants, replacing fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions downstream.
Progressive Waste Solutions invested $14 million in the facility, which is located on 10 acres of industrial land.
Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Jim Bradley, says that with Ontario’s proposed Waste Reduction Act being all about recycling wastes back into the community as raw material, the city is eager to attract more companies like Progressive Waste Solutions.
Ontario produces more than 12 million tonnes of waste every year, but only 25% of it is diverted from landfills by recycling; 60% of Ontario’s waste is produced by industries, businesses and institutions like shopping malls, hospitals and offices. They are recycling only 13% of their waste, according to the Ministry of the Environment.
The Ministry says the proposed Waste Reduction Act and strategy would:
- Boost recycling in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector, starting with paper and packaging waste.
- Protect consumers from surprise eco-fees by making sure that recycling costs are included in the advertised price of a product. This move will also incentivize companies to look for ways to make their recycling processes more economical and stay competitive.
- Improve oversight and accountability of waste diversion by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of individual producers, the provincial government, municipalities and a new Waste Reduction Authority.
- Allow for greater producer funding of the Blue Box program, easing the financial burden on municipal property taxpayers.
- Foster innovation in product and packaging design.