Monday 10 February 1992

Waste Management Act, 1991, Bill 143 / Loi de 1991 sur la gestion des déchets, projet de loi 143

Center for the Biology of Natural Systems

Mark Cohen, environmental scientist

Canadian National Railways

Allan Deegan, vice-president

Richard K. Hayes, manager of industrial development

CP Rail

Paul Gilmore, vice-president of marketing and sales

Bob Brook, manager of solid waste product initiative

Regional Municipality of Peel

Emil Kolb, chair

Mike Garrett, chief administrative officer


Simon Armstrong, representative

Durham Site 59 Committee

Milton Mowbray, representative


Chair / Présidente: Caplan, Elinor (Oriole L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Sola, John (Mississauga East/-Est L)

Cousens, W. Donald (Markham PC)

Fawcett, Joan M. (Northumberland L)

Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock ND)

Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent ND)

Martin, Tony (Sault Ste Marie ND)

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex ND)

O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York ND)

Stockwell, Chris (Etobicoke West/-Ouest PC)

Sullivan, Barbara (Halton Centre L)

Wiseman, Jim (Durham West/-Ouest ND)

Substitution(s) / Membre(s) remplaçant(s):

Abel, Donald (Wentworth North/-Nord ND) for Mr Hope

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South/-Sud PC) for Mr Stockwell

McClelland, Carman (Brampton North/-Nord L) for Mrs Sullivan

Clerk pro tem / Greffière par intérim: Deller, Deborah

Staff / Personnel: Richmond, Jerry, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1406 in room 151.


Resuming consideration of Bill 143, An Act respecting the Management of Waste in the Greater Toronto Area and to amend the Environmental Protection Act / Projet de loi 143, Loi concernant la gestion des déchets dans la région du grand Toronto et modifiant la Loi sur la protection de l'environnement.

The Chair: The standing committee on social development is now in session. I would like to thank everyone for joining us this afternoon. We are having public hearings on Bill 143, the Waste Management Act, 1991. I would like to call our first presenter, the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems. Please begin by introducing yourself. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. Begin now.


Dr Cohen: I was told I had an hour.

Clerk pro tem: It is an hour.

The Chair: It is an hour. You have an hour for your presentation and we would ask that you leave as much time as possible for questions. Thank you for pointing out that you had an hour.

Dr Cohen: Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to testify before you today. My name is Mark Cohen. I work at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Queens College in New York City. The centre is an interdisciplinary sort of think tank devoted to working on environmental and energy issues. Our director is Barry Commoner.

I received my education from Stanford University in chemical engineering and then a doctorate from California Institute of Technology, also in chemical engineering, where my thesis dealt with the physics and chemistry of air pollution particulate. After graduating I worked for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, the body in Los Angeles that deals with both solid waste and sewage, for several years, and then for the last three years I have worked at the centre at Queens College.

Today I would like to talk to you a bit about recycling and a bit about incineration and the tradeoffs between the two. I am going to specifically talk about the situation that is occurring in New York City. I think you will find that there are a lot of parallels to the situation you face here.

You have probably seen composition graphs like this quite a bit. This is the composition of the New York City waste stream, the residential waste stream, and you can see that when you graph it like this there is a fair amount of paper, plastics and organics and smaller amounts of glass and metal. When you look at it this way, it looks like you have all these resources you can deal with. What we do in New York City, unfortunately, and what is done in a lot of places is that people throw them all together and then we get what we call garbage.

What we share is a common challenge: What shall we do with this stuff? Right now what is happening in New York City is that about 90% of this garbage is going to the largest landfill in the world. It is an unlined landfill built in a wetlands and it leaks two million gallons of very toxic leachate every day into the New York harbour -- and it is about to run out, so we face some similar problems here.

Everybody says that the best thing to do with our garbage is to recycle, reduce and reuse it. Even the incinerator companies will tell you that. The only real question and the only real debate, I think, is how much of the waste stream you can handle with the 3Rs. If you look at these various components within the waste stream, you find that virtually everything is either reducible, reusable, recyclable or you can substitute something for that material that is reducible, reusable or recyclable. This is the residential waste stream. The commercial waste stream, as you probably know, is even easier, because for any one particular site it tends to be much more uniform.

I am not going to talk a lot about reduction today, and that is not to short-shrift reduction at all. I think it is enormously important. It is just that the bulk of our work at the centre has been on recycling. One quick point on reduction --

The Chair: Excuse me. Could I ask that you do your presentation sitting down and maybe we can get someone to help with your slides, because Hansard is having difficulty picking up what you are saying.

Dr Cohen: All right, I will try to sit down.

The Chair: If you need help we can provide someone who will put the slides on for you.

Dr Cohen: Just a quick point on reduction. This is the fraction of plastics in the US waste stream. What you can see is that in the last 30 years or so there has been a dramatic increase, and I am sure you have probably seen a roughly comparable increase here in Ontario. The point of this is that things have been changing in the waste stream and plastics, for example, represent one of these changes. We are seeing a change from returnable, reusable glass bottles to plastic containers. The point is that it would be possible to go back to a situation that existed years ago where people were still drinking the exact same amount of soft drinks or what have you and yet they were not generating nearly as much plastic waste.

After you have done as much reduction and reuse as you can, the question is then, what of the remaining can you recycle? We did a study on Long Island where we asked the question, what would happen if you tried to recycle everything you possibly could in the waste stream? We did this in a community in East Hampton. We found that without even trying to recycle plastics we were able to recycle 84.4% of the waste stream. This is an important study because I think up until that point most people had considered 15%, 20% or 25% as reasonable goals. People tended to go mostly for aluminum, glass and maybe newspaper, and if you do that you get roughly 25% at the maximum. But when you include things like food garbage, for example, that could be composted and rubber that can be made into crumb rubber etc, you can get much higher fractions of the waste stream.

This is one of the most important things I would like to leave with you today, and I am going to go back to this first slide here. The top again is the composition of the waste stream. The bottom now is the relative contribution to the heating value of the waste stream. If you look, you see that to a certain extent organics and textiles but predominantly paper and plastics make up the largest part by far of the heating value of the waste. I have used the lower heating value to take into account the fact that when you have things that are moist, the incinerator has to heat up that water and boil it off first, so this represents a lower heating value. Again, this is for the New York City waste stream. I am sure it would be comparable for the Toronto waste stream.

Incinerator advocates will tell you that incineration is compatible with recycling. I saw this in at least one of the testimonies; I think it was the Ogden Martin testimony. But actually that is only really true if you look at metal and glass. The incinerator companies would love to see you take the metal and glass out of the waste stream, because it does not burn anyway and it just contributes to their ash. But everything else that burns in an incinerator, the paper and the plastics largely, are reducible, reusable and recyclable. So the only way an incinerator makes sense is if you fail in some way to reduce, reuse and recycle those burnable components.

Paper, as you know, is very recyclable and is certainly reducible to a certain extent as well. Plastic and organics are certainly compostable. There has been a lot of talk about problems with composting and I will come back to that later in my talk, but we have found that if you keep the compostables separate from the rest of the waste, not only do you avoid the toxins getting into the compost but you also avoid the food contaminating the other parts of your waste. I guess the main point I am trying to make here at the beginning is that recycling and incineration compete directly for the same resources.

Another thing the incinerator companies will tell you is that the heating value of the waste stream after recycling can be higher than the heating value before recycling and reduction. I think that misses the point. It is true that if you take out certain metals and glass and things like that, what you are left with can have a higher heating value, but the important point is how much of it is left.

This graph shows what would happen. This is a before and after graph. For each one of these bars we have the BTUs per household per week generated in the current waste stream. Then in the little bar next to it is the BTUs per household per week after a very ambitious reduction, reuse and recycling program comparable to the one we did in East Hampton. This is targeting essentially every possible thing you can in the waste stream that is feasibly recyclable, and you see that the amount of stuff left to burn is very tiny. It started out at about 130,000 BTUs per household per week total, which is about the equivalent of one gallon of gasoline -- that is roughly what you throw away each week if you were to burn it all, about a gallon of gasoline -- and it goes down about 85% to 90%.

One of the problems with incineration is that you build an incinerator at the beginning and you have whatever level of recycling you have when you build the incinerator, and then that incinerator lasts for 20 or 30 or 40 years. But during that time when the incinerator stays static, your recycling and reduction program is growing, so eventually, if you build the incinerator at the right size to begin with to handle the current waste stream, you are going to run into material shortfalls, energy shortfalls, and we find that this happens all over the country. Recycling programs gradually become successful enough that they start robbing the incinerator of material. Right near New York City, in Warren county, New Jersey, there is a good example of that.

The other problem with the competition between recycling and incineration is that we do not really have enough money to do both. I am not sure what the financial situation in Ontario is, but in New York City we are definitely extremely strapped. What we have found in the last year is that the city has chosen to build and expand incinerators and has not funded the recycling program. We literally do not have enough money to do both.

I am going to talk about recycling in New York City in a lot more detail in a second, but I would like to go for a moment now and talk about some of the problems of incinerators.

Mr Cousens: Mark, did you bring anything for us to follow along?

Dr Cohen: I brought copies of these overheads and I think I gave them to the clerk too late for them to be copied.

Mr Cousens: We do not have them at all.

The Chair: They are being copied now and you will have copies of the hard copy.

Mr Cousens: That will be helpful.

Dr Cohen: Sorry about that.

Mr Cousens: That is fine.

Dr Cohen: One of the first points to make about incinerators is that they create dioxins, and I am sure you have heard this before. This is a recent study done on an incinerator that I think was in Germany. What you see is that the toxic equivalents going into the incinerator were 0.35 nanograms per hour and coming out of the incinerator were 0.39 into the air and water and 1.21 in the ash, so there is actually more toxic equivalent of dioxin coming out of the incinerator than is going into the incinerator. This is a well-known fact, that dioxins are synthesized in incinerators, and it is believed to occur primarily on fly ash particles. It is catalysed by metals, probably copper, although to tell you the truth, people have been studying this and there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of papers every year discussing what the mechanism for the formation of dioxin is and we do not really know yet what the formation is.

In a way, that makes it sound like maybe my case is not as strong as it might be, but on the other hand it also means that the incinerator companies cannot really figure out how to control dioxin either, because they do not really know exactly how it is formed, so it is very difficult then to design an incinerator or design a modification to control it.

There has been a lot of horrendous horror stories about dioxin and you have heard about the milk from the cows that were grazing near the incinerator in the Netherlands. The milk turned out to have so much dioxin in it that it was a hazardous waste. In Sweden they had some very terrible problems with dioxin and because of that they passed a moratorium on incinerators. They gradually figured out some ways to slightly reduce the dioxins and they lifted the moratorium, although I would like to point out that in Sweden the acceptable daily dose that the government says is the guideline is much less strict than the dose that is accepted in the United States. So Sweden is letting its incinerators give people a much greater dose than is perhaps warranted.

In the US the acceptable daily dose is 0.42 picograms per day of intake and we are each getting between 3 and 50 picograms per day. So in the United States we are getting between 10 and 100 times more dioxin than we should.


A lot is said about new incinerator techniques and designs that will reduce the levels of dioxin. Here is an example of a paper that has just appeared in this month's Chemosphere, where they went into a plant in Germany and they decided, "Let's see if we can fix this plant and do everything we possibly can so that less dioxins will come out of it." The first two tests -- test run 1, tests 1 through 5, and test run 2, 1 through 5 -- were before the design modifications took place and the last set of three tests were after this supposed improvement took place. You can see that there is a small improvement, although the variation among the data is so great that if you happened to be breathing on the day when this point took place, you would not necessarily know that you were exposed to any less risk than if you happened to be breathing on that day.

But perhaps an even more important point to make about this is that the standard in Germany -- and I think it has been passed now; it has been proposed -- is 0.1 nanograms per standard cubic metre cubed in the exhaust gas. So even though they are showing a small improvement, they are nowhere near close to the standard yet.

Another problem they are having in Germany is that in some cases they are installing activated carbon filters to catch dioxins and in some cases even to try to catch mercury. I have just heard that some of these activated carbon filters are catching fire at this point because, as you can imagine, it is like a piece of coal in a way and it is being exposed to these hot gases and it is actually catching fire. The other problem with activated carbon filters -- remember I told you earlier that dioxin is synthesized on the surface of fly ash? -- is that here they are potentially putting in more carbon substrates. Either they inject it into the combustion chamber or afterwards, and you would have to ask the question if this might not actually increase the synthesis of dioxins in an incinerator. You certainly have to do that experiment to find out.

Much has been said about the use of garbage as a fuel and I would just like to point out, and you have heard this a million times, I am sure, that garbage is a very dirty fuel. This chart compares the per unit of energy you would gain and the level of metals between oil and average value for United States coal and solid waste. You can see that for virtually every heavy metal on this list, solid waste has far more in it.

What happens to a metal in an incinerator? What happens to most metals, like lead, cadmium, mercury, the ones that we hear are mostly of concern, is that they are volatilized in the combustion chamber and they are literally in the gas phase. They float up out with the gases and, as the gases cool, most of the metal condenses out on to the particles. If you are lucky you catch the particles in your pollution control device and they end up in the ash. That is if you are lucky. For most metals, somewhere between 90% and 95% will end up in the ash.

But there is at least one metal, mercury, which has not been shown to be reliably controlled. That is because mercury is so volatile that, even though the gases are cooling down, it is still hot enough in these exhaust gases for it to remain in the vapour phase. In cases where there is a lot of chloride in the gas you get mercury chloride, which is even more volatile, and so you have a sort of synergism there which keeps it in the gas phase even longer. In the United States currently they consider a dry scrubber and a baghouse as the best available technology to deal with that. It has not been proven that a dry scrubber and a baghouse can reliably capture mercury. The tests sometimes show relatively good control and then the next day will show no control. It is a little like dioxin -- they are not quite sure what the variables are that will allow you to control mercury. In the United States at least, incinerators are probably the largest source of mercury to the environment.

Suppose you are lucky enough to catch these metals and other toxics in the ash; you still have to deal with the ash. This is just one example of the relative levels of heavy metals in ash, and you can see that for almost all the metals, especially for lead and cadmium, the fly ash contains much more of these heavy metals than the bottom ash. That is because, as I told you about earlier, of the metals volatilizing and then recondensing on the particles after the gases have cooled down. So naturally these heavy metals will end up in the fly ash. Not only do you get heavy metals on the fly ash and bottom ash, but you also get significant amounts of dioxins and other toxic organics. In fact, as I mentioned, these dioxins are synthesized right on the surface of the fly ash as the particles are cooling down.

In the United States we have had quite a controversy over how to legislate or regulate this ash. Even though almost all fly ash and about a third of the bottom ash would legally qualify as a hazardous waste under US hazardous waste laws, it has been decided that we should linguistically detoxify this ash and call it a special waste and let it be more or less disposed of as a normal amount of garbage. That is what we are doing in New York state right now. We are dumping toxic waste in our unlined landfill codisposed with regular garbage and it is leaching two million gallons of toxic leachate into New York harbour every day.

Recently you may have heard that a court in Illinois ruled that if a waste like ash, or any other waste, tests as a hazardous waste it must be treated as a hazardous waste. This is very significant because it is going to really level the playing field on the economic analysis and comparison between incineration and recycling. If you have to treat this 20%-to-30%-by-weight residue as a hazardous waste in a special landfill with double liners and leachate collection and leachate leak detection systems, it is going to make the cost of incineration much more fairly representative of its actual environmental costs.

One of the last points I would like to make about incinerators is that a great deal is made out of risk assessments, and anybody who is proposing a risk assessment will tell you that it is safe. They use a process called risk assessment to do that, and I would like to talk about some of the limitations with this risk assessment. First of all, the emissions that go into these risk assessments are based on ideal operating conditions, generally for a new incinerator, and they tend to be optimistic.

I would like to give you an important example. They were doing a standard stack test at the Commerce incinerator in California and the California Air Resources Board sent its team of scientists and the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, where I was working at the time, sent its team of scientists. They were testing the emissions out the stack. One day nothing unusual seemed to be happening and yet the values of lead, for example, and these other heavy metals in the gas coming out of the stack were dramatically higher. They went back to try to find out what had happened. Nothing had clued them. The opacity meter, all of the continuous emissions monitoring equipment that was functioning on that day showed no ill signs, no adverse effects. They found that one of the filters in the baghouse, and it is like a vacuum cleaner bag but a bunch of them all lined up, had just slipped off its housing. So since there was very little resistance to flow where that leak was, almost all of the gas went through that leak and very little of the gas chose to go through the rest of the bags. As you can imagine, it took the path of least resistance.


The point is that the ideal conditions do not always happen in incinerators. The current continuous emissions monitoring systems and our current ways of even determining when a malfunction is occurring are not very good. In fact, in the United States law for incinerators promulgated a year ago, the new source performance standards for incinerators, they have a malfunction provision. They say that you have to meet certain standards, which in my mind are very lax standards, but then they say "except when your incinerator is malfunctioning." So the emissions can sometimes be underestimated.

Another problem is that risk assessments almost invariably ignore the cumulative effects of various sources of exposure. They will look at their little source in isolation, as if that was the only thing we were all being exposed to. So any kind of synergistic effects between the various things that we are exposed to every day are ignored. Often food chain contamination is left out of the analysis, although more recently this has started to become added in. One of my colleagues at the centre, Tom Webster, did some of the early work on how you do the calculation for the food chain analysis.

Risk assessment fails to take into account the effect of past exposures. For example, some carcinogens actually act as a promoter, where you can be exposed to one thing at one time and then be more susceptible to cancer at a later date. The risk assessment that is done for the incinerator does not take into account the fact that you might have been exposed to something earlier that would promote your susceptibility to cancer at this later date.

Risk assessment fails to take into account the time dependence of exposure. It is often found that you can be exposed just for a small amount of time and then develop cancer, say, 10 or 20 years later. Most of the experiments that carcinogenicity estimates are based on are based on a whole lifetime dose of an animal. They just give it a long, heavy dose for its whole two- or three-year lifetime and they see if it dies of cancer or not. What they do not capture in those experiments is what would have happened if they were to have given that animal a small dose at the beginning of its lifetime. It might have still developed cancer. That kind of experiment is not generally done on carcinogens and so that kind of time dependence is lost.

Risk assessment fails to take into account background cancer rates. On radiation it has been found that the higher the cancer rate in the general population the more effect a given amount of radiation will have in terms of inducing cancer.

Risk assessment does not take into account sensitive populations. Infants and foetuses are definitely more susceptible to toxicological effects, even if you take into account the difference in body weight. That is because a whole lot of their enzyme systems are not fully functional yet, they have a lot of cell division going on as their bodies are growing very fast, and that cell division has been linked to a greater susceptibility to cancer. There is a promotion effect: They could be exposed earlier in their life and then for the rest of their life, in a sense, they have the chance to be exposed to that other exposure that can then link up to cause the cancer.

Risk assessment tends to focus on cancer only and tends to ignore other kinds of health effects and other kinds of ecological effects. Unfortunately, we basically do not know very much about risk assessment. Risk assessments can be very subjective.

In earlier testimony, I think it was Steven Sawell's submission, he mentioned that the World Health Organization had developed a risk assessment for incineration and had declared it to be safe. Well, the date on that risk assessment was 1989. Of course, without any details of how they determined that, it is hard to really criticize it, but I will say this: In 1989 the World Health Organization issued a toxicological assessment of dioxin. That toxicological assessment of dioxin in 1989 has been essentially invalidated by the latest results in the field of dioxin toxicology in the last several years. Two of the studies that formed the main body of evidence people used to say that dioxin had an inconclusive link to human cancer have been found to be highly questionable in that the studies themselves were flawed: the control group and the exposed group got mixed up. I can provide additional backup on that. The reinterpretation of these two key experiments -- the Monsanto plant in West Virginia, where people were exposed to dioxin, and the BASF plant in Germany -- now is believed to indicate beyond a shadow of a doubt that dioxin does cause human cancer. There is a more recent study that has just come out in the last couple of months about another herbicide plant in Germany that again shows a conclusive link between dioxin exposure and cancer.

In one of the earlier testimonies -- I am going to have to go a little faster here -- there was a comparison between composting and incineration. The article was by Dr Kay Jones and the thrust of it was to show that if you compare composting with incineration, actually composting is far worse. I do not have time to go into this, but I will submit this article for the record. A rebuttal has been done of this by a professor at the state university at Stony Brook to show that in fact almost every assumption and every calculation that was done in this paper was wrong. If you do the calculations correctly, you find that incineration is indeed much more important, in fact 15 times more important, than composting in terms of its actual dioxin impact.

But this raises a larger question. If we are getting dioxin in our food and yard waste we are composting, what does this tell you about what we are being exposed to in what we are eating or when we are outside being bombarded by the same things that are getting on to the leaves and the yard waste? It is not really very fair to say that because there is dioxin in the compost we have to build incinerators when incinerators are one of the largest sources of dioxins that are ending up in the compost. It is a little bit unfair.

I am going to skip over some of these slides here. I am not going to discuss but I will submit for the record a recent report that was just released by the comptroller in the city of New York. This is an elected official who is the city accountant who keeps track of the budgets. It is very interesting reading. It basically makes two major conclusions: one, that incineration is far more expensive than recycling and, two, that it does not even save landfill space. I urge you to read this report. I will make one copy at least available to you.

I would like to share with you some of the data about recycling in New York City. I think that New York City and Toronto might face some similar issues and some similar problems.

One thing that is often cited is that the cost of collection of recyclables is too high. In fact that is cited in New York City. Here I am plotting the ratio of collection costs of recyclables to regular garbage. If this was 3 here, this would mean that the collection of recyclables would cost three times the amount per ton as the collection of regular garbage. If it was 1, it would mean that the cost would be the same. Each one of these points represents a different community district in New York City. What you can see very clearly is that as the recycling rate goes up, the relative cost between recycling collection and regular garbage collection goes down. It stands perfectly to reason. If you are driving a truck around and only picking up a tiny bit of garbage at each stop, obviously it is going to cost very much. It would cost a lot of money to pick up regular garbage in that way.


One of the problems in New York City is that we are not targeting very much of the waste stream. This is a graph for the Bronx. You have all heard of the Bronx, the home of the Yankees. On the axis here I have shown the percentage of the waste stream targeted for recycling and the percentage of the waste stream actually recycled. It is a little hard to read this, but this is only 8% at the top here. We are only targeting about 7% or 8% of the waste in the Bronx, and that is comparable to what we are targeting city-wide. We are targeting a very small fraction of the waste stream, even though 80% to 90% of the waste stream is actually recyclable. So when you see a recycling rate of only 3% or 4% -- the current city-wide recycling rate in New York City is only 5% -- you have to look at that with the fact that we are only trying to get 8% or 10% of the waste stream.

One of the reasons why the New York City recycling program is not working very well is that they have not devoted nearly enough money for education. I think this graph shows one example of that. This is a graph for the last two years of data for particular community districts. Again this is in the Bronx. Up until this point they were just recycling newspaper. What is plotted on the y axis here is the diversion rate. The diversion rate is that you take what you get and you divide what you hoped you would get. This is a fraction of how much you got divided by how much you hoped you would get, so this could be 100% if you were getting everything you were targeting. They were only getting about 10% of the newspaper in this district, and it had been going along that way for actually several years up to that point.

At this point they introduced some new materials into the district. They started metal, glass and plastic in the district. What you see is that not only did the diversion rate for paper climb, up to about 40% or 50%, but also the diversion rate for the new materials they added climbed to 40% or 50%. What happened was that they sent a mailing to everybody in the district telling them that there was a recycling program going on. This district was so education-limited, so little had been going on, that just simply a mailing being sent out to everybody in the district reminding them there was a recycling program boosted the recycling rate up to about 50% or even higher of the waste stream. Imagine if you were to put community organizers and the like into a community district.

This is kind of a depressing slide here. What I have plotted is the average diversion rate over the last year -- and again, diversion takes into account that there are different targeting levels in different places; it is how much you get divided by how much you thought or hoped you would get -- versus the median income. You can see that there seems to be a very strong correlation between poverty and not doing recycling and being rich and doing recycling.

There are a lot of theories you could ascribe to this. I do not think it is education, actually, because recycling is not really rocket science. I think anybody can understand why recycling is a good thing. I think what this reflects is the degree of alienation from society. I am not a psychologist or a social psychologist at all, but it is pretty clear that the people who are poor in New York City are being told every day in many ways that they are worthless, and they are not apt to really help out the city. I think that is one of the differences between New York City and Toronto, Ontario. I get the sense that you have a much more caring government here. I think that means, actually, you could have a better recycling rate here, because people are more likely to do something for the rest of society.

There are some glimmers of hope in New York City. We are doing a pilot test of intensive recycling. Intensive recycling is what we call it when we try to get everything in the waste stream that is potentially recyclable. This is a test in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and this is just showing the results for the paper. We are targeting all the paper in the waste stream, so it is like 30% or 40% of the waste stream. We are also targeting metals, glass, plastics, we are targeting food waste and we are collecting separate collection of food waste at curbside for composting. You can see we are getting roughly 70% or 80% of the paper we are targeting.

It is important to point out here that if you look at the patterns of participation, you find that you will go for blocks and blocks with everybody in the community doing it and then you get to one building where you find nothing is happening in that building. This is what we I think are finding more generally in New York City and you may be finding here in Toronto: that people will recycle when it is convenient for them to do it and when it is clear what they do. In large buildings, if the supervisor or the owner, the landlord, does not cooperate and does not set up an internal collection system where recycling can happen, then recycling probably will not happen in that building. What that means is that if you want to improve the recycling rate, if we want to get the diversion rate from where it is now, at around 80%, up closer to 100%, like we would eventually like to get, we have to go to the big buildings and make sure that there is an internal collection system set up there.

We are facing a very difficult challenge in New York City. You may not have been following the news -- you have enough of your own things here -- but we are in the process of planning for our solid waste now for the next 20 years. The city is probably going to propose an incineration-based plan. In response to that, there has been a unique and almost unprecedented coalition of environmental groups that have come together and proposed what we call the Recycle First system.

What it does is say, let's get rid of the garbage pail. Let's just have three or four containers, period, with no garbage pail at all. It is interesting, when you think of it that way, you have to participate in the program there. You might throw everything in one container, and I suppose you could call that non-participation, but we look at three to four separations, one container being the paper, textiles, fibrous substances that are dry, another container being hard, formed substances like metal, glass, rigid container plastic, even perhaps some bulk items -- these could be easily separated out at a materials recovery facility -- and a third container that is all the things you can compost.

I will tell you that when we have done these kinds of tests where you really keep the compostable materials separate from the rest of the waste stream, the quality of the compost you get is quite high. It is generally only when you do mixed waste composting that the decomposition process creates the organic acids which help leach the metals out of the rest of the waste stream into the compost etc.

I would like to end with this last slide here. At first it might be a joke. What I am showing here is the cumulative US production of polyvinyl chloride since it was invented up till the present. I have compared it, at first as a joke, with the cumulative mass of all life on earth.

The point I am trying to make here is that whenever we do anything with waste, we have to decide, is this process we are doing sustainable? Can we do this for not just the next five years or the next 10 years, but is this process something we can do for the next 1,000 years or 2,000 years?

It is very clear to me that incineration is something which is only a short-term gimmick. We might be able to get away with it for a while, but we certainly cannot imagine burning up our resources indefinitely into the future.

We eventually are going to have to move toward a 3R-based system. It is the only sustainable system that is possible. The only question is when, and I am pleased to support your Bill 143 because I think it is a very good step in the direction of getting us to a sustainable system. Thank you.


The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We really just have a few minutes remaining. One short question from each caucus. Mr McClelland first.

Mr McClelland: It is interesting to note, sir, that in conclusion you said you are pleased to support Bill 143, because I heard a lot about incineration and some of the other components but missed much about Bill 143. Your scientist's background is one of looking at empirical data. Are you familiar with our environmental assessment process in Ontario?

Dr Cohen: No.

Mr McClelland: Okay. Let me tell you this about the Bill 143 that you are pleased to support. Environmental assessment process says basically this: that you look at things objectively, you line them up, you bring the closest possible scrutiny to bear, and you make decisions based on empirical evidence. I find it curious for you, somebody who comes from that alleged background -- I take it you are here as a volunteer today.

Dr Cohen: Yes.

Mr McClelland: At the invitation of the New Democrats, brought up from New York to tell us how good Bill 143 is, but you are not familiar with the Environmental Assessment Act. Bill 143 basically puts that aside. Let me put this question to you. Without any kind of public scrutiny, public accountability and tests of empirical data and scientific evidence, how would you like to have somebody like the great environmentalist president, Mr Reagan, calling the shots? Because that is what Bill 143 does, sir. It says that the tests are what the person in charge believes to be right. It says that people like you do not get an opportunity to lay your cards on the table. It says that people who have differing opinions do not get to articulate their differing opinions and make decisions. It says that the person who sits in the environmental minister's chair basically says, "I know best."

That is great when the people generally agree with your particular philosophy. But think about it. If somebody you thought was completely archaic, if you will, or had a closed mind, sat on the other side of the coin, somebody who came in here -- and we are not talking about incineration; we are talking about the right to allow people in a free society to put forward their ideas and subject them to scrutiny. That is what we are talking about, and yet you have, quite frankly, the gall to come here and say you support Bill 143, and you do not even know the process that it fits into.

For that, sir, I have to call you to account because we are not talking about incineration. Nobody here is arguing -- some people may well want to do that -- I am not here to argue whether you are right or wrong about incineration. What I am suggesting to you, sir, is that Bill 143 is not about that. Bill 143 is about full participation. It is about scrutiny. It is about empirical data. It is about making scientifically based decisions. How as a scientist you could say Bill 143 is good stuff and you do not know the scheme that it fits into, I find curious, as somebody who would, I think, professionally want to know that the framework you are operating within, the control factor if you will, is among other things the Environmental Assessment Act. I simply say that in brief rebuttal, but we do not have an opportunity for other questions. Think about what would happen --

The Chair: Mr McClelland, your time is up.

Mr McClelland: -- if somebody who was totally contrary to your point of view had the authority to call the shots. And that is what you are saying you support when you say you support Bill 143.

The Chair: There are five minutes available for your caucus, Mr Cousens. I have assumed it would be one questioner. I have you and Mrs Marland on the list.

Dr Cohen: Is it okay if I respond just for a second?

The Chair: You can take it as notice, and there will be time at the end or you can respond in writing. Mr Cousens, you have the floor.

Mr Cousens: There are two points that I wanted to make, and the first has to do with the fact that there are many elements to Bill 143 that go beyond the issue that you have given a great deal of your time to. One of the many issues that are part of Bill 143 has to do with the shipping of garbage outside Metropolitan Toronto and the greater Toronto area.

New York had the sad saga of filling up a boat, trying to send it around the world and then getting it back; so I would be interested in your commenting on that one aspect of dealing with waste, a very difficult one for us because we now have a wall being built around the greater Toronto area within Bill 143, which means that if you want to send garbage outside, especially for a landfill -- we are just cross-border shipping quite a bit of it now, and there are other ways -- as long as we send it down to the United States it can be incinerated or it can be a number of other things. But in the meantime, we are getting the wall built around this greater Toronto area which restricts the shipment of waste, for instance to Kirkland Lake, which I am wearing this shirt for. So I would be interested in how you handle the shipping of waste out of New York.

The second question I wanted to ask is about dioxins, and I have a number of questions on that. You have raised some sensitivities for me that I have to look at more closely, and if your purpose was to make sure that someone who is leaning towards energy from waste -- I have to give very serious consideration to your data and those that are giving me other points of view. I would be very interested in what they have to say. If you could comment on the first point especially and I could get some of your other background on dioxins, I would be more than interested.

Dr Cohen: Sure. First I would like to go back to the first gentleman's --

Mr Cousens: That is not the way it works.

Dr Cohen: Okay. I am sorry.

The Chair: No, you have the floor, and you can respond to questions that have come to you.

Dr Cohen: All right. I will respond to yours.

Mr Cousens: I just worry. I mean --

The Chair: He has the floor, Mr Cousens.

Mr Cousens: But Mrs Marland has a point, too, so I want to get --

Dr Cohen: Okay. I will be very quick. With regard to the export of the garbage, I think that in the end, it is largely a political question. My personal belief is that it is immoral to shift your wastes and make it somebody else's problem, and that is the consensus of the environmental community in New York City. When we look at what we are to do with New York City waste -- and we are running out of landfill space, too -- we have said that we will not ship the waste anywhere else. We will deal with it in New York City.

In the end it is a political question. If you can convince these other people to take your waste, one question you would have to ask is: For how long would you be able to convince them? What we are finding in the States is that people are becoming very sensitive to taking waste from other places. New York City right now is trying to get rid of its sewage sludge. They are trying to get rid of it -- a small fraction of the sewage sludge -- in Oklahoma, and every single city they go to and community they go to, when they hear they are getting New York City sewage sludge, they are totally up in arms. So one problem is that once you see an opportunity to get rid of the waste in another way, it is a vulnerability in a way because you are vulnerable to the people where they are taking your waste deciding they do not want it any more.

I have heard the point raised that these people need jobs and that there could be good job opportunities in having landfills up there. I would submit that perhaps you should site a recycling facility up in these northern regions -- perhaps. If it is jobs that we are worrying about, perhaps that would be another way. Take the same waste, but instead of taking mixed together garbage, have them take some fraction of your separated garbage and maybe for the same number of jobs.

Responding quickly to the first point, every single time scientists like myself have looked at this tradeoff between incineration and recycling, we have come up with the same answer. After a while, you have to stop beating your head against the wall. It is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that incineration wastes resources and creates more pollution than we need. There is plenty of precedent for deciding that something does not make sense any more. Look at lead in gasoline. When it was first introduced in 1924, the Surgeon General in the United States banned it for a year.

Mr McClelland: That is not what we are talking about.

Dr Cohen: Well, I guess what I am saying is that you are saying --

The Chair: Order, order. Mr McClelland, you do not have the floor. Please ignore him.

Dr Cohen: I guess the point I am trying to make, Mr McClelland, is that there are occasions when even the best scientists will decide that something is too dangerous or too toxic or does not make sense to do. We do not spray DDT any more. Hopefully, soon we will stop using mercury in everything that we are using it in. There is a wide range of things that we can decide to stop doing, and every time somebody wants to fill his gas tank with gasoline, we do not have to go back into the debate over whether there should be lead in that gasoline or not and vice versa.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your response. Mr Wiseman, you have the floor.

Mr Wiseman: Contrary to what you heard from Mr McClelland, Bill 143 bans incineration as an option within the Environmental Assessment Act process. I just wanted you to know that.

We have heard from other groups supporting incineration. They talked about European incinerators and Japanese incinerators and how good they are. I have also heard that incinerators in Florida are really good as well. Do you have the expertise to comment on that, and if you do, could you please comment in terms of the evaluation of how good they are and how much toxic material is in them and what is happening to the fly ash and the bottom ash and so on?


Dr Cohen: One would have to look at the specific test results coming out of these various incinerators. I showed you some today, and the test results that we are getting out of Germany show very high levels of dioxins coming out and the same problems with lead, cadmium and other metals in the ash.

You have an inherent problem with incinerators. Any metal in the waste stream is going to end up as a toxic metal in the ash. There is no way to get around that. You have an inherent problem with dioxins. Because there is chlorine in the waste, because there is fly ash, because there is copper -- even a little bit -- you are going to get dioxin formation. As I said earlier, the best incinerator technicians in the world do not yet really know how it is created, and they do not yet know how to control it. So I think you have the same problems in Europe as you would have here or in the United States.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. I have one minute remaining. Mrs Marland seems very anxious. Is it the wish of the committee to allow her the one minute?

Mrs Marland: Maybe I can just put these questions on the record. I find this is the most in-depth presentation I have heard on the subject of incineration. Whether or not you got flak about dealing with the bill that is before this committee, I enjoyed your presentation. I would like to ask you -- and you can respond as the Chairman will direct you afterwards how to deal with these questions -- what you are doing in New York state to develop markets for the recyclable materials, because that is always the pro-incineration argument. Also, could you tell us why it is we keep hearing that incinerators are not a problem in the United States and they are not a problem in Germany? Why do you think we are told that, and do you have any information on whether incineration of municipal solid wastes in the manufacture of cement in the cement kilns puts at risk the ambient air the same way it does in regular garbage incinerators?

The Chair: Thank you. Any other questions for the record? Mr Wiseman.

Mr Wiseman: Yes, I would also like, if you could supply it, a list of regulations on packaging and content of materials in New York state and other states that you know of for a recycled product, and what the regulations will be.

The Chair: Even though one hour seems to be a long time, we know that no matter how much time we have, it never seems to be enough. We have taken to asking members of the committee to put their questions on the record, and then if you would be so kind, respond in writing. Our clerk will make available to you those questions which have been placed on the record in case you did not get them exactly, and if we receive your reply before February 14, it will become part of the public record. If we receive it after February 14, and we know that is only four days from now, it will be shared with all members so that they can consider it during the deliberations of these hearings.

Thank you very much for appearing before us today. As mentioned before, hard copies of your slides will be made available to members of the committee.

Dr Cohen: Can I also give the committee copies of these various reports I mentioned throughout my talk?

The Chair: Our clerk will take them from you now. Over the course of our hearings, if there is additional information that you feel might be helpful to committee members, please feel free to communicate with us in writing. Thank you very much.


The Chair: I would next like to call Canadian National Railways. You have one hour for your presentation. I would ask that you begin by introducing your delegation. We would appreciate it if you could leave as much time as possible for your questions. I think you are aware of how the committee has been functioning. Please begin your presentation now.

Mr Deegan: Madam Chair, members of the committee, good afternoon. I am Allan Deegan. I am a vice-president with Canadian National Railways, and I have accountability for CN's operations and business activities in the province of Ontario. My colleague today is Rick Hayes, manager of industrial development for the Great Lakes region.

We appreciate the opportunity to take part in these proceedings, and to describe why the rail mode of transportation should become a vital component in Ontario's waste management measures. Very shortly we will present to you a video that captures the essence of the 5R waste management proposal. By the way, 5R gets its name from the first letter in the word "rail" and the other R words so popular in many waste management practices throughout the world today.

5R was developed in cooperation with Metropolitan Toronto and the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. Very simply, 5R is an intermodal transportation system. Its integration of rail and highway modes fosters a balanced and efficient use of transportation resources. 5R represents a sensible yet compelling way to attack our potential solid waste problem in the greater Toronto area.

Intermodal transportation systems are considered highly desirable by legislators and transportation planners throughout the world. Combining rail for the long haul with existing pickup systems and transfer stations translates into immeasurable benefits in terms of energy efficiency, flexibility and transportation costs. In many respects it is the logical solution to so many of the problems plaguing society today, such as congestion and safety hazards on our highways, staggering road maintenance and repair bills, depletion of non-renewable resources and growing atmospheric pollution.

CN has been actively involved with intermodal for some 40 years, and intermodal is by far our fastest-growing business. It is worth noting that the Canadian Council of Ministers on the Environment, in its draft plan to reduce air pollution, referred to the need to strike a better balance between road and rail modes as a means of solving the problem. Very recently a task force of the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy, chaired by Minister Grier, recommended that expansion of intermodal services in the movement of goods be encouraged in an effort to reduce energy consumption and emission levels.

Certainly intermodal transportation services such as 5R seem to be compatible with the transportation policies of the Ontario government. The Premier stated, "In our view, Ontario should adopt a new transportation strategy that seeks to significantly reduce the energy intensity of our transportation system."

Our video, as well as our brochure, which you now have, touches on the social, economic and environmental advantages to be gained by using the rail system to move residual waste. I believe very firmly that this is a solution whose time has come, especially considering the solid waste issue in the greater Toronto area. Unfortunately Bill 143, as constituted at present, denies Ontario the opportunity to realize these advantages, advantages that European cities have experienced for decades and that American jurisdictions are just beginning to recognize.

A recent issue of Waste Age magazine reported on the growing number of municipalities in many parts of the United States now involving railroads as vital parts of their waste management plans. I have personally observed one of the largest intermodal waste transportation systems, between Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, which is very similar to our 5R plan. Waste management planners, politicians and environmental activists are very pleased with its efficiency, cleanliness and cost-effectiveness.

According to section 14 of Bill 143, the Interim Waste Authority will not be empowered to consider alternatives that would involve the transportation of residual waste from the GTA to any other area. In other words, municipalities in the GTA will be required to dispose of their waste within the boundaries of the GTA. This would clearly rule out the rail option as a viable component of waste management actions. Generally speaking, the true economic benefits of rail transportation are most pronounced when large volumes of commodities are carried over relatively large distances.


As a mover of goods and people throughout Ontario for some seven decades, CN has played an important part in the growth and development of this province. It is our hope to be able to continue to make a significant contribution to Ontario's prosperity and quality of life. There is a great opportunity here to utilize the existing rail network to help ease one of the most challenging and complex problems of this area today. Moreover, linked as it is with one or more materials recovery facilities, 5R delivers an opportunity for new economic development which generates new jobs.

CN was instrumental in the development of the GO Transit rail commuter system, which has proved remarkably successful in attracting hundreds of thousands of our rapidly growing population to public transit, thereby reducing traffic congestion. Similarly, our rail network is available to help planners solve another outgrowth of the GTA's population and industrial expansion: the garbage problem. For some three and a half years now we have been advancing the environmentally sound concept of moving solid waste by rail in sealed containers.

In consultation with the city of Vaughan, we have identified a CN site at our major rail classification terminal at MacMillan yard that could be used as an intermodal transfer station for the handling of containers on to rail cars for transport to the designated disposal site. As the proposed host city for this activity, Vaughan certainly endorses this concept in principle. As you have heard from others, the proposed destination of residual waste, the Adams mine site near Kirkland Lake, has the support of the surrounding communities.

Perhaps now would be a good time to view the videotape we have on our 5R system. I would now like to turn things over to Rick Hayes for a few minutes.

Mr Hayes: The video we are about to show runs for about 12 minutes. It was produced by Canadian National Railways and the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission back in June 1990. It was produced for Metro Toronto when the railways were in a competitive bid against trucks for what we thought would be a long-haul movement of solid waste from Metro or Vaughan to a designated landfill.

The idea was to sell or promote to Metro the use of the double-stack intermodal train systems to move solid wastes and also to help explain railway terminology and technology, terms such as "double-stack container trains," "hook and haul systems," "interchange points" and "intermodal transfer terminals." The research and development for intermodal systems has already been invested by CN. We are currently moving double-stack container trains to eastern and western Canada and south into the US marketplace.

This video also demonstrates how intermodal systems can be integrated with material recovery plants, whether in Metro or elsewhere. The video is also site-specific to Kirkland Lake. At the time, Metro was negotiating for ownership rights to the Adams mine, which is currently served by rail.

There is no magic to what we are proposing here. The technology is in place now, it is proven and it works. With that I ask your communications people to please show the video.

[Video presentation]


Mr Hayes: Included with our brief we have submitted a copy of our 5R waste management brochure called Right for the Times! The brochure basically parallels what we have shown you today in our video. I will not read it. There are six pages of what we believe are the real facts on the economical and environmentally sound rail-based waste management system.

Before I turn it back to Mr Deegan there is one other comment I would like to make. Since the commencement of these hearings we have received a number of requests from various community groups, particularly in the Metro and York regions, to supply them with more information on the movement of waste by rail. It is our intention over the next few months to hold or attend many of these public meetings and, with the use of our video and brochure, demonstrate to the people of the GTA that there is a legitimate alternative to siting new landfills in the GTA, or an alternative to Bill 143, which we believe deserves consideration.

Mr Deegan: Very clearly the movement of solid waste by rail represents potential new business and new revenues for Canadian National and Ontario Northland, and it represents more work for our train crews. Our rail network has the capacity to handle the projected volumes both safely and efficiently.

In the course of helping Ontario's industries compete in their new global marketplace, CN will be investing some $45 million in Ontario this year alone to renew and expand our plant and facilities so that continued high standards of service will be assured. These expenditures include the expansion of our intermodal terminal at Brampton and improvements at our international gateways. Additionally we have recently announced the construction of a new, $155 million rail tunnel between Sarnia and Port Huron, Michigan to assist Ontario manufacturers in getting their products to and from the US market.

Approximately 6,500 CN employees work in Ontario. Their payroll pumps well over $200 million annually into the provincial economy. CN buys more than $100 million worth of materials from Ontario's suppliers each year and contributes a further $35 million in municipal and provincial taxes.

Our people are professionals, ready and eager for the challenge of this new business opportunity. What they find very difficult to understand and accept is this: Why is CN being deprived of the right to compete for this new business?

I am sure our friends in the railway business would agree that the past several years have not been kind to rail freight carriers in Ontario. Public policy has served to give the trucking industry substantial competitive advantages over rail at public expense, and this has led to a pronounced shift in freight traffic from rail to highways. One of the sad statistics related to this continuing shift lies in the shrinkage of the track network. For the past 10 years, CN has found it necessary to cease operations on nearly 1,300 kilometres of track in Ontario, and more than half as much again of that number is under review at this time.

We are committed to fostering rail-based industrial development as a means of enhancing the viability of the rail network so rail will continue to fulfil a socially desirable role in the transportation system in Ontario; 5R is very much in keeping with these objectives. We ask that you consider this alternative.

Thank you for the opportunity to present this brief. We are prepared, both Rick and I, to respond to questions. We request that you kindly set aside one minute at the end of the question period for us to do a sum-up statement.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Mrs Marland: This is a very well-presented, impressive brochure. Obviously you must have gone back to the same people who did the famous CN logo for the 5R logo. It is very effective; I congratulate you on it.

This is the first time I have heard about this proposal in depth so I was very interested to hear your presentation this afternoon. I guess I had never pictured what happened en route, and I had not taken into consideration that part of this transportation depended on the Ontario Northland, which is owned by you and I as taxpayers in the province. When I look at the Ontario Northland Railway as it exists today, I have some questions for you. First of all, how long has CN and Ontario Northland been discussing this proposal, and until how recently?

Mr Deegan: I should start off by saying that CN and Ontario Northland have about a 20- or 25-year history of doing business on that very route, because for that length of time both roads were hauling iron ore from the Adams mine site down to Dofasco in Hamilton. Really, what we are proposing is the reverse of that move.

In terms of how long we have been discussing it, we have been holding discussions and doing planning with Ontario Northland for approximately three years.

Mrs Marland: You have been doing it right up until recently?

Mr Deegan: Yes, very much so.

Mrs Marland: The reason I ask that question is that obviously you have been doing it with both the current government and the Liberal government then because Ontario Northland has gone through both those governments.

Mr Deegan: Yes. Our activity spans both eras.

Mrs Marland: That is the point I want to make, because I think it is significant that both governments have obviously been interested in this proposal by ongoing discussions through the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

Am I correct that you have this changeover of your cars from the CN line to Ontario Northland? I understand how the module works, but the flatbed railcar, if that is what you call it, on the Ontario Northland, does that belong to you or Ontario Northland? Obviously the point of my question is, are the taxpayers of Ontario going to have to spend millions of dollars adding extra cars to Ontario Northland to increase its capacity to carry the 5R program?

Mr Deegan: First of all, it would naturally be the same cars that make the entire trip from Toronto up to Kirkland Lake and back. Frankly, they are just stopping long enough in North Bay to change crews. As far as the cars are concerned, that will get down to a matter of a proposal on price, should we get to that point, all depending on who our customers are, if I can term it that way. If the customer happened to be the province, the province would have the decision whether it would want to own the rail cars or whether it would want Canadian National to own the rail cars, and hence the per-tonne charge would vary. The same would apply, for instance, if Metro government was our customer. Would Metro want to own the cars or would it prefer Canadian National and Ontario Northland to own them? It is really a matter of the policy of the customer at the time and it is a matter of financing.

Mrs Marland: The proposal would mean that one of the possibilities is that CN might pay for the use of the Ontario Northland line, the way GO Transit leases your line between -- I do not know what happens east of Toronto.

Mr Deegan: Along the lakeshore, yes.

Mrs Marland: I know what happens between Toronto and my riding.

Mr Deegan: The more likely scenario would be that, again, whoever turns out to be the customer would pay Canadian National, and Canadian National and Ontario Northland would enter into what we term a division of revenue, based on mileage and relative effort.

Mrs Marland: Does CN have enough of the cars that it could go ahead with this now? What I am trying to avoid is it costing the Ontario taxpayers any more by having to invest more money in the equipment of Ontario Northland Railway.

Mr Deegan: Yes. I am not being facetious when I say I hope we do not have those cars sitting around idle right now. In fact I would like to turn it over to Rick Hayes, who could give some idea of the extent of rolling stock, both cars and locomotives, that would be required for a move of this type, and I might add as well, equipment that can be very easily and readily manufactured competitively in Ontario.

Mrs Marland: Also in your answer, Rick, would you address the aspect of safety. Obviously, coming from the city of the famous derailment, albeit not on your line, but --

Mr Hayes: To be specific on your question re containers and flatcar use, it all depends on the volume of traffic that is going to be given us. When we had discussions with Metro Toronto we were looking in the area of about a million tonnes a year out of Metro alone, and that would equate to about one unit train a day, which would have 160 containers or 80 flats. We do not have that type of equipment sitting idle today, but it can be readily made available through leasing or, depending on the time frame, we could have it on stream probably within a year to two years, maybe sooner if the demand dictated. We could start up today on a minimal move, depending on what it would be. We certainly have the intermodal systems in place, both in Vaughan and at our Brampton terminal, that would carry a minimum of tonnage, but it would all depend on the type of system we were working into, keeping in mind that the railroad is only a component of the entire system.

As far as safety is concerned, I am certainly not an expert on the safety aspect of it -- that is more the responsibility of our operating people -- but I believe CN's safety record speaks for itself. We can certainly submit to the committee a number of documents that would clearly define the safe railroad we run. I believe that in the past we have been awarded items that indicated our safety record as being, if not the best, one of the best in North America. The issue of garbage and safety, compared to chemical movements etc, is not a concern on our side.

Mrs Marland: Because everything you put in these cars is compressed solid waste?

Mr Hayes: We are talking residual waste after recycling, and anything that could be classified as dangerous will already have been removed, hopefully. Then we are talking an airtight, sealed container. You are not going to have leakage and you are not going to have other issues of a safety nature.

Mrs Marland: That interests me, because my understanding was that part of the interest of Kirkland Lake was that it was going to have this very large facility up there that did recycling as well. I did not picture that the garbage being transported to Kirkland Lake was already presorted, yet your proposal is suggesting that.


Mr Hayes: It depends on the deal that is finally struck with Kirkland Lake. I believe we all concede that Kirkland Lake needs something out of this to justify receiving the waste, and yes, there will be some recycling in Kirkland Lake. The majority of it we believe will be here in the GTA, but there are certain commodities we hope can be utilized in the north and will be shipped to the north for further recycling so they do not have to be shipped back. There will be the majority of it in the GTA, but there will be some recycling in Kirkland Lake.

Mrs Marland: Have you had any indication from the current government, through the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, about what kind of financial commitment the government is willing to make towards this proposal?

Mr Deegan: If I may answer that, Mrs Marland, no, we have not had direct communication with the government in terms of financing the proposal. Indeed, most of our discussions have been held with the president of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission in terms of working out both the operational and business considerations of the proposal.

Mrs Marland: Is there some element of the proposal that would eliminate their having to bring anything to the table other than the use of their lines?

Mr Deegan: Again, it would depend upon how it was structured. That is entirely possible, and to the degree that they enter -- as I believe you are trying to describe -- minimally into the transaction, just using their lines and their train crews, then that would certainly have an impact upon the division of revenues I talked about earlier.

Mrs Marland: But the division of revenues would obviously be fair, because it would be dependent on the investment of the parties at the table.

Mr Deegan: That is correct.

Mrs Marland: I certainly understand that. I think those are all the questions I have at the moment.

The Chair: Mr Wiseman is not here. Mrs Mathyssen.

Mrs Mathyssen: Yes. Thank you for your presentation. I was going to ask one question but what I have just heard prompts me to ask another, and what I have heard disturbs me. The whole point of this project -- at least that was my understanding -- was to take material to the north so it could benefit from recycling and the recovery of material, and now you say that most of that recycling, or a significant amount of it, will take place in the GTA. That leaves a waste product going to the north and going into a hole. Ultimately my question has to be, who is really going to benefit from this project? From what you say, the people of Kirkland Lake are not going to be the beneficiaries.

Mr Deegan: I might start off by saying the degree and the location of the recycling will be decided by whichever authority is in charge. That is not up to us to decide. We can only assume that recycling will take place where it is sensible to recycle. Certainly when you take a look at Kirkland Lake, for instance, there is a very strong argument that says there are markets for certain recycled products up north and it makes sense to do some recycling up north. Clearly there is also a compelling argument for activity up at the Kirkland Lake end of things in terms of providing employment for what is otherwise a reasonably depressed area when it comes to the workplace. There will undoubtedly be some recycling activity that goes on in the south as well. The idea is to take the residual waste, waste that cannot be recycled any further, be it from Toronto or be it from a processing facility at Kirkland Lake, and to landfill the residual waste that cannot otherwise be processed or utilized.

Mr Hayes: If I may add to that, there are jobs associated with the rail activity up at the mine, the loading and offloading of the containers, there are certainly jobs associated with running a landfill and there are other associated jobs with maintaining engines, maintaining containers and so on and so forth. In the total mix, we do see plenty of jobs.

Mrs Mathyssen: But exactly where those jobs are ultimately placed is still a matter of some question, would you not agree?

Mr Deegan: If I may answer that, you are right. Where the jobs are located is a matter of where the policymakers decide to relocate the facilities.

Mrs Mathyssen: These policymakers -- I am a little bit concerned. If ultimately the proponents in Kirkland Lake decide that it is not feasible to transport all the material and therefore it is more to their benefit to recycle in the south, then they will be the deciding factor?

Mr Deegan: I would prefer not to handle that one directly, because I know this committee will be journeying to Kirkland Lake and I believe the town of Kirkland Lake will be giving you a very direct answer on that. All we can go by at the moment is the referendum that was held up in Kirkland Lake in conjunction with the municipal elections, which presented a very favourable response to the proposal of handling residual waste up in Kirkland Lake. But as I say, I would like to defer any opinion I have to the committee to ask that up in Kirkland Lake.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you. By the way, I have seen that referendum question, and it was posed in such a way that it was a yes-yes referendum and the validity of it is very much in question.

Mr Deegan: Again, I am sure that will come under much discussion if you are going to raise that question in Kirkland Lake.

Mr McClelland: Thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. You indicate in your brief that Bill 143 in its present form denies Ontario the opportunity to at least move forward with consideration of your proposal. I was interested in your response to my colleague Mrs Marland. You said your proposal included the shipping of post-recyclable waste. To what extent is your program necessary on the limitation of the type of material you could ship? In other words, you are talking post-blue-box. In the event that items were recycled yet again or there was a subsequent sorting, what would that do to the financial viability of your project?

Mr Deegan: I will ask Rick to answer that, please.

Mr Hayes: It should not affect it that greatly. The containers are there. We will have designated containers for certain specific so-called recycled commodities. If the train is running on a daily basis and it is running at the volumes we predict, to have a separate container with a specific type of commodity should not in total affect the cost of the system. I cannot give you a direct answer until we would have the opportunity to sit down and work through what type of volumes we are talking about and on what type of cycle or system we are receiving them, but in general it should not affect the cost of the system.

Mr McClelland: One of the aspects of the whole recycling initiative is the economies of scale. Given those factors in northern Ontario, do you see your proposal, if it were to come to fruition, providing an opportunity for an enhancement of the recycling opportunities for northern communities that for the most part are not currently participating as fully as they might in the recycling initiatives that are being undertaken elsewhere in the province?

Mr Hayes: Yes, we do. Once again, it depends on -- and it will have to be identified by the so-called experts -- what commodities can be used in northern Ontario. But through the total system we see the opportunity to move recycled products, to some extent in specialized containers, to the northern community for further recycling and to deliver those containers directly to the source where they will be required for further use.

Mr McClelland: As far as the element of number of persons potentially employed in this project is concerned, is it a fair assessment -- actually, I will just leave that as an open-ended question. What is the impact on current employment levels and future employment levels? Is it hold your own in terms of number of persons who would be employed in the process, or does it have a significant add-on effect for your particular employees? Will it increase your workforce?

Mr Hayes: It will certainly hold our own and it will increase our workforce. Things such as the maintenance of rights of way that are under way today, that workforce will be retained, maintained and may be increased somewhat. It will definitely increase our workforce where we are adding new unit trains, adding new engines. There will be more motive power crews required. There will certainly be more jobs at the origin and destination for loading and offloading containers and the terminal activity that goes on with the setup and movement of a unit train, so we see maintaining certain jobs and keeping those jobs and adding additional jobs.


Mr McClelland: One other element that you mentioned as far as the investment part of your proposal was the development of the containers. Do you have an estimate in terms of how much capital would be brought into the province to develop the tools to carry out the proposal if they were developed here and an estimate in terms of the export potential of some of the application of your systems perhaps elsewhere in North America or indeed internationally?

Mr Hayes: Once again, it depends on the volumes we are going to be asked to handle. The type of container we are looking at could run you $16,000, so that times whatever number of containers we will need, depending on the volume. We have done a lot of work on looking at specially designed containers that will last the term of the contract that will be in place. We are trying to weigh the odds as to what is the best container, keeping in mind the economics involved in making this a competitive opportunity. There are a lot of things we still have to look at with respect to what is the best type of container, but that is being researched now and looked at.

Mr McClelland: So it is fair to say there is a fairly large potential for research and development funds to be pumped into Ontario and possibly subsequently to be exported. At least that potential is very healthy and exists.

Mr Hayes: We believe so.

Mr Martin: I also was very interested in your presentation. You certainly make a compelling argument for this project. Those of us who represent the north have looked at this in some detail and have tried to evaluate the benefit versus the cost, and so far we are not convinced that the benefit overrides the cost in terms of becoming the dumping place for the waste of southern Ontario.

Two questions: One, you certainly sound committed to the 4Rs that are in Bill 143. I would like some comment on the question of enforcing more completely the 4Rs by not having the factor of out of sight, out of mind, which the option of shipping garbage to the north provides very adequately.

The other question is, I assume you are a business person and understand the ins and outs of business, and this follows on the question of my colleague Mrs Mathyssen; that is, the question of the most recyclable material being source-separated in southern Ontario and thereby the industry and the jobs being created here. I suggest to you that many people in northern Ontario, and in Kirkland Lake particularly, think that by getting the waste of Metro they are going to be getting not only the worst of the waste but the best of the waste so that we can maximize the opportunities that are there for recycling. But from your comment today I am led to believe that maybe that is not as lucrative as I had first thought it might be. Perhaps you might want to comment on that, because that concerns me greatly. I think we who live in the north certainly want to enhance the ability of our friends and neighbours to have good jobs and to improve the industry of the area, but the question I have is, at what cost?

Mr Hayes: On the last part with respect to how many jobs it is going to create and what type of waste you are going to get, there is, as we understand it, an agreement in place now between Metro and Kirkland Lake that calls for the receiving of 100,000 tonnes. That is the agreement that is in place; that is the agreement we will be working with. I do not think it is any secret and I do not think people in Kirkland Lake are being misled. Those numbers are public. Those numbers have been on the table for some time and that is where we are coming from when we suggest there will be recycling in the north to a limited degree and recycling in the south.

But once again, that call is not ours. That call is Metro's, that call is the province's and that call is Kirkland Lake's, and we will leave it to those parties to make that final decision. But just for the record, there is an agreement in place now between Metro and Kirkland Lake with respect to how many tonnes of residual waste or how many tonnes of waste will be sent there for recycling, so we are not trying to mislead anybody from the CN side of it.

Mr Martin: Could you foresee the possibility of some guarantees being given, some contracts being written that would see northern Ontario actually getting as much opportunity in the recycling area of this as we would in having to take the residual and dump it in mine sites?

Mr Deegan: If I could answer that, I believe eventually there will be a contract in place that will be a negotiated contract. Certainly Kirkland Lake is designated as a location for the residual waste we have talked about, but it is also designated as a location in order to handle recycling and recycled products. The extent of that will be something that is negotiated by the parties involved. Certainly we, as the rail transportation carrier, do not have a definitive say in that.

From what I have seen of the effort and the enthusiasm and the willingness to invest on the part of the people up in Kirkland Lake, I do not doubt that there will be a substantial operation up in Kirkland Lake that will produce all of the desired spinoffs that the north is looking for. By that I mean the spinoff of employment, the spinoff of secondary industry and some of the things that were talked about in the video we showed. So in no way at all do we want to minimize the opportunity for recycling up north or minimize the efforts and the desires and the investment that the people up north are willing to put into it.

Mr Martin: Could you also --

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. Your time has expired, if you could put something on the record. Mr Wiseman has some questions for the record, and I think Mrs Marland has as well.

Mr Wiseman: My question has to do with cost efficiency and what the projected cost per tonne would be to transport Metro's garbage up north, recycle it and then bale it, and whatever the cost would be for the product to come back. I would like to see any studies that have been done on the comparative cost efficiencies of doing that in the north as opposed to doing that here in the south where the garbage is.

The second thing is just a comment, and I would like you to comment on it. If all the garbage trucks in the GTA are going to Vaughan to dump their garbage now and then they are going back and picking up empty, and all the garbage trucks in the GTA are going to Vaughan to put it on a train that will then burn diesel fuel to the north and burn diesel fuel on the way back, how can you claim that there is going to be a reduction in the number of trucks on the road and a reduction in the amount of pollution in the air?

The Vice-Chair: Thank you, Mr Wiseman. You will get these questions in writing from the clerk, and we would appreciate a response in writing by February 14. Thank you. Mrs Marland, you have some questions for the record?

Mrs Marland: Actually, my question is to the parliamentary assistant, I guess, or to whoever speaks for the ministry in this committee. I need to know how it is that we have heard all these pious statements from this socialist government about being opposed to transportation of garbage out of the GTA. In the meantime the government continues to meet and encourage CN in this proposal, which may well be a very good proposal, but I think in fairness, to lead anybody along through a government-owned railway, which Ontario Northland is -- and obviously the Liberal government before that, whoever started these discussions and continues them for the current government when the current government is saying, "No way, Jose, is that garbage going to be trucked out of the GTA," and then CN comes before us today with a proposal where our own Ontario Northland Railway is an inherent partner of that proposal.

So I would like the answer from the Ministry of the Environment. Does the Minister of the Environment not know what the Minister of Transportation is doing? Obviously the Ontario Northland Railway comes under the Ministry of Transportation, I would assume, but does one hand really not know what the other hand is doing in this government?


The Vice-Chair: We will request the parliamentary assistant to provide that in writing to the members of the committee as well.

Mrs Marland: I was just advised that maybe it is the Ministry of Northern Development that is responsible for the Ontario Northland Railway.

The Vice-Chair: So you would add that as well?

Mrs Marland: But in any case, hopefully they will know who is responsible.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. As I mentioned before, you will be getting the questions in writing from the clerk, and we would appreciate it if you could respond. I guess it has to be here by the 14th, so you do not have that much time for it to become part of the record of these hearings. Otherwise, the committee will take your responses into consideration in deliberations in clause-by-clause. You have two minutes left.

Mr Deegan: In fact, we can do it in one minute.

The Vice-Chair: Go ahead.

Mr Deegan: I would like just to wind up by saying that our management, our employees and our union officers are in fact confused by the mixed message we are receiving from the current government on this issue.

Mrs Marland: I bet you are.

Mr Deegan: On the one hand we have the Minister of Transportation and his staff who are working towards a more integrated, balanced and efficient transportation system, fully recognizing the need to preserve the rail network in this province. They and the Premier seem to understand the benefits of the rail mode in terms of both the environment and the economy. Yet we are told by the Minister of the Environment that there would be high financial and environmental costs in transporting waste long distances, and therefore the rail movement of waste is unacceptable.

Bill 143 would abruptly eliminate rail as an option in consideration of the GTA's waste management. We believe that surely this cannot be in the public interest. It is not in the interest of the GTA; it is not in the interest of northern Ontario; it is not in the interest of maintaining a viable rail network; it is not in the interest of our 6,500 employees in Ontario, and certainly we do not see where it is in the interest of the people of Ontario. We urge that rail transportation, as described in the 5R system, be carefully considered as a sensible solution to the waste management situation in Ontario. Mr Chairman and committee, we thank you for your indulgence.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you for your brief. It was very well researched and will be given the utmost consideration by the committee.


The Vice-Chair: I would appreciate it if the next delegation, CP Rail, would come to the microphones, please. You have 20 minutes for your presentation, and if you leave some time at the end for questioning, we will divide it equally among the three parties. If you request to have a summing-up period of a minute or two, please let me know. Go ahead. Identify yourselves for Hansard, please.

Mr Gilmore: Ladies and gentlemen of the committee, good afternoon. My name is Paul Gilmore, and I am vice-president of marketing and sales for CP Rail in Toronto. My colleagues I have with me today are Miss Terry Gloutney, our senior manager, and Mr Bob Brook, manager of our solid wastes product initiative.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to express views today which are rooted in the commercial concerns of one company but which really reach out and touch the future wellbeing of all Ontario residents. As a native Torontonian who was born, raised and educated here, with family still living within the city limits, and after having spent a number of years in northern Ontario, I have a personal as well as a professional interest in seeing a comprehensive waste management plan adopted for the province. I hope I can share with you some of the perspectives I have gained after 21 years of experience with CP Rail, within both Canada and the United States.

I intend to show that rail transportation and the government's commitment to sensible waste management can be fully compatible. Following the question period I would like to take a moment to bring forward a very short concluding statement. We do have a detailed brief, I believe, which is now in your possession.

First I am going to present a short video which CP Rail has been showing to various audiences as a way of explaining the role we see ourselves playing in the handling of municipal waste.

[Audio-visual presentation]


Mr Gilmore: Members of the committee, clearly the Ontario government's bold plan for waste reduction will not lead to the complete elimination of the need for handling huge quantities of garbage generated in the greater Toronto area. Railway transportation of what has come to be known as residual waste deserves consideration as one element in Ontario's waste management program.

If anyone were to propose using trains purely as a means of getting Toronto's garbage out of sight and out of mind, enlightened self-interest would compel me to argue against such a scheme in today's world. Rail haulage of waste should instead be regarded as a possible component in the overall waste management process.

The residents and commercial enterprises of the GTA have made great strides in moving towards more sustainable waste management, but no matter where you look, municipal authorities must still manage and dispose of residual wastes in the best manner possible, be it within the metropolitan areas or beyond their boundaries. Rail haul makes sense when moving products over long distances. Rail haul may even make a great deal of sense if the destination were a recycling or disposal site in the next town or city down a congested highway.

Reusable and recyclable materials are commodities to be marketed to various users. Recycling plants might be located in one area but because of economies of scale they may draw reusable commodities from a broader service area. In today's shrinking world we do not have to look too far afield for examples of how railway service can be coordinated with any aspect of the overall approach to waste management, from recycling to disposal.

In Europe and North America railways are being included in progressive approaches to overall waste management planning while efforts to bolster reduction, reuse and recycling continue. Seattle is a metropolitan area much like the GTA. It is also a relevant example of where rail service has been welcomed as an important part of an environmentally sound and economical waste management system. In southern California development work is nearing completion on systems that will incorporate not only rail haul to disposal sites but also to recycling facilities. Other examples are contained in an appendix to the brief.

The right rail system combined with the right waste reduction program could help the GTA find a greater measure of environmental and economic security while providing benefits for various regions of the province. The Kirkland Lake area, which can also be served, I might say, by CP Rail and the Ontario Northland Railway routing, is but one example of a number of possible CP Rail destinations where the local economic benefits would be of substantial value to businesses and communities. Across all of northern Ontario CP Rail employs about 2,000 people with a total yearly payroll of about $90 million. In the province as a whole we employ about 5,900 people with an annual payroll of about $250 million.

Many railway facilities are underutilized while public funding and congestion problems associated with fostering highway development and additional maintenance mount up. Furthermore, flexible rail technology, such as the intermodal container and the bimodal vehicle, can provide the interface with Metropolitan Toronto's existing transfer stations that today's waste trucks provide.

In this context, we believe Bill 143 restricts the consideration of responsible environmental management which should include effective partnerships between the public and the private sectors. Our specific recommendations regarding the wording of the act are included in our brief, so I will not go into them now, but I would like to spend a couple of minutes outlining some of the difficulties we see.

Restricting the site search to the GTA service area could eliminate the best waste management system by removing the need for evaluation of all options. Furthermore, the proposed changes to the Environmental Protection Act will, by creating uncertainty as to the potential for changing policy direction and rules without public consultation, inject a considerable level of new risk into commercial investment decisions. This aspect of risk is also heightened by the proposed ability of the Interim Waste Authority to end or alter arrangements that might be in place for various aspects of a waste management system.

For the past three years CP Rail has been working with municipalities and commercial equipment manufacturers to develop a rail system and equipment adaptable to various categories of waste materials in the GTA and other communities. A CP Rail-funded prototype rail waste container and chassis will be placed into trial service in Ontario this spring. A waste management approach that considers some of the issues I have referred to will encourage further investment, investigation and innovation just such as this one.

Rail service offers many advantages, and should be seriously considered and not dismissed until the various options have been weighed on their environmental and economic benefits.

Mr Chairman, that concludes our presentation. My colleagues and I are available for questions. We would remind you we would like about 30 seconds to sum up at the end.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. The NDP caucus comes first. Ms Haeck, two minutes each.

Ms Haeck: I appreciate your presentation. I do want to address something that you made mention of on page 4 of your brief, that relates to Seattle. Normally I could not speak with some knowledge about it, but I do have a friend who lives in Seattle and has talked about the city's recycling efforts, which apparently are far beyond anything in most North American cities. In fact, they have about seven different containers at their homes, including one for household hazardous wastes, so the population that lives in that area has, for some years now, been dealing with source separation in a very active manner.

You mention Seattle and you say this is also a relevant example of where rail service has been welcomed as an important part of managing the environment. I was just wondering, what in fact is left for rail to ship, where do they ship it and what kind of quantities are we truly dealing with?

Mr Gilmore: If I could pass this to Mr Brook, who is very familiar with the Seattle system.

Mr Brook: You have a three-part question.

Ms Haeck: Yes.

Mr Brook: The volumes being shipped at this point in time equate to 120 containers, three times per week. The weight per container is roughly 25 tonnes. I am sorry, what was one of the --

Ms Haeck: What are they shipping and where is it going?

Mr Brook: They are shipping municipal waste, the balance that is left over after the recycling programs, and it goes into Arlington, Oregon, which is roughly 300 miles from the origin.

Ms Haeck: After they have gone through this very assiduous, intensive source separation, what really is left for them to ship?

Mr Brook: The volumes or the materials themselves?

Ms Haeck: The materials themselves, because they are looking at paper and plastics and all these other materials that they have already removed from the waste stream. So I guess my question is, what are they shipping?

Mr Brook: Specifically I cannot quantify it, but what is being shipped is the balance that is left after the recycling and the 3Rs programs have been processed.

Mr McClelland: I guess that is my question. At the end of the day, no matter what you have, there is something left over. I think you touch on a couple of interesting things I would like you to comment on. One thing we have heard throughout is that there is a shortage of markets for recyclable materials. I take it you are saying -- and I would like you to expand on it if we have time -- that your proposal certainly has the potential and very well may make the market for recyclable materials much greater, much more economically feasible for the private sector to invest in.

You also indicate in your brief, and I know from correspondence you sent to the Premier on 16 January, that there are many experiences where a rail component of waste management is not counterproductive to 3R initiatives. We have heard that any shipping, of necessity, is counter to 3Rs. I am not accepting it, but that has been essentially the position of the government. I would be interested in your comment on that. I think you have done a very good job in terms of talking about some of the environmental advantages.


I would also be interested, if you are prepared to do so, if you would comment on the apparent, and I would say even beyond apparent, obvious contradiction you see with the realization that possibly as much as 1 million tons of waste a year, certainly in excess of 800,000 tons, are being shipped out of Metro into the United States; that the current government has not only allowed but has directed, given the opportunity for, Kingston to ship its waste into the Ottawa area -- there are countless examples across the province where waste is in fact being shipped across municipal boundaries. How do you find that compatible in terms of reasonableness and fairness, and what kind of message does that send to the private sector as well when it looks at investing in this community?

Mr Gilmore: Mr McClelland, I think we would like to stay away from those types of arguments, our point today really being that we feel that rail transportation is a viable option that should certainly be considered in the handling of recyclables -- and residuals, for that matter. As to whether it is morally right or wrong, I think the question is best addressed that the legislation in its current form has to be -- it in fact handcuffs the GTA and other municipalities from developing the very best waste management system if it excludes the transportation, as I say, of either recyclables or residuals out of the metropolitan area.

Mrs Marland: First of all, I would like to commend you on the presentation. I thought that was an excellent video. I think it is interesting that you are scheduled concurrently today. I guess the only question I have to you following the CN presentation is, are you having any formal or informal ongoing meetings with representatives of the current government about your proposal, since it is very easy to understand that your proposal represents a potential for a great deal of employment opportunities for people who work and live in Ontario?

Mr Gilmore: We have done most of our work and most of our research work with the Metropolitan Toronto works department and the film you saw, the refrigeration unit, that was in the National Research Council in Ottawa. We have been doing some work with the people in the community of Kirkland Lake. I cannot comment. I do not think we have been directly involved with any of the provincial governments at this point.

To your earlier point, I guess it hardly seems appropriate at the time with the legislation being as it is. We have been concentrating on our attempts to get the legislation changed and we have been spending money, approximately a little short of half a million dollars so far in our research into the walking floor and into the reinforced container and chassis that I did mention a few moments ago.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. Time has expired. If you have any questions for the record, which will be responded to in writing by the delegation, please put that forward. Mr Martin, I think you were first in line.

Mrs Marland: I have one. I am just giving you notice.

The Vice-Chair: Just the question, please, and keep it as brief as possible.

Mr Martin: Just three quick questions: What is your capacity to move garbage, and considering the emphasis that we are putting on the 3Rs and that you agree with, at what level does it become counterproductive or not cost-effective for you to move garbage?

Mrs Mathyssen: I think my question may be somewhat similar. In view of the fact that we are just beginning the 3Rs and that we expect that as people become better at reducing and reusing we will have lesser quantities of garbage, I wonder if there have been studies done to determine the feasibility of this project if garbage or waste is reduced by 50% or 25% or even just 10%.

The Vice-Chair: Is that question being posed to the delegation or to the ministry?

Mrs Mathyssen: To the delegation.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, thank you. Mr Wiseman, you had one.

Mr Wiseman: Mine has to do with markets and a suggestion that was made by one of the other presenters two weeks ago. Should the government of Canada and the government of Ontario look at mandating recyclable content in products and packaging sold in Ontario, the way they are in California?

The Vice-Chair: Thank you. Mrs Marland, you had a question for the record.

Mrs Marland: My question is to the ministry. Since Bob Rae's socialist government is interested in protecting jobs and unions even to the extent of driving business and commerce out of this province, I would like to know if any of the ministries, whichever ministries have been talking to CN with regard to a combination proposal with the Ontario Northland Railway, are interested in talking business with CP Rail as well? Would that not be a logical extension of the use of rail? If we have two railways, why would we not use both of them and why would we not maximize the opportunity for employment in Ontario?

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. These questions will be relayed to you in writing by the clerk and you will have an opportunity to respond in writing. If we receive it by the 14th it will become part of the record of this committee, otherwise the committee members will use it in their deliberations in clause-by-clause. You have asked for a short summation period, so go ahead.

Mr Gilmore: Thank you. In conclusion, I recommend that those concerned in the quest for public policy solutions on these issues ensure that all options in the development of a waste management plan that will enable commercial enterprises to contribute in full measure are properly evaluated, each according to its ability. I urge the government to include the rail industry in the planning process and to explore opportunities to consider blending transportation of residual waste with commendable waste reduction initiatives. We strongly believe CP Rail can assist in the development of an environmentally and technically advanced system and we quite frankly look forward to doing so.


The Vice-Chair: I would like to ask the next delegation, the Regional Municipality of Peel, to come forward please. Welcome, Mr Kolb. I wonder if you would mind presenting your delegation for the purposes of Hansard. You have 20 minutes. We would appreciate if you would give us a few minutes of time for questions at the end of your brief. Thank you.

Mr Kolb: I have with me Mike Garrett, our chief administrative officer, and our regional solicitor, Kent Gillespie. I would just like to make a few remarks and then I am going to ask Mike Garrett to make our presentation.

Since 1974, the region of Peel has been responsible for waste disposal. We have been very successful not only in winning optional awards for Britannia, but for our aggressive pursuance of recycling, especially in the industrial and commercial sectors. Friendly competition and cooperation with our neighbouring regions has resulted in innovation and new processes which otherwise might not have occurred. That is why the current exercise is frustrating for us.

Prior to November 21, 1990, Peel was on the track and could have delivered a long-term site by 1997. Peel also invested $8 million in studies in design for the interim disposal site in Brampton called site 6B, which would have provided capacity for the closure of Britannia in 1992 until the long-term site had been approved and opened. That was $8 million of taxpayers' money that had literally gone to waste. What other region has had that kind of penalty imposed on it? Now we have a crisis, make no mistake about it, and we need to move quickly, but the crisis was not Peel's mistake. Peel is put in the position of being ordered to break agreements with the city of Mississauga. That has undermined the confidence and trust of residents and the surrounding land owners, and in the process the integrity of all levels of government. Through all this it is clear that Peel taxpayers will be paying the entire cost.

The province has said it will contribute nothing to the solution of the problem that it has created. Government must learn from its mistakes. These are not the times that we should be wasting money. The taxpayers are intolerant of keeping this kind of government unaccountability. It must be clarified and the disentanglement process must be cleared up quickly. It is within these contexts that we want to make our comments on Bill 143. I would now ask Mr Garrett to make our final submission.


Mr Garrett: Our comments are broken down into four parts, based on the legislation. If I might, I will just try and go through them very quickly.

Regarding part I on the Interim Waste Authority, the main concern the region of Peel has with this part of the bill is the role of the Interim Waste Authority as it relates to waste management responsibilities of the region of Peel. No clear mandate or objects of the corporation are set out in this part of the legislation. The minister's announcement used the words "search for and select," whereas the bill speaks of "establishing landfill waste disposal sites."

Will the IWA construct the site? Will it operate the site? Will it expropriate all the land required for the site? Will it settle all the claims for compensation or will the region of Peel be left with the difficult and expensive task of dealing with the liabilities created by this authority? Will the region in fact have any options for the financing in a different manner for different aspects of the development of the site? The taxpayers of the region of Peel will end up paying for all the activities of this corporation and will bear the burden of the decisions and the obligations which it creates, yet the IWA is not accountable to any elected body.

We recommend that the role and mandate of the Interim Waste Authority vis-à-vis the region of Peel must be clearly spelled out in the legislation. We also recommend that the IWA must be made financially accountable to the council of the regional municipality of Peel with respect to its activities within the region of Peel.

There are other aspects of part I which have been raised in the course of hearings before this committee. It has been mentioned that the IWA will not have the authority to expropriate until a certificate of approval has been issued under part V of the EPA. In substance this is not much different from the circumstances under which municipalities find themselves at the present time.

Much has been also made of the power of the IWA to carry out inspection, and for that purpose to enter upon lands to take samples. These provisions are positive and can only lead to better and more accurate site information which is necessary in the public interest. The region of Peel has in the past been delayed in obtaining accurate site information because it did not have this authority. The government should consider extending the authority to enter land for testing to all municipalities charged with responsibility for selecting waste disposal sites.

With respect to part II, under this part the waste disposal site to be located in the region of Peel will be designed with its primary function being the disposal of waste generated in the regional municipality of Peel for a period of at least 20 years. The region's own long-term site search contemplated a 40-year life. However, the criteria established by the IWA will involve a site with only a 20-year capacity. In view of the length of time which it takes to obtain site approval and in view of the cost, the wisdom of choosing a 20-year site capacity is questionable. We recommend that the bill should require a design capacity in excess of 20 years, even up to 40 years.

The other provisions of part II are primarily aimed at scoping the environmental assessment process so as to permit the IWA to obtain approval for its long-term site within the required time. The need for this scoping provision emphasizes the immediate need for changes to the environmental assessment process. The government seems to recognize that it would be impossible to proceed through a site selection search without containing the environmental assessment process in some way.

The government has gone so far as to give the minister the authority to create waste diversion estimates and to establish policies applicable to the undertaking which the approving authority must take into consideration. The ministry recognizes that it must have these means of control of the process or it will not be able to achieve these goals. This is a clear indictment of the existing environmental assessment process which we have to live with at the municipalities. We recommend that the government must act immediately to repeal and replace the Environmental Assessment Act to permit municipalities to carry out their waste management responsibilities within a reasonable time and at reasonable cost.

It is also interesting to note that the landfill sites are described as having as their primary function the disposal of waste generated in the regional municipality of Peel and that, for the purposes of establishing waste diversion estimates, the primary service area is Peel. The clear implication is that there is a secondary service area which includes waste generated outside the regional municipality. This increases the region's concerns with respect to the provisions dealt with under part IV whereby the minister can order a municipality to accept waste from a source outside its boundaries. Will the Peel site be required to provide disposal capacity for waste generated outside Peel in the greater Toronto area? If so, Peel region would like to see a clear definition of the secondary service area and the conditions under which waste from the area might have to be accepted at the Peel site.

We recommend that the bill should clearly provide that the waste disposal site in Peel shall be designed solely for the amount of waste generated within Peel and that the certificate of approval will permit the region of Peel to refuse to accept waste generated outside Peel, subject to emergency orders, which we will deal with later.

Respecting part III of the bill, as indicated above, both legally and financially the region of Peel has no option but to carry out the lift at the Britannia site as ordered under the minister's report. The provisions of this part which override the existing statutory and contractual limitations on the region's use of Britannia are necessary because of the crisis created by the minister's actions.

The greatest concern to the region of Peel under this part has already been dealt with by the statement of the minister to the standing committee. The minister has stated that section 19, on injurious affection, should be deleted because of the concern regarding the precedent it sets. The minister recognized that there are existing protections for land owners. The region of Peel supports the minister in this position.

Because the committee has heard and will hear representations from developers who own land surrounding Britannia, we wish to elaborate on our position. For many years now the Expropriations Act, in its present form, has balanced the public interest with the interests of land owners affected by public works. Where the use and enjoyment of their lands is impaired by the activities of public bodies, land owners have remedies available to them under existing law. However, section 19 of Bill 143 would have completely upset the well-established balance between the interests of taxpayers and those of the development industry surrounding the Britannia site.

It would not have guaranteed any additional rights to compensation to any residents living close to the site, but the taxpayers would have been faced with a disproportionate and unquantified liability to the developers for speculative business loss. To grant such rights to a very small group of people in the development industry without extending the same rights to property owners across the province would be discriminatory. However, to extend those rights across the province would put in jeopardy the feasibility of carrying out public works. The adverse precedent set by this could have far-reaching implications, not only for landfill sites but for other 3Rs facilities and indeed public works of every kind.

The region of Peel is prepared to meet its financial and legal obligations to all members of the public and to deal with them fairly and in good faith under the present law. In order to minimize the impact on development, studies are now under way dealing with staging of site operations and reduction of buffer zones so as to release the maximum quantity of land for development as soon as possible.

We recommend and indicate here that the region of Peel applauds the minister for recognizing that section 19 is inappropriate, not only for Bill 143 but for all public projects of this nature, and must be removed from the legislation.

Respecting part IV, this part of the bill represents an unprecedented and fundamental intrusion of provincial control over the waste management responsibilities of municipal governments, including the region of Peel. The regulation-making power goes far beyond that which is necessary to set standards for the protection of the environment. The regulations permit the provincial government to interfere with and control virtually every aspect of municipal management as it relates to waste. What is more, this heavy-handed intrusion into municipal autonomy does not appear to be in response to any apparent or demonstrated need for the exercise of control.

Section 33 of the bill gives regulatory power to the provincial government over virtually every aspect of municipal waste management, including the power to control financial management and planning. This is contrary to the fundamental principles of disentanglement. Those who pay for waste management facilities will no longer have control over the management of those facilities, which will be governed by the regulation-making process. This type of pervasive provision has the potential for increasing costs to municipal taxpayers as well as interfering with and eliminating the accountability of the elected municipal governments for the manner in which they carry out their waste management responsibilities.

We recommend that the broad regulation-making powers in Bill 143 must be cut back to those required to set design and performance standards for the protection of the environment and not the control of municipal management, planning and financing.

Perhaps what is most important to the municipal sector is not in Bill 143; that is, the clear legislative authority setting out the municipal role and responsibility for 3Rs initiatives. It is well recognized that all waste management issues are interdependent; 3Rs initiatives will not become practically or financially viable unless the municipal roles are clarified and appropriate authority is set out in legislation.


We recommend that the government should amend Bill 143 to include legislation dealing with the municipal waste management roles, including the integration of waste management responsibilities and the necessary authority to effectively carry out 3Rs responsibilities.

The region of Peel is also concerned about section 26, which substantially amends section 29 of the EPA. Under this section the minister ordered the lift at Britannia. Although the minister has indicated that this power will no longer be delegated to the director, Peel is concerned with the government's intention in the use of this section. Traditionally, it has been used an an emergency power. However, there is no precondition which would indicate when this power would be exercised other than that it is considered advisable in the public interest. There is no appeal from the decision of the minister.

We recommend that it must be made clear that the section 29 power to make orders against municipalities can only be exercised where the minister declares an emergency and provides written reasons supporting that declaration.

Also, in the minister's statement to this committee she indicated that the authority to order municipalities to assess waste management needs and prepare plans would be removed. Peel region is in agreement with this inasmuch as it is not consistent with the use of an emergency power.

Similarly, we also agree with the minister that the uncertainty to municipal planning introduced by the authority to order the acceptance of waste from outside municipal boundaries must be limited. The minister has suggested a five-year maximum. We question whether this is appropriate to an emergency order. This leaves municipalities with an uncertainty as to capacity of plus or minus five years, which, considering the 20-year life of the proposed new site for Peel, is significant.

We recommend that ministerial orders requiring municipalities to accept waste from outside their boundaries must be coupled with a requirement that equivalent replacement capacity be made available to the host municipality at reasonable cost within a reasonable time.

We note also that the minister has been given authority to discontinue a waste management system. This presumably includes circumstances where the municipality has been operating the system or site in compliance with its certificate of approval. Peel region has effectively experienced such an order, which has resulted in a loss of over $8 million in planning and other studies.

We recommend that the provincial government must be required to compensate municipalities for their losses where ministerial orders to close or discontinue undertakings, systems or sites are made and the municipality has been proceeding in a lawful manner or has been operating its waste management systems or sites generally in conformity with its approvals.

Finally, there is no formal mechanism for consultation with municipalities in the exercise of any of the authorities under these amendments.

We recommend that, in light of the potentially significant intrusion on municipal waste management responsibilities by order or regulation under part IV, Bill 143 should be amended to ensure that municipal appeals, where an order is involved, and municipal consultation, where a regulation is involved, are authorized.

These briefly are the submissions of the region of Peel. We have, through all of this, notwithstanding the difficulty it has meant for the region, appreciated the close and cooperative working relationship that has been maintained between our staff and the staff of the Ministry of the Environment on this whole very sensitive matter in the region.

The Vice-Chair: As usual, the region of Peel has its briefs well researched, well documented, well-thought-out, well analysed and direct, regardless of the party in power.

We have almost run out of time, so each caucus has only a minute to put questions on the record and make any short statements.

Mr McClelland: You mentioned, Mr Garrett, that the implications in terms of cost could be significant. They already indeed have been significant in terms of the direction that has been forthcoming from the minister. What kind of consultation, if any, did you participate in prior to the drafting and tabling of Bill 143? Further to that, the implications as they continue in the costs down the road, what do you see would be the potential impact on the tax base in Peel if Bill 143 goes forward in its present form?

Mrs Marland: I would like to commend the region of Peel for its presentation this afternoon. I do not think anybody reading this would be at a loss to understand the frustration of the region of Peel and particularly the tremendous cost to the taxpayers in Peel, which is in excess of $8 million. We do not have a new garbage dump, to use the colloquialism, and we do not even know where we are going. I think the scary part about this, the whole void that we are sitting in at the moment, is that we are going to get an additional lift to Britannia after some tests are done. We do not know what happens if the tests are negative, we do not even know if it is only going to be one lift --

Mr Wiseman: This is a little long for a question.

Mrs Marland: On and on the concern goes. Frankly, the way the region of Peel has been treated both by the Liberal government and by Bob Rae's socialist government on this whole issue of landfill capacity --

The Vice-Chair: Question, please.

Mrs Marland: -- has been totally unsatisfactory for the taxpayers of Peel. My question is not to the region of Peel, because I do not think there is anything left to ask after you read this brief.

The Vice-Chair: Question, please.

Mrs Marland: My question is simply to the parliamentary assistant, who sits here today on behalf of the minister. Are you going to agree to the six-point proposal that has come from the citizens' coalition, where you will at least guarantee only one lift at Peel's Britannia site?

Mrs Mathyssen: I was quite interested in the fact that you support the site access powers so that the best site can be found. Despite the fact that the members opposite do not agree, and have used some rather colourful adjectives to suggest that securing the best landfill site is somehow not in the public interest, I was wondering if you could expand on why these powers are necessary.

Mrs Marland: On a point of privilege, Mr Chairman, or on a point of order.

The Vice-Chair: Point of order, Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: I would ask Mrs Mathyssen to withdraw her comment. That was not what I said and I do not appreciate the inference from what I said.

The Vice-Chair: That is not a point of order; that is a personal opinion.

Mrs Mathyssen: Mr Chairman, Mrs Marland has not been in the committee and does not understand what has happened.

The Vice-Chair: I require that you stick to the question. Please cut short the preamble so that the region of Peel can answer your question.

Mrs Marland: Excuse me, Mr Chairman. I understand perfectly well when a member of this committee suggests that something I have said has another inference other than what I did actually say. I take exception to it.

The Vice-Chair: I will check the record and we will give you a decision on that later.

Mrs Marland: Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you. Ms Mathyssen, will you pose your question, please, and the question only.

Mrs Mathyssen: Yes. Can you expand on why these powers are necessary?

Ms Haeck: I have a question.

The Vice-Chair: For the record?

Ms Haeck: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: Go ahead, Ms Haeck.

Ms Haeck: On page 13 of your brief -- I do agree with other members of this committee that it is an extremely good report -- in your recommendation 5.6 you make a proposal for compensation and you use the phrase "in a lawful manner." If it is found that, while it may be lawful, it may in fact be environmentally hazardous to the surrounding area, what kind of compensation would you deem to be appropriate under those circumstances?

The Vice-Chair: Mr Martin, question only.

Mr Martin: You talk about the costs of the waste management studies. Is the IWA not using the studies, and how much will Peel generate in tipping fees with the lift at Britannia?

The Vice-Chair: Mr Garrett, you will receive these questions from the clerk in writing. We would appreciate a response in writing, if possible by February 14 in order for it to become part of the public record. Otherwise, if we receive it after February 14, the committee will take your answers into consideration for clause-by-clause.

Mr Cousens: On a point of order, Mr Chair: Have we any answers to any of the questions we have been posing? We have been asking hundreds of questions. Is there anything forthcoming, especially from the ministry staff?

The Vice-Chair: We have some answers to be tabled at the end of today's session.

Mr Cousens: Wonderful.

Mr Wiseman: Nice of you to join us, Don.

Mr Cousens: You just keep your mouth to yourself.

The Vice-Chair: Excuse me, Mr Cousens. Mr Kolb, you have a minute to summarize.

Mr Cousens: Attendance in this place is not kept by the New Democrats.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Cousens, order please.

Mr Kolb: Mr Chairman, we would be very happy to respond to those questions in writing. I just want to thank you again for the opportunity to come before you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you once more. As I said before, any time the region of Peel appears before any committee in this Legislature its briefs are well worth reading, whether you are the government or not, because I know; I have been on both ends.



The Vice-Chair: I would ask the next group to come forward please, King RORES, I guess it is. Would you please identify yourselves for the purposes of Hansard. You have 20 minutes to make your presentation and we would appreciate some time towards the end for questioning by members of the committee.

Mr Armstrong: My name is Simon Armstrong. I am a lawyer in the city of Toronto. Until recently I was at Blake, Cassels and Graydon and appeared before you representing a number of government employees and government agencies. With me is Joanne Wolfson, who is the chair of our group, which is King RORES, Respect Our Rural Environments. Joanne is a former Metro resident who now lives in York, operates her own business and has attended all the open houses and public workshops organized by the IWA in York.

We have distributed copies of our brief to you. Before I go into it, I would like to say that in the audience are a number of people from our group, and our group indeed consists of over 50 families in King township. It is a voluntary, non-profit group of concerned citizens. We are concerned about our rural environment, as our name suggests. We are working actively for the preservation of our rural environment, the protection of, and environmentally sound land uses on, the Oak Ridges moraine and fair, equitable and responsible waste management.

To start off with, I would like to say that while King RORES fully supports the principles behind the minister's 3Rs program and the concept of a conserver society in Ontario, we are opposed to the solution for the disposal of residual wastes proposed in Bill 143 and other ministerial initiatives.

When she was in the opposition, the minister was a strong, vocal environmentalist. However, since she became the Minister of the Environment and minister responsible for the greater Toronto area, she has done a complete about-face. Our confidence in this minister and her government to handle Ontario's waste disposal problem in a fair and environmentally responsible manner has been completely undermined. In short, we feel betrayed. I would have hoped that the minister might have been here for me to say this directly to her, but I trust that she will receive our message through her parliamentary assistant and through her staff.

Since the minister announced the conserver action plan on November 21, 1990 -- which, I might add, included the promise that "all new landfill sites will be subject to the Environmental Assessment Act" -- everything, in our view, has been downhill. On April 2, 1991, the minister announced that all communities must accept responsibility for the waste they generate and that the search for the long-term waste disposal sites for the GTA will not be outside the GTA. Then on April 11 she announced a ban on incineration as being inconsistent with the 3Rs, not facilitating waste reduction and having environmental problems. Finally, on October 24, 1991, she introduced this bill, a piece of emergency-type legislation which is arbitrary and inequitable in both substance and procedure.

King RORES opposes Bill 43 because it restricts unduly the geographical landfill site search area; requires a single landfill disposal site, to be located in either York and/or Metropolitan Toronto, to handle the disposal of waste generated over at least 20 years; it eviscerates the environmental assessment process by excluding consideration of alternatives involving incineration, transportation of waste or the use of more than one site in the Metropolitan Toronto/York region area; and finally, it creates the Interim Waste Authority Ltd, apparently as a permanent crown corporation, without providing for proper accountability, while providing sweeping powers to enter, inspect and expropriate land.

My first point, then, the restriction of the landfill site search: The restriction of the landfill search site area to the greater Toronto area is arbitrary and misguided as well as being an impediment to finding the optimal solution to the GTA's waste disposal problem. In our view, it is not necessary for the long-term landfill sites for the GTA to be within the GTA to give effect to the principle that all communities must accept responsibility for the waste they generate. The GTA is, after all, the most populous area of Ontario and therefore generates the most waste. However, it is also the largest manufacturing area, service provider and tax base. In other words, the province as a whole benefits from the activities of the GTA, and accordingly it is logical as well as fair for the whole province to assist with the GTA's waste disposal problem.

The search for a waste disposal site should therefore not be restricted to the GTA but should extend to the whole province, thus ensuring that the optimal solution is found. As well, this approach would enable the government to make use of waste management studies that have already been generated at taxpayers' expense.

My second point, the Metro/York issue: The minister's decision to lump Metro and York together in the landfill site search process and to require a single landfill site for the waste of Metropolitan Toronto and York region to be located in York or Metro, or partially in both, is arbitrary, discriminatory and inequitable. To us, this decision means in effect that York region will become the home of Toronto's waste for at least 20 years because land in Metro of the size that is contemplated is limited and more expensive.

We have a number of questions. Why was York region singled out to be the sole recipient of Toronto's garbage? This decision has never been justified, we doubt it can be and it is contrary to the minister's stated policies of ensuring local responsibility for waste disposal and promoting waste reduction. To be consistent, the minister should at the very least require Peel and Durham, and not just York, to assist with the disposal of Metro's garbage.

We also ask, how will disposing of Metro's garbage in York region promote waste reduction for Metro residents and industry? In our view, it will not. Trucking Metro's garbage to York region will continue to allow it to be out of sight and out of mind for Metro residents.

My third point, the lack of alternatives: In addition to restricting the geographical area for locating a landfill waste disposal site for York and Metro, Bill 143 eviscerates the environmental assessment process by excluding consideration of alternatives such as incineration, transportation of waste and multiple sites. We ask, why are residents of the GTA not entitled to the same environmental assessment process as other residents? What justification is there for not applying the full provisions of the Environmental Assessment Act? How can such a truncated process ensure that the optimal solution to the GTA's waste disposal problem is found?

We have concluded that the restriction of the environmental assessment process, combined with the geographical and single-site requirement of Bill 143, is an unfair and unjustified approach that cannot result in finding the optimal solution to the GTA's waste disposal problem. We object to this approach in the strongest possible terms.

If a full environmental assessment is not required in the location of landfill waste disposal sites for the most populous area of the province, is such a process only required in smaller projects? To eviscerate the environmental assessment process for landfill sites to accommodate the waste of 44% of the residents of Ontario makes a mockery of the Environmental Assessment Act. Bill 143 arbitrarily and unjustifiably denies to almost half Ontario's population the right to a full environmental assessment that is available to residents in other parts of the province. The Minister of the Environment promised on November 21, 1990, that all new landfill sites would be subject to the Environmental Assessment Act, not, I might say, to a short-circuited, abridged environmental assessment process. The government has reneged on its promise and has denied the right to a full environmental assessment to almost half its citizens. This decision has never been satisfactorily explained, nor, in our view, can it be justified.


The minister rejects incineration and transportation as being inconsistent with the promotion of waste reduction, yet seems to ignore the fact that each is aimed at the disposal of residue waste, that is, after waste reduction efforts have taken place. Incineration, transportation and multiple sites may be viable elements of a multifaceted strategy to deal with the GTA's waste disposal problem, which should be determined through a full environmental assessment process, rather than being precluded by statute.

Another point is the fact that the bill requires the IWA to use ministerial waste estimates to determine the required capacity of landfill sites. It is well known that such estimates are uncertain, and it is our view that an independent, impartial board should determine the quantity of the waste and the need for the size of the landfill site.

In short, King RORES urges the committee and the minister to reformulate Bill 143 to allow the consideration of all alternatives and a full environmental assessment process. We have every confidence that in the time that is available before the landfill sites become full -- and I might just say and remind you that the minister extended their lives about a year ago, certainly the Keele Valley site -- a full environmental assessment process could take place if necessary, as directed by the minister if time became a problem. But to start out by eliminating things, while earlier having promised that there would be a full hearing, is completely wrong, in our view.

My third point is the Interim Waste Authority. The bill continues the Interim Waste Authority as a crown corporation and gives it far-reaching powers. Apparently it is a permanent crown corporation -- there is no sunset clause -- and therefore we conclude that the term "interim" is inaccurate and deceptive.

Its mandate is not defined in the bill. I have noted in the brief that section 3 refers to the corporation establishing landfill sites, while in section 6 the corporation inspectors can enter and inspect land for the purposes of obtaining information to meet the requirements of or obtain an approval required by statute "relating to the planning, establishment, operation or management of a landfill site." My suggestion is that the latter section implies that the IWA is not an interim body but one that is going to be here to stay and is going to be managing landfill sites as well as finding them.

I might say that the corporate search I have done on the Interim Waste Authority that was filed with the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations does not enlighten us as to its mandate either, since it simply says that its mandate is to "search for, select and establish waste disposal sites within the greater Toronto area."

What is clear to us is that the minister seeks to create a crown corporation at arm's length from her and from the public. I might say that for a group our size we have been extraordinarily vigilant, and our efforts have been frustrated because when we write or approach the IWA it says that it has been instructed by the government to find a landfill site for York and Metro and that it cannot answer questions relating to these instructions, or to the alternatives it is precluded from considering. On the other hand, the minister simply reiterates her previous statements without amplification or justification and refers our questions to the IWA, even the ones it has already said it cannot answer. We feel as though we are part of a ping-pong game.

We have the following questions: Is it the minister's intention to disband the IWA once these sites are found or are ready for operation? At what point in the process will IWA's involvement cease to exist? Who will then be accountable for their actions? Who will be responsible for the physical construction and implementation of landfill sites? Who will own and operate the sites? Who will be responsible for the subsequent operation of the landfills? Who will monitor them? Who will ensure the landfills are kept up to current standards as technology improves or problems arise? Finally, what radius of a landfill site and along which trucking routes will residents be compensated for injurious affection?

We urge that these issues be addressed before consideration of this bill is completed. As well, we request clarification of the nature and extent of the ministerial policies authorized by Bill 143. Section 15 of the bill authorizes the minister to establish policies concerning waste disposal sites and requires the IWA to "have regard" for such policies in preparing an environmental assessment for a waste disposal site. What are these policies? What safeguards are there to ensure such policies do not conflict with other parts of the bill and the Environmental Assessment Act? What does the IWA's duty to "have regard" to such policies mean?

My fourth point is the powers of the IWA to enter and inspect land: Bill 143 gives the corporation sweeping powers of inspection and entry while leaving the rights of residential land owners inadequately protected.

We object to the power of the inspector in subsection 7(1) to enter and inspect any land except any room actually used as a dwelling; this exception is too limited. In our view this committee should require the minister to table a detailed legal opinion as to whether these provisions relating to warrantless inspection, as well as those relating to inspection with a warrant, infringe on section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees everyone the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

In this area we have six specific points; I would like to list them for you. We do not think the power to make warrantless searches and inspections should be limited to buildings occupied as a dwelling. We think they should be expanded to garages, farm buildings, barns, kennels, as well as to personal property on the land.

We also urge that section 8 of the bill be amended to specify that the land owner or occupant has a right to be present when the inspection is taking place.

We also object to the removal of samples from the land without payment of a fee, and to the omission of a requirement that the IWA provide the land owner or occupant with a written report on the results of tests conducted on such samples.

We believe the period for deemed service by mail in section 8(3) is too short and request it be extended from five to 15 days to allow families who are away to stand a better chance of receiving the notice before an inspection takes place.

Finally, we see no justification for permitting inspections of residential property at night and request that subsections 8(5) and 10(1) be amended to require that without exception inspections take place during daylight hours only.

In conclusion, we have the following concerns, some of which I am sure you have heard before: the mandate, accountability and powers of the IWA; the geographical restriction of the landfill site search area; the twinning of York and Metro for landfill site purposes; the lack of a full environmental assessment; the exclusion of consideration of alternatives such as incineration, transportation outside the GTA and multiple sites.

We recommend that the mandate and powers of the IWA be reformulated and clarified to provide accountability and protect the rights of individual citizens and their property. We recommend that the landfill site search area be expanded to include the entire province of Ontario. We recommend that York region not be targeted as the sole recipient of Metro's garbage and, at a minimum, the other regions of the GTA assist with Metro's waste disposal. We recommend that the residents of the GTA be extended the same right to a full environmental assessment hearing as other residents of the province, and we ask that all alternatives be considered by that assessment body to find the best possible solution which is environmentally acceptable rather than politically expedient. Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. Your time has expired so, members of the committee, if you have any questions, they are for the record only. No preambles please; questions only.

Ms Haeck: I actually have three and they are linked together. Does your group liaise with other rural environmental groups such as may be located in the town of Lincoln or the township of West Lincoln, which are primarily rural? Is your group aware of the concerns of the citizens of the region of Niagara regarding the handling, treatment and storage of the toxic waste produced by the entire province? Are you aware that other rural environmental groups that have made presentations to this committee appreciate the fact that the current environmental assessment process as outlined in this bill has been scoped?

Mr Armstrong: Has been what?

Ms Haeck: Scoped. Limitations --

Mr Armstrong: Oh, limited.

The Vice-Chair: You will receive these questions in writing from the clerk.

Mr Armstrong: Thank you. I am writing them down as best I can.

Mr McClelland: For the record, it would be interesting to know if the parliamentary assistant is going to answer, on behalf of the government, any of the questions that were put forward. It seems to me we have a very idiosyncratic view of whether it is appropriate to answer or not. I want to know when those questions are going to be answered, specifically the ones on page 6. People here have tried to get answers from either the Interim Waste Authority --

The Vice-Chair: Questions only, please.

Mr McClelland: The questions are those contained on page 6, and putting them directly to the parliamentary assistant --

Mr Wiseman: I think he is going on a little long, Mr Chair.

The Vice-Chair: Questions.

Mr McClelland: -- for a response to this committee and to the --

The Vice-Chair: Thank you. Mr Cousens?

Mr Cousens: Just a fantastic presentation; thank you.

Mrs Mathyssen: I note that you disagree with the elimination of alternatives such as incineration and transport of garbage. We have heard some very consistent --

Mrs Marland: We are changing the rules now, are we?

The Vice-Chair: Just questions, I said. Go ahead.

Mrs Mathyssen: We have heard evidence that incineration discharges dioxins and furans, and that contaminates the land. I wonder how you can reconcile your position with the evidence we have heard from environmental groups and incineration experts.

The Vice-Chair: As I said before, these questions will be referred to you in writing by the clerk. You will have the chance to respond in writing. If we receive them by February 14, which does not give you very much time, they will become part of the record of this committee. Otherwise the committee members will take your responses into consideration on deliberation in clause-by-clause. Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Our next and final group for the day is the Durham Site 59 Committee. Will you come forward please. You will identify yourselves for the purposes of Hansard. You have 20 minutes for your presentation, and we would appreciate if you would leave some time towards the end for questioning by members of the committee.

Mr Mowbray: My name is Milton Mowbray. I represent the Durham Site 59 Committee, which is a committee of residents of the northeast part of the town of Pickering and the northwest part of the town of Whitby. It gets its name from a possible landfill site which was designated as site 59 when the region was looking for a site. The committee tried to think of some catchy acronym for its name, but did not come up with anything, so it is still calling itself simply the site 59 committee.

This bill, in its reference to the Interim Waste Authority, rather puts me in mind of the temporary Income Tax Act of 1917, which was just to look after expenses of the war and then we could forget about it.

We have a number of concerns. We have a concern that this may not change very much and that we may still be going on with landfill as the primary method of waste management for an indefinite period of time. We feel pretty strongly that landfill on a mass basis is very obsolete technology. It uses up valuable land. It is attractive because it has a short-term low cost compared to lots of alternatives. But the long-term costs can be very great in terms of ultimate contamination of the environment, because these things are supposed to be nicely sealed but the seals keep breaking down.

We are also concerned with the geographic restriction. I recognize it is politically -- and I am not using "politically" in a derogatory sense -- desirable to place the onus for waste disposal on the area which is generating the waste, because if you can just shove your problem away and forget about it there may not be sufficient incentive to reduce the amount of waste that has to be disposed of.

Also, some people have put it on a moral basis, saying we have no right to export our garbage out of our municipality -- although I have noticed that the residents of Ajax, when they are talking about a landfill site for the region of Durham, do not see anything immoral about shipping their garbage from Ajax to Pickering or from Ajax to Scugog or what have you. Surely we should be looking at the best feasible way to handle our waste. It is too much to assume that every region necessarily has the best possible site for disposing of whatever waste it produces that has to go in a landfill.

I do not see why there has to be this restriction. If there is a better way, from an environmental standpoint, that involves moving waste someplace else, I do not see why we need to be restricting it to a particular regional municipality.

I would caution you that I am not trying to say everything that is in here. I assume that at some point you will have time to read what is here.


Further shipment out of the region as part of a recycling process is ruled out. Again, I do not see why that should be the case. There are some technologies involving site separation of recyclable materials, for example, that involve large plants and are not necessarily feasible for one region. Or it might make a lot more sense, if you are getting into that sort of thing, to have one plant for the whole greater Toronto area. These are things that should be looked at, but these alternatives are being ruled out by the bill as it stands now.

There are different ways in which you can reduce what ultimately is left to be disposed of. The blue box program supposedly keeps it from getting into the garbage stream, but the problem there is that you are depending on good citizenship and there is a limit to how far one can be pushed. There may be advantages in a centralized sorting of stuff because then you are not depending on people's good nature and sense of duty to make the thing work. Furthermore, the economics may even be better. I do not know, but surely these things should be looked at.

This streamlined process that is provided for here is, I think, rather worrisome. There are some quite draconian provisions, in particular in section 18, where you have a very short time limit from the publication of a notice, 21 days, to make representations. You do not put together a very satisfactory set of representations in response to a public notice in 21 days. Lots of times it requires a good deal more research than you can give it in that period of time.

Furthermore, subsection 18(7) provides that the director shall consider any submissions made, but is not required to hold a hearing or to give any further notice in respect of any decision he or she makes. Now, hearings are very valuable, because in the interplay between the people making presentations to hearings and the people who are presiding at the hearings, there is a better chance to make sure that everybody understands what is going on. Further, they are important from a standpoint of public perception, because if all you do is send in a written submission to some official and then eventually there is a decision and there are no reasons given, you cannot tell to what extent your submissions were really considered or not. You just do not get the same satisfaction of due process and due consideration that you get when these things are being done publicly.

Finally, it is disappointing that the emphasis here is so much on landfill.

One other thing, this business of streamlining the process. This might be okay if we are dealing with a short-term handling of an emergency situation, but when you are looking 20 years down the road, I rather wonder why it is necessary to short-circuit things to that extent.

The most disappointing thing about this bill is that I do not think it is addressing what really needs to be addressed. There are things that can be done to reduce the amount of garbage that are not being done presently. For one thing, reusable containers are so obvious, but if we are going to have a system of reusable containers, it has to be mandated by government. A municipal government is not in a position to do that. Ontario is a big enough market. Ontario could mandate some of these things, and it will work.

If we are getting into that kind of thing, we need to standardize containers like the stubby beer bottle which is the same for everybody. What you ought to have is a 12-ounce bottle, or whatever; it is the same bottle, whether it is beer or pop or ketchup. This kind of thing would make sense. The problem with just recycling glass as opposed to reusing containers is that you are burning up an awful lot of energy there because a large part of the cost of producing glass is energy and you are using a large part of that energy all over again every time you smash them up and melt them down and make some more glass.

Another thing that could easily be done is a deposit system used not just to get back things we want to reuse, but the deposit can be a good tool to ensure control over disposal of hazardous or troublesome things so that they come back to where you want them instead of getting dropped by the roadside. Furthermore, if it is a big enough deposit, if they are dropped by the roadside, somebody will pick them up, as they do now with bottles that have deposits on them.

I will not take any more of your time. Thank you.

Ms Haeck: I would like to ask, Mr Mowbray, if you could give me some idea of the size of your membership. The previous group gave us some idea of the size of theirs and I wonder if you could enlighten me on yours.

Mr Mowbray: Yes. About 200 households.

Ms Haeck: They are all basically in that same location?

Mr Mowbray: Yes. The membership would extend from that particular location, which is right on the Whitby-Pickering town line. It would extend about four miles each way. Most of the membership would be within about a four-mile radius.

Ms Haeck: This site 59, there was to be a garbage dump sited in that location?

Mr Mowbray: It was one of a number of sites that were being looked at by the region. They had narrowed it down to I think about five possible sites.

Ms Haeck: Your group was in favour of a site being there?

Mr Mowbray: No. Who is, ever?

Mr McClelland: That is a good question, who is in favour of a site. I think that is the nub of your submission. I suppose that is the nub of much of the issue in terms of waste management: Who is in favour of a particular site? What you are saying, sir, as I understand it, is that you want the current government to be consistent with its stated principle prior to the election, which was to look for the best possible solution, or combination of solutions, and apply some standard principles, and without using legal niceties, without streamlining the process by giving people due process and consideration, and that due process not be seen as an impediment but rather as a contributing factor to the solution.

Mr Mowbray: Yes.

Mr McClelland: You passed over it very briefly, and I would appreciate your further comment, on how the people of the site 59 committee feel about the prospect of perhaps being shut out down the road from participation in environmental hearings and arriving at, as you suggest, if not the optimum solution, at least close to the best solution for the long-term viability of the environment of this province, and indeed of the world we live in.

Mr Mowbray: The prospect of not being able to participate in hearings on such an issue is definitely disturbing, because even if things do not go the way you want, if you have been through a process where you feel you have had a fair hearing and due consideration has been given to what you have had to say, you feel a lot better about it.


Mr McClelland: I take it you would rather have the current members from Durham standing up for the people and defending the right of the people than defending a piece of legislation such as this.

Mr Mowbray: Right.

Mr Cousens: I would like to commend you for an excellent presentation. The concerns that you are touching on have indeed been addressed in part before, but it is very good to get perspective from a group such as yours coming in without an axe to grind and saying there is something wrong with the legislation and there has to be some kind of addressing that.

One of the issues that worries the people in York region -- and I am a neighbour of Durham; I am the member for Markham -- has to do with what will happen with Whitevale and some of the potential sites in Durham that are possibly going to be considered. Now, the ministry has not released the sites it is going to use for landfill sites and it makes it very difficult for a group such as yours to react because you do not have all the information. You have done a good job of coming in and saying, "Philosophically, here is where we come from." Do you have any sense of the reaction of your community on how they are going to feel once this process is implemented based on choosing sites that have been earmarked before? What reaction will your community have to it?

Mr Mowbray: You can be sure they will not feel very happy. Who is?

Mr Cousens: Have you any idea how many sites will be selected in Durham?

Mr Mowbray: No.

Mr Cousens: By virtue of having it within the definition of the greater Toronto area, there is a great deal of concern as to where that is going to be. Has your committee had any contact previously with members of the Legislature or the government? For instance, this has been going on for a while as we have tried to deal with the crisis in the greater Toronto area. How long have you been in existence and what other efforts have you made as a group to make change happen?

Mr Mowbray: This group was formed when the region of Durham was conducting a search for sites. At that point our dealings were with the regional municipality. Then that search ended with the change in government.

Mr Cousens: So you have not made other presentations?

The Vice-Chair: Your time has expired. Mr Wiseman, do you have a question for the record?

Mr Wiseman: It is nice to see you, Mr Mowbray. The first question I have is, are you aware that the Durham region official plan, when put in conjunction with the Interim Waste Authority site-selection criteria document, has opened up a great deal more area for the site search? Because of the criteria, you are using land not designated for agricultural use. The second question: On page 4 you refer to sections 17 and 18 applying to long-term sites, which they do not apply to. Sections 17 and 18 apply only to Britannia and Keele Valley. You seem to agree with the government's emphasis on waste reduction which is embodied in part IV. Do you support extending the blue box program and waste-composting programs to all the citizens of Ontario?

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. You will get this last question in writing from the clerk.

Mrs Marland: A question on process, Mr Chairman. We now have received these well-organized packages which are, I assume, the responses to the questions, but I have just skimmed through them and it seems to me, in my limited experience on this committee, that we have just maybe a third of the answers from the number of questions that were asked. Do we anticipate the balance of the answers fairly soon?

The Vice-Chair: I will pose that question to the parliamentary assistant.

Mr Cousens: Just a supplementary to that, Mr Chairman --

The Vice-Chair: Excuse me. This has nothing to do with the delegate here, so I would like to let him excuse himself. Once we close this for the purposes of Hansard, then we can get this off the record, because it is not really --

Mrs Marland: No, I would like it on the record.

The Vice-Chair: You want it on the record?

Mr McClelland: Absolutely.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Sir, thank you very much for your presentation. These final two questions will be referred to you by the clerk in writing. We would appreciate a response in writing, if possible by the 14th, but I realize it is short notice.

Okay, now we can go to this question. I understand some answers have been --

Mr Cousens: Mr Chairman, just a supplementary to Mrs Marland's excellent question. I just would like to know, as they answer it, if there is a time frame when each of the questions is going to be answered and what questions they plan to answer, because what we have now is really an incomplete statement. The concern we have is that we have no idea when the rest of the answers will be forthcoming.

The Vice-Chair: Perhaps the parliamentary assistant can at least state up to which date. How did you respond to the questions, as to date posed or as per subject matter?

Mr O'Connor: They have been answered a number of different ways, and of the material that was more readily available, of course, those answers were put forward today. I know there are a number of questions that are still outstanding, and the ministry has reassured me that it is going to make sure it tries to get those answers to the committee as quickly as possible. The answers are on the way, and I suppose we may be --


Mr O'Connor: It is difficult to try to compete with somebody testing the new sound system out here. Apparently it is being tested or something.

The answers will be coming as quickly as the ministry can provide them, because we know how important those answers are going to be to the committee in dealing with the clause-by-clause and the bills. So we will get those as quickly as possible.

Mr McClelland: Is "as quickly as possible" this week? Next week? Can you give us some undertaking or some guideline?

Mr O'Connor: Well, I cannot tell you that you are going to receive all the answers this week.

Mr McClelland: What can you tell us?

Mr O'Connor: We are going to undertake that you get the answers as quickly as possible so that there is an informed answer, as I am sure the committee members from all sides of this committee room would like to have an informed and intelligent answer. So we will undertake that they be provided as soon as possible.

Mrs Marland: Mr Chairman, this committee did not sit last week and what I expected would happen was that the questions that had been tabled in the two weeks prior to that when the committee sat -- that last week, in that entire week there would have been a catch-up and those answers would have been forthcoming. Now today we have more questions on the record. The committee is going to sit this week and next week, and then we are into clause-by-clause.

Mr Wiseman: No. We have a week off, Margaret.

Mr O'Connor: Fortunately, there is a rest period in there when some more of those answers can be provided as well. We will try to keep the information coming as quickly as possible, and I appreciate your concerns. We all want to make sure that when we get to clause-by-clause we are all as well informed as possible, so I appreciate that. I am sure that as we travel next week to other parts of the province around the bill, other questions will be raised and constituents from other parts of Ontario will raise things to which again we will need answers. We will not restrict those answers in coming, and we will want to make sure they come before clause-by-clause as well.

Mrs Marland: Yes, but my concern is that if you could not do the two weeks of questions last week when the committee was not sitting, how are you ever going to have all the catch-up done in order to facilitate the clause-by-clause being meaningful? I think so much of the information that was legitimately asked is very pivotal to dealing with the clause-by-clause and the implications of this very unique piece of legislation. I think I am being rather generous when I say "unique."

Mr O'Connor: There will be two weeks.

Mrs Marland: I think we cannot come in on the Monday morning and start the clause-by-clause and have this big bundle of answers given to us. We have to have the answers ahead of time, I respectfully suggest, Mr Chairman, in order that we can consider the answers before we come in that week and start into the clause-by-clause deliberation.

The Vice-Chair: Perhaps the parliamentary assistant can assure the committee tomorrow some time if he can come up with some firmer date for us to be able to know when we can expect at least a few more answers.

Mr McClelland: Just by way of example, on Monday, January 27, I asked the parliamentary assistant to table the number of his new staff members and of his colleague, the other parliamentary assistant, under the umbrella, if you will, of Mrs Grier -- how many new staff members in his office, of his colleague the parliamentary assistant and of the minister. That does not, I believe, require, as the parliamentary assistant suggested, a great deal of research. Maybe some of those new people that I suspect are there could have turned their minds to answering some of the questions. That is the kind of thing we want to know, what is going on. There is an awful lot of money and energy being spent on doing other things and we do not see the results. That is what we want to find out, Mr Chairman.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. I think we have covered the topic as well as we can. I would expect that maybe by tomorrow you can give us a hint, at least, of when we can get the next batch of answers.

The committee adjourned at 1743.