Ministry of Environment

Guide to the Preparation of Regional Solid Waste Management Plans by Regional Districts

Part 4: Plan Development Guidelines


The purpose of this part of the guide is to provide guidelines for designing and undertaking the Stage 1 and Stage 2 planning studies and for the Stage 3 process of putting the plan into a form which will comply with Part 2.

Due to the length of this page, each section is linked to from the following index:





The recommendations, suggestions and comments in the following sections are intended to provide direction to regional districts in the objectives and content of the planning study for this first stage in the preparation of the actual plan document —the description and evaluation of the existing solid waste management system and identification of major options to be evaluated in detail in Stage 2.


53. Geographical and Organizational Setting

This section should include a map or maps at a scale appropriate for showing the area to be covered by the plan; the location, name and level of organization of the various municipalities, electoral areas and communities involved in the plan; and the location and contributing area of the existing solid waste handling and disposal facilities. As noted previously, the plan area may include the entire regional district, or the district and a portion or all of an adjacent regional district, or in special cases, one or more of its sub-regions.

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54. Official Plan Designations

Since the pattern and timing of settlement and other land uses will have a significant effect on solid waste management, this section should include the relevant goals, objectives and policies from the following:

(a) Official Community Plans for municipalities and areas of the regional district;

(b) Existing Official Settlement Plans;

(c) Rural land use bylaws; and

(d) Comprehensive Development Plans.

55. Population

This section should include:

(a) the existing population of the plan area, both overall and for sub-areas or community components relevant to the plan;

(b) population projections for the plan area for at least the time horizon of the plan; and

(c) any demographic data which are relevant to solid waste management planning.

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56. Economic Base

This section should contain a description of the economic base of the plan area, both existing and projected, with particular reference to the existing and projected solid waste generation capacity of specific economic entities and activities. Relevant objectives and policies from existing Economic Development Plans should also be included.

57. Physical Description / Constraints

This section should contain a general description of the climate, major landforms, terrain, soils, surface watercourses, groundwater levels, airsheds, vegetation and wildlife, with particular reference to those factors which pose constraints to the siting, economics or operation of solid waste management facilities or programs.


58. Characteristics of Solid Waste Stream

(1) A detailed knowledge of the make-up of the regional solid waste stream is fundamental to the 4R management strategy, at both the regional and provincial levels. This section should therefore contain an analysis of the composition of the solid waste stream, both at the baseline date of 1990 and at the current date, by weight and volume, from the following sources of municipal solid waste:

(a) residential, both urban and rural; and

(b) commercial / institutional.

(2) BC Environment is responsible for developing provincial management strategies for the biomedical waste and household hazardous products (HHP) which are generated by households and firms whose waste stream is analyzed under (1). For the sake of the comprehensiveness of the waste stream composition study, biomedical waste and HHP should be included in the analysis to provide information for education programs aimed at reducing the generation of such wastes and to provide the basis for the eventual regional management strategies that may be required to complement the provincial strategies.

(3) Projected solid waste generation, based on economic and population projections, and existing generation trends, should also be included.

(4) Another class of solid waste that should be analyzed and quantified, if part of the regional solid waste stream, is "hard to dispose of" or "nuisance" solid waste, which includes the following:

(a) semisolid waste, including sewage sludge and septage;

(b) oily waste, including used oil filters and oil containers;

(c) demolition, land clearing and construction debris (DLC);

(d) other wood waste;

(e) disposable diapers and other incontinent care products;

(f) consumer electronics ('brown goods');

(g) pesticide and herbicide containers;

(h) industrial and off-road tires;

(i) animal carcasses, food processing and agricultural wastes; and

(j) furniture and other bulky items.

(5) Since periodic analyses of waste composition will be a valuable tool for monitoring the effect of the plan and assessing the need for new recycling or recovery facilities, each regional district is encouraged to provide for generating this data itself. The ministry has published a series of reports on this subject, including the "Procedural Manual for Municipal Solid Waste Composition Analysis", which sets out the standard procedure to be followed by any local government undertaking such an analysis. A companion document, "Municipal Solid Waste Composition Studies: Summary Report", provides data on the application of the standard procedure to four typical community solid waste streams in B.C. Local governments without the resources to undertake at least the initial study may adopt the waste composition figures of one of the four analyzed waste streams if the waste generation characteristics and community demographics are sufficiently similar. Copies of these reports were distributed to all local governments to be inserted in the Solid Waste Info Kit binder; additional copies may be ordered through the ministry's regional offices.

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59. Collection System

This section should contain descriptions and analyses of the various significant pathways along which MSW is transported from its point of generation to its end use or ultimate disposal, and the collection methods for each, according but not limited to the following:

(a) type and number of pathways available, including nodes such as transfer stations and marshalling yards;

(b) estimates of the amount and type of municipal solid waste flowing along each pathway;

(c) the persons responsible for funding, operating and maintaining the collection systems for each pathway;

(d) the geographic area and population served by communal systems;

(e) the potential for and constraints to expansion of communal systems;

(f) problems with and impacts of various collection methods and pathways; and

(g) the total collection system costs, in aggregate and for each pathway.

60. Post-collection System — Operations

(1) This section should contain information about the various methods of processing and disposing of MSW after collection, including the following:

(a) recycling, including individual and communal composting, and markets for recyclables;

(b) recovery;

(c) thermal reduction, including incinerators; and

(d) landfilling

(2) In addition to identifying existing landfill sites, the study should identify the location and environmental status of all closed landfill sites, including historical sites, private landfills, illegal dumps and landfills on federally administered lands which are on sites adjacent to provincially administered lands.

(3) Each method identified in (1) should be described and analyzed in terms of, but not limited to the following elements, as applicable:

(a) site / facility locations, classification and number of people served;

(b) operational status and requirements;

(c) types and quantities  of MSW accepted and banned;

(d) ownership and persons responsible for each aspect of the operation;

(e) land, equipment and labour involved;

(f) operational problems;

(g) markets and quantities of recyclables shipped;

(h) disposal of residue;

(i) public involvement / support;

(j) promotional / educational programs;

(k) estimated life span of sites and facilities, in absence of the plan;

(l) environmental, social and economic impacts;

(m) opportunities for and constraints to handling greater quantities or additional types of MSW or recyclable material; and

(n) involvement / cooperation with industry or adjacent jurisdictions, including inter-jurisdictional solid waste transfers, joint facilities and waste exchanges.

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61. Post-collection System — Administrative and Financial Structure

(1) In terms of the administrative structure, this section should describe any existing or proposed solid waste management bylaws and regulations. Specified area bylaws should be described in terms of population served, location and functions. A listing and brief description of all existing waste management permits should also be included.

(2) In terms of financial structure, this section should include total solid waste management system costs, including projected facilities. The funding of each system element should be described, including revenues and cost recovery mechanisms such as general taxation, specified areas, local service areas, user-pay strategies and government grants or loans. Finally, the economic viability of facilities or operations and future financial requirements should be assessed.

62. Regional Solid Waste Management Issues and Objectives

(1) The description of the existing solid waste management system should conclude with an identification of regional and local issues that need to be addressed in the RSWMP, and an identification of issues which may or will require the involvement of adjacent jurisdictions or other levels of government for resolution.

(2) While waste reduction objectives are common to all regional districts, focussing the planning process on regional issues as well is just as important and can foster ownership of the planning process by plan area residents. The report should contain a set of regional objectives based on the issues identified, and in appropriate categories which facilitate identification of options and development of strategies.

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63. Description of Options

(1) This section should contain a brief description of the various major options available or practical at the regional level for achieving regional objectives and for managing the components of the solid waste stream using one or several of the 3Rs plus recovery and residual management. The range of options should reflect all the stages that a material or product passes through from actual use to final disposal. For reduction, reuse and to some extent recycling, detailed identification of options may be deferred to Stage 2 where it may be accomplished in conjunction with detailed evaluation. For recovery, perhaps the only options to be identified at this stage are whether or not to evaluate recovery programs, and, if so, the suitable technologies and timing.

(2) Regarding residual management, the study should identify a number of potential landfill and / or incineration sites, based on selection criteria such as the following:

(a) general soil conditions and topography;

(b) climatological conditions;

(c) environmental impacts, including effects on water, soil and airshed quality for both the site and transfer of solid waste to the site;

(d) social impacts, including effects of site aesthetics and on adjacent land uses;

(e) potential human / wildlife conflicts;

(f) economic impacts, including available land area and value, transfer costs, capital and operating costs and life / capacity;

(g) impact on / of recycling, especially composting, and resource recovery, and

(h) ultimate use.

64. Options Recommended for Stage 2 Evaluation

Once the various options have been identified, they should be given a preliminary appraisal, to determine which ones should be recommended for detailed evaluation in Stage 2, and to identify information gaps that should be addressed by the Stage 2 planning studies. The appraisal of options should be based on compliance with the environmental guiding principles and specific criteria which relate to the goals and objectives for the plan. These should include, but not be limited to:

(a) compatibility with provincial waste management criteria, policies and legislation and regulations;

(b) public acceptability;

(c) technical feasibility;

(d) risk of failure; and

(e) cost impacts, including environmental costs and savings compared to alternatives, including disposal if relevant.

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The recommendations, suggestions and comments in this part of the guide are intended to provide direction to regional districts in the design and undertaking of the planning studies for this second stage in the preparation of the plan document - evaluating solid waste management options in detail, assessing the impacts of the preferred options, and recommending which options that should be included in the plan.

65. Promotional and Educational Programs

The main issue regarding promotional and educational programs is whether or not to supplement existing or proposed provincial or federal programs with programs designed specifically for the plan area. The greatest relevance of such programs will be in the areas of reduction, reuse and recycling. The study should consider the appropriate target audiences for promotional and educational campaigns, and the coordination and phasing of the latter in order to complement management strategies.


66. Local Programs

(1) The study should determine if there are means available at the regional district or municipal level to reduce the amount of solid waste created and encourage the reuse of materials or products. The reduction and reuse programs listed below should be considered as possible options, and the list is not intended to be exhaustive:

(a) public awareness education, such as encouraging consumers to utilize second-hand, rental and repair businesses, and to increase bulk buying;

(b) reducing the flow into the plan area of non-refillable and non-recyclable containers and of products with excessive packaging into the plan area, and enlisting cooperation and coordination among adjacent jurisdictions for even greater effect;

(c) procurement standards for local government purchases; including durability, reusability, recyclability, and recycled material content;

(d) user-pay programs, including volume- or weight-based garbage collection rates; /p>

(e) increased and / or variable tipping fees at disposal sites;

(f) school curricula;

(g) commercial, retail and industrial education, and / or technical / financial assistance / education programs;

(h) local government setting examples through in-house programs such as employee education; increased use of electronic mail, double-sided copying and printing; decreased use of non-recyclable paper, such as NCR forms and fax paper; use of cloth towels or electric hand dryers in rest rooms; and using only reusable and recyclable containers and packaging in food operations;

(i) awards and other forms of public recognition;

(j) banning the acceptance at disposal sites of certain materials for which there are appropriate alternatives; and

(k) encouraging or mandating waste audits in the institutional / commercial / industrial (ICI) sector.

(2) For some of these programs, especially public awareness education and school curricula, the ministry has or may soon have resources and material available which would be useful to local governments implementing these programs.

(3) The study should evaluate local waste reduction options and recommend the suitability of each option for the local community and its priority. Viable waste reduction programs should be explored and recommended, including specific reduction goals or targets, means of monitoring the achievement of those goals and targets, projected costs and an education component aimed at all generators of solid waste.

67. Encouragement for Provincial, Federal and Industrial Programs

(1) While the above programs can have significant effects, another effective way to promote reduction and reuse is to encourage provincial and federal programs. The plan can influence policies at these levels, and the study should consider which recommendations, based on the solid waste stream characteristics of the plan area, should be made to senior governments.

(2) The plan can also encourage product stewardship by the manufacturers of products which enter the waste stream, either directly through local retailers or producers of the product, or indirectly through encouraging action by the provincial or federal government.

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68. Solid Waste Stream Targets

(1) Based on detailed knowledge of the regional solid waste stream, the study should determine which sources, types or classes of solid waste could be targeted for recycling programs. For example, source could be commercial, class could be paper, and type could include ledger, newsprint or corrugated cardboard. Each of these targets may require a different approach or management strategy, including how soon management efforts should be directed at a particular target. A further explanation of waste targets is included in Section 100.

(2) The list of targets for which a strategy should be developed should include the following recyclable materials as defined in the act:

(a) compostable waste, other than wood waste, from residential, commercial and institutional sources,

(b) used white good,

(c) auto hulks,

(d) used tires,

(e) used lead acid batteries,

(f) used glass containers,

(g) used tin plated steel containers,

(h) used aluminum containers,

(i) used cardboard packaging,

(j) used newspapers and magazines,

(k) used high density polyethylene containers, and

(l) any substance prescribed as a recyclable material by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Gypsum products have already been identified as a recyclable material by the process described in (l).

(3) It is important to realize that with respect to this definition, Section 16(2) of the act enables the regional district to control the storage of recyclable material but is not intended to force the regional district to store materials identified on the above list regardless of storage capacity, transportation costs, or availability of markets. However, management strategies for these materials should be included and justified in the plan.

(4) For the purpose of determining the full list of materials to be targeted by RSWMP strategies, the generic definition of "recyclable" from section 2 of this guide may be used — "recyclable" refers to a product or substance, after it is no longer usable in its present form, that can be diverted from the solid waste stream through a widely available and economically viable collection, processing and marketing system, and used in the manufacture of a new product. The cost of transporting recyclables to a market is included in the conditions for recyclability, and becomes a determining factor if there is insufficient storage capacity to accumulate materials until unit transportation costs are affordable.

(5) The above definition suggests that the target list will differ from region to region and will depend on the local importance of impediments such as low quantity available, cost or difficulty of separation and/or collection; extremely high transportation costs; limited physical or financial access to processing technology; and very unstable and/or limited markets.

(6) The list of materials, in addition to those listed above, which are recyclable in some part of British Columbia includes the following:

  • high grade paper
  • most metals
  • mixed waste paper
  • construction / demolition waste
  • mixed, contaminated plastic
  • asphalt
  • certain plastic resins
  • oil filters
  • land clearing debris
  • furniture, other bulky goods

(7) In late 1994, major impediments to recycling existed for the following "hard to dispose of " or "nuisance" materials:

  • household hazardous products, with the exception of paint
  • consumer electronics ('brown goods')
  • many types of plastic containers
  • disposable diapers and other incontinent care products
  • used dry cell batteries
  • industrial and off-road tires
  • pesticide and herbicide containers
  • animal carcasses
  • contaminated wood wastes
  • oily waste and containers

(8) As well as recommending a list of targets, the study should recommend a process for modifying the list between scheduled plan revisions. If no provisions are specified in the plan for changing the list, any significant changes may require a plan amendment.

69. Solid Waste Stream Strategies

(1) The strategies for the RSWMP target list should be based on the following variables:

(a) potential for significant waste stream reduction;

(b) ease and cost of separation from waste stream and collection, with respect to the variable and true disposal cost;

(c) provincial and local recycling goals;

(d) local, provincial and extra-provincial market conditions;

(e) transportation costs and means of reducing transportation costs, such as subsidies,

storage / accumulating of marketable quantities, intermediate processing, and cooperation with adjacent jurisdictions; and

(f) existing or proposed provincial strategies and initiatives.

(2) A major class of solid waste which should be given considerable attention is compostable material, including kitchen scraps, yard and most land clearing debris, some paper, food processing residues, septage and sewage biosolids and some of the wood in demolition and construction debris. This class alone can account for 30 - 35 % by weight of the solid waste stream. Its diversion would simplify management of the remainder, especially regarding its bulk, attractiveness to wildlife, impact of leachate on soil and groundwater quality, and generation of landfill gas.

(3) An important strategy that should be part of all RSWMPs is to encourage citizens to become responsible for their own organic wastes through backyard composting. Backyard composting has proven to be one of the most cost effective approaches to waste reduction in the short term and probably will generate long term educational benefits as well. At this level, composting is clearly a reduction strategy.

(4) Composting as a recycling strategy will involve a central composting facility. Its primary feedstock should be clean compostables collected from the ICI sector, augmented by collection of separated compostable organic material that for reasons of type, size or volume cannot be composted easily at the household level. Composting technology options range in complexity from open windrows to enclosed in-vessel systems. The ministry (and increasingly the market place as well) encourages the use of clean feedstocks in order to produce the most environmentally beneficial and highest quality product possible. A central facility can be planned to compost a single feedstock such as yard waste or a combination such as wood chips, ICI compostables, and domestic sludge and septage.

(5) Recyclables generated by an entire sector are an appropriate subject for a separate management strategy. The ICI sector in particular is one that should be addressed by most if not all plans. This sector generates about 50 % of the MSW stream, its output of waste and recyclables is much more homogeneous in nature than the residential sector, and the number of generators is more manageable. Just as important, generators in this sector are inherently much more responsive to economic instruments such as user-pay programs.

(6) Even in areas outside the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island, certain ICI wastes and recyclables such as DLC debris, can have a significant impact on local landfills. Consequently an appropriate strategy for the ICI sector has the potential to achieve a major reduction in waste requiring disposal. The options for such a strategy should definitely include the cooperative purchase or use by adjoining regional districts of equipment such as chippers or shredders for yard waste, demolition wood and land clearing debris. Options for the end use for the processed material include a feedstock for composting or fuel for co-generation facilities.

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70. Responsibility

(1) The options to be considered are related to the responsibility for various parts of the strategy. For instance, the recycling operation could be managed and operated by a local government, private firm, community-based non-profit society, or by some combination of those. The most appropriate option may differ according to geographic area or urban/rural character.

(2) The options should certainly reflect private sector activities, in keeping with section 21(d)(ii). In most parts of the province, to some degree, private firms operate long-established programs for diverting certain commodities, chiefly metals, from the waste stream.

(3) The options for sites or facilities managing recyclable materials or MSW should reflect the authority the regional district will have, once the plan is approved, to specify operating requirements and set and collect fees from the owner or operator of the site or facility. Financial and operational control can be achieved through (a) the regional district's bylaw authority using mechanisms such as recycler and waste stream management licenses, and (b) contracts or some other form of partnership with private firms or municipalities who currently own or operate such facilities. An important issue which should be dealt with whenever a new responsibility arrangement is chosen is the liability for the site up to and beyond the time when responsibility changes.

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71. Collection Systems

(1) The study should develop and evaluate options for collection of recyclables along each of the pathways analyzed in Stage 1, according to the sources of recyclables and their movement to processing or trans-shipment centres.

(2) The major options will be curbside collection versus drop off bins and/or depots, according to targeted recyclables and varying population densities within the plan area. In more densely populated areas, multi-material, curbside collection has been demonstrated to be very effective in achieving high participation and recovery rates. It also promotes environmentally sound lifestyle and attitude changes, largely through convenience to householders and businesses. Drop-off centres are suitable for rural or low density areas, but should also be considered in conjunction with curbside programs, for low density materials such as some plastics and OCC; bulky objects, such as furniture or appliances; and reusable materials. Depending on the way curb-side collection takes place, the quality of the recyclables may be lower than those obtained from a drop-off depot.

(3) A growing concern with the costs of curbside collection has put some programs in jeopardy or has induced some jurisdictions to reject curbside collection in favour of depots and/or bins. In order to justify recommending a depot/bin system, which generally has a significantly lower diversion rate than a curbside system, the study should compare the recommended system to a curbside system which is designed to be cost-effective, as suggested in the next paragraphs.

(4) Since 'cost-effectiveness' depends on the objectives of the system, a cost-effective curbside collection system is one in which the most appropriate option for each of the following system elements is carefully chosen:

(a) household recyclables containers and degree of separation,

(b) collection frequency and route,

(c) relationship to refuse collection,

(d) education and promotion,

(e) collection vehicle,

(f) collection vehicle crew size and

(5) In the past, the 'ideal' curbside collection system included blue boxes with minimal commingling, weekly collection on the same route and day as collection of garbage, limited number of materials accepted, and dedicated collection vehicles with one driver. Recent experience indicates that there is no such thing as an 'ideal' system, although having only one driver appears to be a characteristic of a cost-effective system.

(6) Regarding containers, the study should also consider the use of bags or different bins, depending on the kinds of recyclables collected as well as the degree of acceptable commingling. Commingled collection may reduce collection costs but at the expense of higher processing costs or lower quality of recyclables, although certain recyclables may be commingled easier than others.

(7) Regarding collection frequency, route and coordination with the refuse collection system, convenience to the householder has been the justification for weekly collection of recyclables on the same day as refuse pickup. However, depending on the time it takes householders to fill a bin and on participation rates, alternate week or bimonthly collection frequency may be successful. Collection routes should be designed according to "macro-routing" principles, such as balancing routes, staff safety in difficult terrain, and minimizing time spent off-route; and to "micro-routing principles, such as reducing driving time and maximizing number of stops per hour. Efficient routes designed with flexibility to respond to generation rates and changes in generation patterns may look completely different than the refuse collection routes. Convenience to householders can be achieved by consistency of collection days, supported by an effective promotion program.

(8) A separate fleet for collection of recyclables can indeed be costly. An option which should be explored is co-collection of recyclables and refuse in hybrid trucks, especially in lower-density areas. There is a good argument for an integrated approach of analyzing the collection system for refuse and recyclables together. This is particularly important when volume- or weight-based user-pay systems are to be implemented, since they will change the ratio between the amount of refuse and recyclables collected. The opportunity to take a hard look at the efficiency of the refuse collection system should also be taken. Cost savings effected there can lead to increased funding for collection of recyclables without increasing total collection system costs.

(9) The vehicle chosen will also determine crew size or be dependent upon the desired crew size. Experience shows that increasing the number of people on the vehicle may not result in significant increases in the amount that can be collected if most of the time is spent driving from container to container.

(10) Collection programs are usually judged financially on a cost per tonne basis, which means that increased efficiency can be achieved by reducing costs or increasing tonnage. The preceding paragraphs have discussed ways to reduce costs. Recent reports indicate that the programs with the lowest cost per tonne are typically those which collected the greatest amount of material per resident. This approach obviously depends on the availability of markets.

(11) Finally, the productivity and cost effectiveness of curbside collection programs should be evaluated in the context of the entire system which collects all the materials that the community wishes to recycle. If collection of recyclables is compared to collection of refuse only on a cost per tonne basis, the latter will look more cost-effective as long the tonnage of refuse is greater than that of recyclables.

(12) Where an alternative to curbside, multi-material collection is being considered for an area suitable for curbside collection, both the alternative and curbside collection should be evaluated according to the following criteria:

(a) anticipated recovery rates and participation levels,

(b) impact on available or anticipated residual management capacity,

(c) cost impacts on ratepayers in relation to waste system costs in general and residual management costs in particular,

(d) utilization of environmentally sound reduction or recovery technologies,

(e) accessibility / convenience to plan area residents and

(f) other relevant factors.

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72. Collection from Multi-family and Rural Residential Areas

In order to provide the opportunity to recycle to as many plan area residents as possible, two other areas deserve considerable attention — multi-family housing and rural areas,

(a) Multi-family housing collection programs should include one or more of the following options:

  • drop-off stations within the building complex;
  • drop-off depot or bins near the building / complex;
  • door-to-door service within building / complex, especially for those in which elderly or disabled residents live;
  • curbside collection for complexes with less than 20 units which have individual garbage cans;
  • mobile recycling centres in addition to stationary centres; and
  • provision for collection of recyclables in the design of new multi-family buildings or complexes.

(b) Rural or low density collection programs should include one or more of the following options:

  • combined collection of garbage and recyclables where garbage collection is carried out;
  • collection from individual households or groups or households, particularly if second-hand or existing equipment is used;
  • collection of recyclables by neighbourhood volunteer or community service group;
  • drop-off bins or depots, at convenient locations such as shopping, service and recreational centres, churches, other meeting places, and all solid waste facilities, such as transfer stations; and
  • mobile as well as stationary drop-off facilities.

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73. Processing and Shipping Systems

(1) The study should explore options related to the level of processing to be done for each solid waste target, including equipment, land and labour requirements, and location of processing facilities within the region. Utilization of facilities in another region or sharing major processing equipment should also be evaluated. One option that should be considered by most, if not all regional districts is one or more multi-material recyclable processing centres which can in addition serve as a drop-off centre and marshalling yard for a wider range of materials.

(2) Finally, the various means and routes of shipping the recyclables to intermediate or end destinations should be reviewed, recognizing that processing and marketing strategies may predetermine or limit shipping options.

74. Marketing System

The study should identify and document all markets for recyclables, including possible markets for recyclables not handled by existing recyclers, the strengths and weaknesses of those markets; the general demand for recyclables; general and probable future market conditions and the benefits of cooperative marketing associations. The study should recommend the most suitable market for each recyclable, including back-up markets if possible, and pay particular attention to the development of local markets. Local markets will be important for products like compost which will eventually be generated by most communities, and may be the only markets for products such as green glass cullet.

75. Involvement with Industry, Adjacent Jurisdictions and Other Levels of Government

Options to be considered may include the sending of recyclables to or accepting them from adjacent jurisdictions because of geographical factors or the need to achieve economies of scale. Involvement with industry may include:

(a) setting up a regional industrial solid waste exchange or participating only in the provincial exchange,

(b) taking advantage of industrial or institutional shipping routes for the transport of recyclables, and

(c) participating in collection / recycling programs established by major industrial or institutional waste generators, such as BC Hydro and BC Tel, to handle their own recyclables.

With regard to other levels of government, the study should examine options available to those governments to facilitate recycling in the region.

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76. Financial Evaluation

(1) In order to provide the basis for the evaluation of options for funding and cost recovery mechanisms, the study should estimate the total cost for each of the various options described earlier.

(2) The study should examine the options for funding the various components of the recycling system and estimate the amount of income that could be generated from increased landfill tipping fees, and cost recovery mechanisms such as sale of recyclables. Tipping fees for recyclables brought to landfills or resource recycling plants should also be considered, to reflect the fact that there is always a cost to recycling.

(3) In addition to exploring the raising of money through general taxation measures, the study should also consider grants and cost-sharing programs available through the provincial and federal governments. However, programs should be designed wherever possible to be sustainable without grants from outside the plan area.

77. Phasing Schedule

The study should examine the most appropriate dates and sequences for introduction of parts of the recycling strategy, including expansion of collection or processing systems to recycle additional solid waste types. The study should also identify any preconditions or precursors that would influence the start of any new phase and any factors that would affect the impact of the phasing schedule.

78. Impacts

The evaluation of options for recycling should conclude with a determination of the environmental, social and economic impacts of the various options, including intangible as well as tangible impacts.

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79. Justification

Recovery is an optional element in the process; however, in the more densely populated areas of the province such as the GVRD, waste processing and recovery plants should be considered as a possible way to achieve reduction goals higher than 50%. The study should therefore analyze the feasibility and suitability of recovery facilities in the region, in comparison with management strategies at a higher level of the hierarchy for the specific solid waste type(s), and with regard to the impacts of the recovery facility and those higher level strategies on each other.

80. Targets, Technology, Location and Markets

(1) If justifiable, the study should look at:

(a) which components of the solid waste stream may be accessible by an existing or proposed recovery facility,

(b) which technologies are available and suitable for the region,

(c) possible locations for siting one or more recovery facilities, and

(d) potential markets for recovery facility products.

(2) Possible technologies include material recovery systems producing recyclables, compost and/or refuse derived fuel; and incineration, other than simple destruction systems which are only recommended in special circumstances such as remote camps. Markets for certain outputs of recovery facilities, such as steam, should be located fairly close to the facility. Markets for recyclables may be the same, dependent on the quality, as markets already identified for similar material generated by recycling programs.

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81. Responsibility

As was done for recycling operations, the study should evaluate the options for which person is responsible for administration, financing and operation of recovery facilities, including joint ownership.

82. Involvement with Industry, Adjacent Jurisdictions and Other Levels of Government

Cooperation with another solid waste management agency can be beneficial, through sharing the high financial cost, taking advantage of economies of scale, and/or responding to geographic proximity factors. Taking advantage of an existing industrial facility may also be possible. The study should therefore carefully examine all possibilities, keeping in mind the rapidly changing technology in resource recovery and more importantly, in the recycling field.

83. Financial Evaluation

As with recycling, the study should estimate the total cost of recovery facilities over their anticipated lifespan. Funding methods should then be examined, along with cost recovery mechanisms such as sale of products or energy and tipping fees.

84. Planning Schedule

The study should examine the possibilities for using existing facilities. Flexibility in the installation of recovery capacity, through modular design, for example, is desirable in order to respond to changing technology or MSW volume and composition.

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85. Impacts

The environmental, social and economic impacts of recovery options should be examined. In particular, the mutual interaction over time with source separation recycling programs should be assessed, including intangible as well as tangible effects.


86. Site Evaluation

The study should estimate the number, size and location of landfill and/or incineration sites required, based on Stage 1 analysis of the life expectancy and integrity of existing sites and on the type and amount of residual MSW that may require disposal under the various options already evaluated. Sites which could fulfil these needs should be selected from the list of potential sites that were identified and given preliminary evaluation in Stage 1. Detailed evaluated in Stage 2 should include, but not be limited to the following:

(a) land acquisition costs;

(b) surface water hydrology;

(c) geologic and hydrogeologic conditions;

(d) quality of local and regional airsheds;

(e) techniques for gas recovery and use;

(f) suitability for disposal of special or nuisance solid waste;

(g) life expectancy and ultimate use;

(h) estimated capital, operating and maintenance costs, including closure and post-closure maintenance;

(i) haulage costs; and

(j) environmental, social and economic impacts, including human wildlife conflicts.

The study should then recommend the preferred site and backup site(s).

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87. Provincial Landfill Criteria for Municipal Solid Waste

(1) The need for landfills as a component of the local solid waste management plan will have been evaluated in Stage 1 of the planning process. Both existing and new landfills may serve a role in the overall plan. The ministry has introduced new landfill criteria for MSW, the development of which has been in response to the changing values of society and the increased emphasis on protection of the environment. These factors have combined to make the former "Pollution Control Objectives for Municipal Type Discharges in British Columbia" (commonly known as the Red Book) inadequate to fully address current concerns.

(2) The purpose of these criteria is to establish minimum siting, design, operational and closure requirements and factors to be considered for all MSW Landfills in British Columbia. These requirements will form the basis of the operational certificates which will replace site permits for MSW landfills, and should be considered in the evaluation of siting and financing options for landfills.

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88. Responsibility

(1) The study should evaluate the options for administration, assumption of liability and operation of various disposal system components. With regard to operation of sites and facilities, consideration should be given to the training and certification of operational personnel.

(2) With the 1992 amendment of the act, regional districts with an approved plan will be able to control municipal and private landfills, including those accepting only DLC waste, if the regional district decides that doing so is in its interest. The study should explore the options open to the regional district for achieving the desired level of control through waste stream management licenses and partnerships with suitable municipal or private stakeholders.

89. Thermal Treatment

(1) Thermal treatment facilities will normally have been evaluated under recovery options, but there may be situations where thermal treatment of residues to reduce volume and/or toxicity prior to landfilling may be desirable. If so, options related to technology, responsibility for administration and operation, phasing schedule, volume and type of solid waste accepted and location should be evaluated according to:

  • opportunity for recovery of materials or energy;
  • total capital, operating and maintenance costs;
  • funding sources and cost recovery mechanisms; and
  • environmental, social and economic impacts.

(2) These options should not include open burning, a practice which will be phased out over time. The study should examine ways to eliminate this practice in regions where it currently occurs, with special consideration given to transfer stations, as noted in the following section.

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90. Collection / Transfer System

(1) A major consideration in rural or low-density areas is the replacement of small landfill sites with transfer stations, and the study should review and make use of two reports on this subject "A Review of Rural Waste Management Options", 1990, and "Guidelines for Establishing Transfer Stations", 1994, prepared under contract to and published by BC Environment.

(2) Options related to design and location of solid waste transfer stations should be evaluated according, but not necessarily limited to the following:

  • and requirements and acquisition;
  • cost to users;
  • security features, including denial of access to wildlife and domestic dogs;
  • provision of deposit / storage areas for recyclables, municipal hazardous waste and nuisance solid wastes;
  • size of collection vehicles required;
  • capital, operating and maintenance costs; and
  • environmental, social and economic impacts, including potential for dust, odour, etc.

(3) This study should first determine whether existing or future transfer stations will require an operational certificate or a waste stream management license. The study should then develop and recommend for inclusion in the plan the generic and specific design and operational requirements, utilizing models developed by the ministry if available, which will be incorporated in the appropriate document in the plan implementation stage.

(4) Some collection system options are most appropriate in urban areas, and include improvement or modification of existing solid waste collection routes or equipment, particularly in light of reduced volumes as a result of source separation recycling programs. Integration of collection programs for refuse and recyclables should also be considered, along with bylaws and regulations controlling solid waste collection.

(5) An important option area that should be considered is volume-based or weight-based user-pay programs for refuse collection. Section 22(2)(b) stresses the importance of user-pay strategies. The simplest form is ensuring that where solid waste management costs are raised by taxation, the actual amount is shown on the tax bill. The next level involves tipping fees at disposal facilities, based on the true cost of such facilities and possibly the funding of recycling programs. The highest level is a slight variation on the last — to charge for the collection of recyclables and refuse at the point of generation and to build in incentives to reduce. At each level, the generator receives more and better information than at the previous level on which to make decisions on the amount and kinds of waste generated. The latter approach has been demonstrated to achieve significant reduction in generated waste wherever it has been implemented.

(6) User-pay programs are much easier to introduce in urban areas with fewer unregulated disposal options in the former, and much more acceptable in areas where standard tipping fees are already in place. The fear of unauthorized dumping has usually proved unwarranted, particularly where the user-pay program has been preceded by an effective promotional campaign. However, prohibition on backyard burning should be considered as a complement to user-pay programs, to avoid transferring the problem from the terrestrial to the atmospheric environment.

(7) The ministry acknowledges that in many interior regional districts, user-pay programs will have to be introduced one step at a time, using a creative mix of strategies to reflect different population densities and landfill controls.

(8) One other issue that may need to be addressed in relation to the collection system is licensing or otherwise controlling waste haulers to ensure that solid waste is hauled to approved facilities. This may be particularly critical where there are sites on federally-administered lands within the plan area that are not under the jurisdiction either of the regional district or the province. As noted earlier, temporary enabling authority to license waste haulers can be provided under the Municipal Act until legislative authority under the WMA is available. Further discussion of this subject may be found in section 111.

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91. Involvement with Industry, Adjacent Jurisdictions and Other Levels of Government

The study should examine possibilities for joint operation or cost-sharing of thermal treatment or landfill facilities with industry or other local governments. There may be situations where solid waste generators in one jurisdiction are much closer to a disposal facility in another jurisdiction than to one in their own. As for involvement with other levels of government, provincial programs may be available for the management of certain types of solid waste. In this case, the evaluation should be concerned with the options for collection, storage and possible transportation of such solid waste to the provincial facilities.

92. Financial Evaluation

(1) The study should first estimate the total capital, operating and maintenance cost of residual management facilities over their anticipated lifespan and for the closure and post-closure stages. A model designed under contract to the ministry for determining the true cost of landfills should be utilized. Funding methods should then be examined, along with cost recovery mechanisms such as sale of products or energy and tipping fees.

(2) When establishing the true cost of a landfill located on Crown land, the fair market value of the land should be used, even if actual acquisition and operating cost to the landfill operator is nominal.

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93. Phasing Schedule

The study should recommend an appropriate schedule for the installation or expansion of residual management capacity. Flexibility should be incorporated into this schedule in order that the regional district may respond to changing technology or solid waste volume and character.

94. Impacts

The study should estimate the environmental, social and economic impacts of all residual management options and facilities, and describe possible mitigation and amelioration measures if necessary.

95. Monitoring Disposal of Solid Waste

(1) Knowledge of the weight and nature of the solid waste requiring disposal is essential, not only for setting priorities for future higher level management strategies, but for evaluating the effectiveness of the plan in meeting its reduction goal. The primary evaluation criterion will be the change in the per capita generation rate of solid waste requiring disposal, expressed in kilograms/person/day.

(2) The study should therefore examine options for describing and weighing all solid waste brought to regional disposal sites or facilities, including small, remote sites. In regard to the latter, the study authors should review and make use of the report on this subject prepared under contract to the ministry. In regard to the general description and weighing of solid waste, the study should identify the most appropriate procedure for collecting the MSW tracking information requested by the ministry.

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96. Financial and Operating Control — Legislative Authority

(1) As a result of the 1992 amendment of the act, a regional district with an approved plan may specify operating requirements for, and set and collect fees from the owner or operator of any site or facility, whether public or private, storing or managing municipal solid waste within its territorial boundaries. A regional district wishing to exercise this power should specify in the version of the plan reviewed by the public its intention of doing so and identify the manner in which it will do so.

(2) The study should therefore identify the sites and facilities over which the regional district will exercise this control, develop draft operating requirements to be contained in a waste stream management license for each site or facility, and determine the amount and rationale for any fees to be charged.

97. Final Report

(1) The final report of the Stage 2 study should recommend a set of strategies which address the strategy objectives identified in Part 2. The report should also identify all costs and impacts of the strategies, and determine funding requirements, including any need for financial assistance from the provincial government. The report should also include the rationale for why a particular recommendation was made, and why other alternatives were not chosen or were recommended for deferral in accordance with an implementation schedule.

(2) As specified in section 19, the final report should be reviewed in the following order:

(a) review by advisory committees;

(b) review by the regional manager;

(c) review of the report, including any changes recommended by the manager and acceptable to the regional district, by the public; and

(d) review and acceptance by the regional district.

(3) Following the review and amendment process described in (2), the regional regional district will submit, in accordance with section 19(c), a final copy of the report to the manager. The cover letter should request for confirmation that the regional district may proceed with the Stage 3 process of translating the report into a plan in accordance with section 29.

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The comments in this part of the Guide are intended to provide direction in the interpretation of certain sections and provisions of Part 2 hereof.


98. Provincial Reduction Goal

(1) The goal of the Municipal Waste Reduction Strategy is a 50 percent reduction in the amount of solid waste requiring disposal by the year 2000; the interim reduction goal of 30 percent reduction by 1995. These goals are for the provincial waste stream, and the contribution to the provincial waste stream varies tremendously from region to region. The ministry expects each regional district to contribute to achieving the provincial goal by reducing the amount of solid waste generated in the regional district as much as possible, consistent with community resources and the nature of the regional solid waste stream. Thus, a regional solid waste management plan will be evaluated according to the evidence of its intention to reduce and how much effort it proposes be made to reduce each portion of the regional solid waste stream not its intended achievement of an absolute percentage reduction.

(2) In addition, regional district activities will be complemented by federal and provincial reduction initiatives in packaging, and in provincial programs such as those in place or being developed for beverage containers, scrap tires, lead-acid batteries, used oil, biomedical waste and household hazardous products.

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99. Provincial Reduction Strategy

(1) As noted in the Preface, the provincial strategy is based on the sequential hierarchy of reduce, reuse, recycle, plus recover and residual management. The practical meaning of "sequential hierarchy" in this context is as follows:

  • The first priority effort is to reduce by as much as possible the amount or toxicity of material that enters the solid waste stream and also the impact on the environment of producing it in the first place.
  • The second priority is to ensure that materials or products are reused as many times as possible before entering the solid waste stream.

Efforts under these first two Rs involve not only the redesign of products and packaging but also fundamental shifts in consciousness and lifestyle patterns. Educational and promotional campaigns and the setting of examples are more important at this level of the hierarchy than the application of existing or new technology. The greatest contribution to achieving a sustainable economy is made at this level.

  • The next priority effort is to recycle as much material as possible. This effort completes the shift in consciousness and lifestyles to personal responsibility for proper handling of the solid waste one generates. Educational and promotional programs and the setting of examples are still important, but collection, manufacturing programs, technology and marketing are equally important. A further distinction within recycling is that closed loop recycling is generally preferable to open loop recycling, for example, creating new glass containers from glass cullet, instead of using glass cullet as drainage material.
  • The next priority effort is to recover as much material and/or energy from the solid waste stream as possible through the application of technology. This element depends on the nature and size of the solid waste stream, the availability of technology, demand for its products, political acceptability and the environmental, social and economic impact of applying that technology.
  • The final priority effort is to provide safe and effective residual management. This activity takes place once the solid waste stream has been reduced by efforts under the first 4 Rs, through the application of technology primarily in the form of well-designed and secure landfills. In the case of some areas or for certain classes of solid waste, thermal treatment may first be applied to change chemical properties, reduce volume and/or generate energy.
(2) In each of the first three priorities, "as possible" will depend on the jurisdiction involved, according to its location and ability to make changes in the system, the nature of the solid waste stream, the distance to markets for recyclables and the availability of capital and technology.

(3) Another way to approach the strategy is for the regional community to ask the following series of questions for each product or material in its solid waste stream:

  • Do we need to produce or use this product or material in the first place? If "no", what can we do about it at our level? If "yes", can the need for the product, and/or the amount or toxicity of material which goes into it and its packaging be reduced, and what can we do about it at our level?
  • Can the product be reused, or be redesigned to be reused, as many times as possible, either for the original purpose use or another?
  • Once its usefulness in its present form is finished, can this product be separated from the waste stream at source and then be recycled ? If it must be redesigned to be recyclable, how much can we do at our level?
  • Can this material or its energy be recovered from our post-collection solid waste stream, and is this the best approach available to us at present?
  • How can we safely dispose of the residual materials that at present cannot be reused, recycled or recovered?

(4) In asking these or similar questions, it is necessary to look at the whole solid waste management system. The kind or degree of effort made at one level may result in unacceptable cost at another level in environmental, social or economic terms. For example, reusable containers have higher energy costs in production, transportation and processing compared to one-way, recyclable containers. But reusable containers have advantages at a small, regional scale, whereas that same local area must be responsible for dealing with the recyclable containers produced far away by centralized manufacturers. It should also be recognized that costs generally increase going down the hierarchy. Thus, recycling should not be viewed as a panacea to the exclusion of reduce and reuse, since recycling always has a cost, both directly and in terms of impact on the world's resources.

(5) On the basis of the foregoing, the provincial reduction strategy is to achieve the reduction goal through the first 3Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle, with recyclable materials including those obtained from a recovery operation and transfer stations. In terms of the application of the provincial strategy at the level of each regional district, the effect is the same as for the reduction goal — a plan will be evaluated by the ministry according to the sincerity of its effort to achieve its reduction goal through the 3Rs. Energy recovery should be considered only if thermal reduction is necessary to solve a problem of limited landfill capacity, and lack of or distance to markets for recyclables or other factors make it impossible to achieve the required reduction through the first 3Rs in the available time. If the regional plan can justify the use of recovery programs, such programs should enable the regional district to achieve a reduction goal much higher than 50%.

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100. Solid Waste Stream Targets and Management Strategies Targets

(1) Section 20 calls for the matching of policies and management strategies to targeted levels of the solid waste stream, including sources, classes and types of MSW. Sources include residential, sub-categorized by single family, multi-family, and rural, and institutional/commercial/industrial (ICI), including DLC waste. Classes include materials such as metal, paper, compostables, glass, rubber, and construction debris. Types include specific kinds of material in a given class, including, with reference to the preceding list of classes, aluminum cans, ledger paper, kitchen food scraps, clear glass bottles, scrap tires and gypsum. The full list of targets by source, class and type which should be addressed is shown in Figure 4 on the following page. In effect, the sum of each level comprises the whole of the solid waste stream. Management strategies should follow a similar pattern, with some directed to sources such as ICI, some to classes such as office paper, and some to types such as office cardboard.

(2) For each target, the management strategy itself should consist of levels based on each of the 5Rs. The plan should show both the projected contribution of each of the Rs to the management of each target, and a summation of these contributions for all levels of targets. Finally, the plan should describe the manner in which the phasing of management strategies over time may change the contribution of each of the first 4Rs in reducing the amount of waste requiring disposal over the term of the plan.

Figure 4. Municipal Solid Waste Stream Components by Source, Type and Class

Waste management strategies and policies are to be directed to components of the municipal solid waste stream described as follows:



Single family
Multiple family
Government Agencies


paper   newsprint, cardboard, ledger, magazines, etc.  
glass   beverage containers, food containers, plate, etc.  
metal   aluminum cans, steel cans, non-ferrous, etc.  
plastic   resin or  product  
organic   kitchen and restaurant, yard waste, wood, etc.  
textiles   natural and synthetic fibres  
rubber   scrap highway vehicle tires  
white goods   refrigerators, stoves, etc.  
brown goods   radios, smoke alarms, etc.  
bulky goods   furniture, auto hulks, etc.  
dlc   gypsum, asphalt, concrete, stumps, etc.  
household hazardous products   dry cell batteries, paint, cleaners, etc.  
miscellaneous combustibles       

As indicated in section 100, the sum of each level will equal the total municipal solid waste stream. Management strategies and policies directed at the general level of a waste source and, where appropriate, at the more specific level of a class or type, should ensure that each type of waste is the subject of a policy or strategy at its own or a more general level.

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101. Household Hazardous Products

(1) Household hazardous products (HHP) are currently a joint responsibility of the Pollution Prevention and Pesticide Management Branch (PPPMB) and the Municipal Waste Reduction Branch (MWRB). The MWRB is responsible for waste lubricating oil, filters and containers; waste antifreeze and used lead- acid batteries. All other household hazardous products are the responsibility of the PPPMB.

(2) A HHP pilot collection program involving regional depots was initiated in 1991 to provide information on collection, packing and disposal of HHP generated by BC residents. Evaluation of the pilot program showed that in addition to being ineffective in getting HHP out of BC homes and not cost-effective, the design was not in accordance with user-pay principles, as the cost was borne by all tax-payers. As a result, Dorothy Caddell, the Waste Reduction Commissioner, was given the mandate to develop a HHW Management Strategy.

(3) Based on recommendations in the Commissioner's January, 1994 report, "Greener Homes — Cleaner Communities", the ministry is moving towards management programs centered on the principle of industry stewardship. Costs for operating HHP programs will be be shifted from the taxpayers of BC to the producers of hazardous products and their customers through industry stewardship programs which give the public greater access to HHP collection facilities.

(4) Following the successful model of the used lubricating oil stewardship program launched in September 1992, the ministry is initiating negotiations with industry groups. Stewardship programs will be developed for other household hazardous products in order of priority according to incidence in the waste stream. The target for the first such program is paint, in recognition that paints made up 70% of the materials collected by the pilot HHP program. The consumer paint industry has been required to take responsibility for its waste products by initiating the first post-consumer paint stewardship program in Canada. The next products for which stewardship programs will be developed are solvents and pesticides.

(5) The appropriate role for regional districts is to complement product stewardship programs by including a management strategy which contains the following elements in its regional solid waste management plan:

  • participants in the multi-stakeholder committees for product stewardship programs by industry;
  • encouraging source separation of HHPs, both to avoid unnecessary contamination of other materials generated at the same site, especially potential recyclable material, and to prevent such products from entering the general waste stream; and designing and implementing education programs aimed at reducing the use/generation of HHP, and identifying alternatives in partnership with the PPPMB and any industry stewardship programs.

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102. Recyclable Materials

(1) Section 20(2)(a) requires that specific management strategies be developed for recyclable material as defined in the act. Some of the these materials were formerly designated as 'hard- to-dispose-of' wastes and are the subject of provincial or industry stewardship programs, notably scrap tires, lead-acid batteries, used lubricating oil and consumer paint. For these materials, the plan may need to specify the most appropriate strategy for collecting small quantities from a variety of generators and assembling them into efficient loads for transportation to markets or processors. This could involve use of regional landfills as marshalling yards, or the plan may propose a facility such as an
" enviro-centre" which accepts a wide range of recyclables.

(2) The plan may also need to support provincial or industry programs by eliminating dumps and landfills as low-cost alternatives. This is particularly true for the Financial Incentives for Recycling Scrap Tires (FIRST) program with respect to medium truck (MT) tires. For passenger and light truck tires (PLT), the processing costs, and in most of the province the collection costs, are borne entirely by the FIRST program. For MT tires, FIRST program credits pay for about two-thirds of the total cost, resulting in processors having to charge a tipping fee of up to $4/tire to cover the higher costs for such tires. Consequently, MT tires are subject to partial industry stewardship. In parts of the province where a lower cost option exists in the form of uncontrolled dumps or landfills which do not charge a tipping fee, MT generators have no financial incentive to participate in the FIRST program. Not only is the tire material resource then lost, but the tires can cause problems in the sites where they are dumped. Local governments and the FIRST program share a common interest in ensuring proper management of MT tires.

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103. Bear / Human Conflict Management

(1) Section 20(2)(b) requires that the plan address the issue of wildlife conflicts at residual management sites. Except in the most urbanized regional districts, the chief problem is garbage-conditioned bears. The problem is characterized by risk of injury or fatality to humans, fatalities to bears (as high as 400 in one recent year for the whole province), and the spending of considerable ministry resources on dealing only with the symptoms of the problem.

(2) The stage 2 study should reflect understanding of the scope of the bear management problem in the regional district. The study should also explore the following options for inclusion in a bear management strategy for the plan:

(a) implementation of bear-proof home and community composting programs, to reduce the quantity of potential food for bears both at the landfill and in the community as much as possible;

(b) restricting access to the buried garbage by means such as electric fencing;

(c) improved landfilling operations regarding daily cover and compaction, as well as installing "bear-proof" bunkers or containers for drop off of garbage; and

(d) relocating problem landfill operations or replacing them with transfer stations.

(3) Bear management involves three components of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, and work on development of a provincial bear/human conflict management strategy has been initiated. Consequently, the regional district should work closely with the manager in the development of any human/bear conflict management strategy at the regional level.

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104. Landfill Gas and Open Burning

(1) While minimizing conflicts with wildlife and ensuring reasonable access to recycling opportunities are related to the regional environment, elimination of the unregulated discharge of landfill gas and open burning is related to the effects of local action on the global environment.

(2) Although considerable attention has been paid to the effects of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas contributing to global climate change, methane gas (CH4) is also a significant contributor. Releases of methane to the atmosphere occur from major natural sources such as wetlands, wild animals and wild fires, and from major anthropogenic (human-made) sources such as landfills, manure piles, domestic animals, natural gas systems, coal mining, and fuel combustion. Landfills are the main anthropogenic source by a substantial margin. They are projected to account for 51-55% of total anthropogenic methane emitted over the next 15 years, and approximately 25% of the anthropogenically generated greenhouse gases emitted in British Columbia.

(3) Methane emissions from landfills come from the decomposition of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste, wood residue and sludge from pulp mills -- with respective contributions of 79%, 17% and 4% in 1990. There are two main strategies to be considered for reducing the impact of methane on the global environment. The first is to reduce the flow of organic, compostable materials to landfills, which will have several other benefits as well. The other, particularly for large, older landfills, is to implement landfill gas recovery systems.

(4) Landfill gas recovery systems are attractive for the following reasons:

  • methane emissions may be reduced by up to 90% with suitable design features,
  • the recovered energy may be used to displace other energy supplies,
  • emission of odorous gases is reduced, and
  • problems with off-site migration of landfill gas are eliminated.

(5) A significant potential exists for greater application of landfill gas recovery in the province. However, a landfill gas recovery system is not expected to be economically viable without some form of subsidy, based on the currently available price for gas in BC on the order of $1.40 - 1.60/GJ and the likely cost of collecting and cleaning the gas.

(6) The need for reducing the release of methane at the local level is based on the awareness that on a global scale, the average concentration of methane in the atmosphere is increasing by approximately 1% every year. The present atmospheric concentration of CH4 is more than double the pre-industrial value.

(7) Section 6.4 of the BC Landfill Criteria for Municipal Solid Waste requires that landfill gas recovery and management systems be provided for landfills with capacity exceeding 100,000 tonnes.

(8) Eliminating open burning, even of segregated wood waste, can also be justified as a way of reducing the effect of local release of carbon dioxide on the global atmosphere. Open burning of mixed MSW, including substances such as plastic, rubber, batteries and chemicals of all kinds, also releases a number of toxic substances as well as other greenhouse gases.

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105. Closed Landfills

Many landfills currently operating will need to be upgraded over the next few years in accordance with the provincial Landfill Criteria for Municipal Solid Waste in order to minimize their impact on the environment. Many of the landfills which have been closed were operated with even less stringent regard for the environment. The location and environmental status of these sites should have been determined in the Stage 1 study, while the Stage 2 study should have determined which sites require remedial work. The plan should therefore contain provisions for appropriate closure of MSW sites as required by the manager under section 20(2)(g).

106. User-Pay Programs

With respect to Section 22(2)(b), the importance of user-pay programs in reducing the waste stream has already been discussed. The Waste Management Permit Fee Regulation enacted on July 31, 1992 , provides another reason for including user-pay strategies in the plan. Section 6 of that regulation provides for an annual fee to apply to each permit and operational certificate held by a regional district after December 31, 1995, unless the minister has approved a solid waste management plan which contains volume based, user-pay strategies and a strategy to achieve a 50% reduction in the regional MSW waste stream. The regional district will have to demonstrate a sincere commitment to propose and implement the highest level of user-pay which is practical given the local circumstances, in order to qualify for this exemption.

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107. Division of Responsibility

(1) Except where a transference of authority has been approved by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council, the division of responsibility for the control of sites and facilities involved in the storing or disposal of recyclable material or municipal solid waste between the ministry and regional districts is as follows:

  • operational certificates (OCs) will be issued by the manager, to deal with the environmental protection aspects of disposal facilities, recovery facilities accepting unsorted municipal solid waste and in some cases, transfer stations;
  • the following licenses may be issued by the regional district, to deal with financial and operational control issues of concern to the regional district and community:
    • waste stream management license (WSMLs), for recovery and disposal facilities, including most transfer stations, that are involved with recyclable material and/or municipal solid waste;
    • recycler license (RL), for sites and facilities involved in the processing of recyclable material; and
    • hauler license (HL), for vehicles hauling recyclable material or MSW within or through the regional district.

(2) Where a regional district does not wish or need to become involved in control of sites or facilities, requirements for all aspects of the sites or facilities may be included in the OC. Where a site or facility requires both an OC and a WSML, care should be taken to ensure that the documents are compatible and do not generate confusion. In cases of conflict, the OC will prevail.

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109. Waste Stream Management Licenses

(1) WSMLs can be used by regional districts as a tool for achieving operational and administrative control over sites and facilities managing recyclable material and municipal solid waste. Section 3 discusses bylaw enabling authority for regional districts with approved plans that call for this level of control.

(2) A WSML for a site or facility would normally be issued with one or more of the following objectives:

  • to maximize diversion of recyclable material from disposal facilities through incentives and, if necessary, penalties;
  • to prevent the abandonment of large quantities of waste or recyclable material which have been stored or accumulated "for future processing";
  • to track the movement of MSW and recyclable material for the purpose of identifying and developing future markets for recyclable material;
  • to assist the regional district in determining its success in meeting its reduction goals; and
  • to establish minimum administrative and operational requirements for facilities which do not normally create a discharge to the environment and therefore do not require an OC, but where community concerns such as noise, dust, runoff, odours, operating hours, etc. should be addressed.

(3) In creating a WSML, the following concerns should be resolved:

  • avoiding overlap between the WSML and an OC, through cross-referencing if necessary;
  • minimizing financial and other hardships for small operators in specifying the need for material flow measurement;
  • auditing the material flow measurement at facilities which receive only material which is obtained from their own collection network before it could enter the waste stream; and
  • keeping the MSW stream separate from the industrial stream for reporting purposes.

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110. Recycler Licenses

(1) concept of a recycler license recognizes that a facility dealing solely or primarily with recyclable material as a commodity does not require the same level of control as a facility dealing with unsorted MSW. However, the line between the two types of facilities or the two types of materials is neither precise nor fixed. Low or fluctuating commodity values for some recyclables creates the potential for excessive inventories and subsequent fire and pollution concerns. Each regional district which wishes to exert this level of control will have to determine the kinds of facilities for which a recycler license will be appropriate and the conditions to be included in the license, according to the nature of the facilities in the regional district. In addition to any inventory concern, the main purpose of issuing a recycler license will be to track the flow of recyclable material as part of the monitoring of plan effectiveness.

(2) The difference between facilities controlled by a recycler license and a WSML is particularly evident when considering the license fee structure. A fee per tonne or volume measure is appropriate for a WSML because the intent is to reduce the amount of material going to such a facility. The same fee approach for a recycling facility is counter-productive, because an increased flow of material to recycling is desirable. Fees for recycler licenses should therefore be a flat fee, similar to a business license, based on characteristics of the facility other than its throughput.

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111. Hauler Licenses

(1) As noted in Section 3, regional districts with an approved plan will be able to obtain authority to issue licenses to haulers of recyclable material or MSW operating in the region, either directly, following necessary legislative amendment, or by application to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for interim enabling powers.

(2) The ability to issue hauler licenses will likely be the most effective means available to a regional district of ensuring that MSW and recyclable material generated within or being hauled into the plan area is deposited only to a site or facility authorized in the plan.

(3) A regional district may not wish to take on this function but does wish to exert some level of control over material flow out of the plan area. One option may be to keep landfill tipping fees low and replace lost revenue for solid waste management with increased general taxes. This approach should be considered carefully with respect to its impact on user-pay strategies designed to encourage reduction and recycling.

112. Model Licenses

Considerable work has been done and continues on the part of ministry staff, in conjunction with staff from the GVRD which has the most immediate need for various licenses, to prepare generic licensing bylaws and models for WSMLs, recycler licenses and hauler licenses. Regional districts intending to assume licensing authority should contact the manager to obtain copies of available models.

113. Plan Format

With respect to format, plans will be evaluated according to whether or not the format facilitates evaluation of the compliance of the plan with the provisions of Part 2. This achieved, management strategies may be organized and the plan structured in the way most suitable for the nature of the plan area's MSW stream, the pattern of strategies, and the preferred style of the regional district. However, since the minister will request a recommendation from the manager before deciding on whether or not to approve the plan, the regional district should seek the advice of the manager on the appropriate organization and structure of the plan.

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