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Waste Watch Ottawa media event tomorrow

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This summer, I provided some of our intern Julie's research time to a group called Waste Watch Ottawa. They've created a report looking at Ottawa waste diversion that will be unveiled tomorrow. Here's Waste Watch Ottawa's media release ahead of the event. I've offered to post the report for distribution, and it will go live tomorrow morning during the news conference.


Media and City Council Advisory – News Conference

Poor Performance of Ottawa’s Recycling and Green Bin Programs Compromises Disposal Capacity and Life Expectancy of the City’s Trail Road Landfill Site

Date:  Friday, September 15, 2017

Start Time:  10:30 am

Location: Ottawa City Hall, Billings Room

Waste Watch Ottawa will conduct a news conference to release a report, “Improving the City of Ottawa’s Waste Diversion Performance: Recommendations for Action”, that documents that Ottawa has one of the worst rates of recycling and organics waste diversion in Ontario.  Due to the poor performance of the recycling and green bin programs considerably more waste is going to disposal than is desirable and this is unnecessarily compromising the capacity and life expectancy of the City’s Trail Road landfill site.  


Ottawa is lagging behind other municipalities in Ontario in the amount of waste that is recycled and composted.  Available data examined by Waste Watch Ottawa has not been brought to the attention of City of Ottawa councillors and there appears to be little awareness that this poor program performance is resulting in more waste being disposed of at the City’s Trail Road landfill site than is either necessary or desirable. The life expectancy of the possibly irreplaceable Trail Road landfill could be significantly extended if the City’s waste diversion programs adopted best practices cited in the report and achieved levels of waste diversion from disposal comparable to other large municipalities in Ontario. 

  • Ottawa diverted only 42.5% of its waste in 2015 - the provincial average is 47.7% and leading municipalities are achieving rates of over 50% with best performers diverting over 60%.
  • A waste composition study suggests that only 50% of Ottawa residents are using their green bin and 25% of residents do not use the recycling program  -  the waste composition study was received  by Waste Watch Ottawa through a municipal freedom of information request.
  • The City spends less per household on recycling and green bin promotion and education than all other large municipalities in Ontario -  low levels of spending are likely a contributor to the poor levels of program participation and to the amount of material contamination in the recycling program.
  • Considerably more waste is going to disposal at the City’s Trail Road landfill than is either necessary or desirable – high rates of disposal are compromising the possibly irreplaceable capacity of the landfill site. 
  • Every 1% increase in the rate of waste diversion Ottawa would gain an extra 1 year of life expectancy for the Trail Road landfill - an increase from the current waste diversion rate of 42.5% to 55% would extend the Trail Road life expectancy from the current estimated closure date of around 2045 to 2055.  A further increase of 10 points to 65% would extend the landfill life to beyond 2065.


Duncan Bury

(613) 729-0499 home

(613) 406-8262 cell

Bill Toms

(613) 225-9732 home

(613) 697-2395 cell

Posted September 14, 2017