Wednesday 22 January 1992

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

Laidlaw Waste Systems Ltd

Bruce Cook, vice-president

Ontario Waste Management Association

Jim Temple, director

Rural Action on Garbage and the Environment

Rhonda Hustler, chair

Corporation of the City of Mississauga

Hazel McCallion, mayor

Kent Gillespie, regional solicitor, region of Peel

Pollution Probe

Ellen Schwartzel, researcher


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):

Carr, Gary (Oakville South/-Sud PC) for Mr Stockwell

Lessard, Wayne (Windsor-Walkerville ND) for Mr Hope

McLean, Allan K. (Simcoe East PC) for Mr Cousens

Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND) for Mr Martin

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South PC)

Mills, Gordon (Durham East ND)

Offer, Steven (Mississauga North L)

Clerk / Greffière: Mellor, Lynn

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

The committee met at 0959 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: I see a quorum. The standing committee on social development is now in session. I would like to welcome everyone. These are public hearings on Bill 143, Waste Management Act, 1991. Our first presenters are Laidlaw. I would like to ask that you begin your presentation by introducing yourself. You have a full hour for your presentation. We would ask that you leave significant time, up to half, if you could, for questions from members of the committee, but it is your time and you can use it all if you desire. Would you begin your presentation now, please.

Mr Cook: Good morning. My name is Bruce Cook and I am the senior vice-president of Laidlaw Waste Systems. I will be presenting Laidlaw's views on Bill 143 for discussion. I would ask, Madam Chair, that I have two to three minutes at the end of the hour to just recap a few points.

On Monday, the minister, Mrs Grier, provided insights and proposed changes to Bill 143. Both her comments on the consultative process and also the amendments proposed are to be welcomed. It is in that spirit of consultation and insight that we at Laidlaw are making our presentation today.

I believe that it is important to keep in mind the objectives we are trying to achieve in discussing any particular issue, so let me restate the expressed intention of Bill 143. Bill 143 is intended to provide a new legal framework for waste reduction efforts across the province. It will provide "a framework for accelerating the transition from a consumer society to a conserver society based on the 3Rs." It is hoped it will enable "the province to more effectively manage the waste crisis in the greater Toronto area." It is also hoped that the legislation will provide the means to achieve targets of more than 25% waste diversion from disposal in 1992 and more than 50% by the year 2000, using a reduction, rather than a disposal, approach to the management of waste.

My objective in appearing before you today is to bring you three key messages we would like you to consider as you review the legislation. Laidlaw's three messages can be summarized as: First, partnership between government and business will bring the best of both to bear on the management of waste and ensure that Ontario has a real chance to achieve the diversion targets; second, we believe that no project should be excluded from the environmental assessment process -- and we hope we will get an improved, streamlined EA process soon -- and third, that the intent and results of this bill be both cost- and resource-effective so that the goals are achieved without creating further problems or excessive taxing of property owners and businesses.

I will also table specific comments and suggested wording for changes for improvements to the legislation.

I will expand on the messages of partnership, environmental assessment and cost-effectiveness in a moment, but first let me give you some brief background information that will establish our credentials as experienced, successful participants in the waste and resource recovery field.

Laidlaw Inc is a publicly owned Canadian corporation with its corporate head office located in Burlington, Ontario. Laidlaw Waste Systems, the division responsible for the non-hazardous waste business, has over 20 years of experience as a leader in waste resource management in Ontario. Waste Systems employs more than 1,000 people in this province, has a payroll approaching $30 million, has seven recycling centres, two transfer stations and manages 10 landfills. We manage blue box programs that serve up to 700,000 homes in Ontario per year. We recover almost 175,000 tonnes of waste resources from blue box and industrial-commercial-institutional programs each year in Ontario. In a year, we might collect, process and find markets for up to 70,000 tonnes of newspaper, 20,000 tonnes of glass, 15,000 tonnes of cans, 12,000 tonnes of wood, 2,000 tonnes of gypsum board and 58,000 tonnes of corrugated cardboard, let alone hundreds of tonnes of plastics and, most recently, textiles.

Laidlaw Waste Systems pioneered the blue box program in 1981, in partnership with a municipality and other businesses interested in recycling, as part of our commitment to proactive waste resource management. I believe this is a revolutionary recycling initiative. It was the introduction of curbside recycling technology in North America. Since that time, our company has vigorously implemented new and better ways to encourage the 3Rs in Ontario. This includes an efficient, cost-effective processing facility, which we expanded in October 1991, located in Mississauga.

But let me return to our three messages and the government's objectives for Bill 143.

Public concern over the environment has increased significantly in the last few years, largely due to its more dominant and obvious impact on our lives, specifically, health issues and landfill siting. The link Canadians increasingly make between environmental quality and their own lives implies that concern over the environment will remain high over time even if it temporarily subsides as a result of economic conditions.

Public opinion has in fact driven environmental progress. The public can change from consumer to conserver. We have seen that transition in the success of the blue box. As Canadians become more concerned about the environment, they also become more critical of both government and private industry. The rising public concern over a perceived deteriorating environment, coupled with the declining trust Canadians have towards their industry and government leaders, makes new environmental policy and its implementation of critical importance to its public acceptance and its ultimate success.

Laidlaw applauds and encourages the government in many of the vision-oriented strategies outlined in Bill 143 and the initiative papers. But the vision as outlined in the bill suggests potential implications that we know will prevent the vision from being implemented. We fear that the objective will not be reached, but it does not need to turn out that way.

At a time when Ontario is running short of landfill capacity and local communities and regions are facing mounting costs and critical environmental choices, business and government leaders are faced with a crucial question: Can the two sides continue to move beyond adversarial roles to constructive problem-solving relationships which benefit the public and the businesses served and offer the province a successful path for dealing with difficult environmental problems?

Laidlaw firmly believes the government has an important role to ensure environmental integrity at all stages of the resources stream. Government must, in consultation with the public and industry, develop standards and regulations and have the ability to audit and enforce them. The government must also be in the forefront educating the public and helping to change public attitudes and perceptions to achieve the agreed-upon objectives.

Laidlaw, as an industry leader, sees the private sector resource manager as the best partner to carry out the capital and operating responsibilities for the waste resources stream.

But let's understand that the private sector's investment decisions are predicated on the strength of the partnership. We and others have invested significantly in the business of managing waste resources. Our participation and investment have stimulated the development of other businesses, for example, A1 Products of Markham, which supplies blue boxes. If we are not included in the partnership, then our interest and our investment may go elsewhere.

I mentioned that the blue box is just over 10 years old. It started with an initial pilot program of 250 boxes. Today in Ontario there are close to three million blue boxes. That achievement is the result of partnership, a partnership between the province, the municipalities, business, waste resource managers and, of most importance, the public.

I do not want to paint this partnership as some sort of nirvana. Friction in these relationships is inevitable. The challenge of the objective is daunting and, ironically, success brings new problems. We see them today in finding stable economic markets for these resources. Change must be accelerated in the thinking of those who use raw materials so they are replaced by processed waste resources, thus conserving the total resources available.

But the difficulties notwithstanding, let me take you back to the government's objective, 25% waste diversion from disposal in 1992 and more than 50% by the year 2000 using reduction. That is excellent. We support it, but remember that leaves up to 50% of the waste resource available after that. It must be managed. We do not have to wait. The partnership is having successes. It is creating new solutions to the problems as they arise -- real solutions, real progress. Another small example: Clothing and textiles that were discarded in Mississauga now reach Goodwill Industries for processing for resale. The partnership did it.


This bill is far more than enabling legislation for waste reduction. It is very much a total waste resource management bill.

What is my point? Our concern is that the wording of the bill, while it does not specifically preclude private sector solutions for municipalities in discharging their responsibilities, may be interpreted such that, by the absence of any mention of the private sector, it means it is precluded. We recommend that a public statement be made that makes clear that private sector proposals are not only acceptable but desirable and provide a useful role in waste disposal in Ontario.

Our view on the issue of excusing projects from environmental assessment can be simply stated as precedent -- precedent enshrined in legislation. We believe that all projects should be subject to environmental assessment to ensure that good environmental solutions can be implemented and be economically achievable. Yes, it is argued that the GTA crisis demands this exemption. If so, let it be done under ministerial discretion, not carved in stone in the bill. This crisis will pass. The GTA situation is but one objective of the bill as stated by the minister. The exemption is not necessary. Let's remember that others will take the reins of power in future and be able to use the precedent to exempt whatever they wish. Is that what we want to construct for ourselves? We say no.

Let me be more specific on the problems of this exemption in terms of the bill. Part I of the bill creates a waste authority with responsibility to ensure adequate landfill capacity and waste management in the GTA for the next 25 years. Laidlaw supports the government in attempting to take initiatives in planning as opposed to reacting. However, we also have tremendous concern over the powers the authority has in carrying out its mandate.

There is no mechanism for the public to appeal inspection decisions which may amount to search and seizure. These inspection powers may actually contravene the Canadian bill of rights and will probably be subject to court challenge. At a time when leadership and stability are so necessary for the integrity and usefulness of the system, we believe that this will create confusion and may delay the implementation of the social objectives.

Part II of the bill establishes the process for the development of long-term sites. It is an excellent mandate. However, it is one which may totally circumvent the Environmental Assessment Act. Bill 143 also does not allow solutions outside the boundaries of the greater Toronto area to be considered, even if there is a community outside the GTA that can provide a site or solution which could be judged to be more environmentally sound than a GTA site. It seems like an unnecessary and arbitrary parameter to limit solutions to the local generator's region. The only way to ensure that the public is being adequately served and protected is to have a streamlined environmental assessment with the goal of achieving the soundest and safest sites possible. The environmental assessment forces the examination of alternatives.

Furthermore, the bill denies one of the basic problems faced in the recycling industry today, that is, secure economic markets for recyclables. It is clear that this is a global issue, and to have to deal with this problem only within the confines of a specific region creates artificial and unnecessary barriers to the efficient operations of the post-consumer marketplace.

Let me give you the example of newsprint. Canadian Pacific Forest Products will use 350,000 tonnes of newsprint and magazines every year, replacing raw wood fibre resource. The plants are in Thunder Bay and in Gatineau, Quebec. Laidlaw has the contract to supply that market. We have to be able to collect, process and transport the resource to those plants. Artificial barriers will have a severe impact on the better use of resources by those plants.

Part III of the bill addresses three specific sites in Peel, York and Durham. Again, we strongly urge you to consider the need to have full and complete knowledge of the environmental impact of such decisions. How can this be achieved without environmental assessment and public hearings? There is an opportunity here to streamline the assessment process and we suggest that should be the focus of the sense of urgency to effect change and improve the process.

Part IV expands the definition of "waste" to reflect the present and future economic value of recyclables. We fully support this but caution that viable markets must exist or be created. They must be supported by the public in order to make separation and recycling of more materials a reality.

We have proposed specific wording and other suggestions for these parts of the bill in our addendum.

A major factor driving Canadian environmental policies is that reacting to crisis as opposed to planning and managing is no longer economically viable. At a time of continuing budgetary deficits and forecasts of sluggish economic growth, no country, no business, no consumer will be able to afford an environmental policy based exclusively on remedial action. The high cost of environmental protection and rehabilitation requires that greater attention be given to defining the costs and benefits of environmental objectives. Cost is an issue. The notion of policy at any cost will translate into losses on the other side as businesses feel the impact of these hidden taxes. That, in turn, will affect their investment decisions, just as the partnership issue affects our capital investment plans. Without sensitivity to cost-effectiveness, Ontario's drive for economic renewal will certainly be undermined.

Is there a more cost-effective way to achieve these policy objectives? There are those who would argue for pure public sector management, as though the profits private sector operators make take away funds that could be put to better use by government if it had exclusive involvement. According to studies by the University of Victoria and the city of Winnipeg, the private sector is up to 40% more cost-effective in providing these services. That is a 40% saving the government can use to add more waste resource reduction or recycling programs or apply it to other social programs, and that is on top of any profit the private sector companies make, with margins far less than 40%.

The minister has set out key principles essential to turn a consumer society into one that conserves, including the concept of true-cost accounting. Items such as wasted energy and resources, as well as environmental damage from consumption and disposal, are elements requiring consideration. However, our concern is with the ability to quantify such costs today. We must start with understanding a project's cost base before committing public dollars, and it must be based on generally accepted accounting principles. When it comes to resource management, business and government are partners. Only government has the authority to make certain crucial decisions about waste collection, processing and disposal. The private sector clearly has the ingenuity and competence to implement those policies.

Crisis often drives change. We acknowledge that the government must move quickly to solve certain waste problems, but we should not create what could be a tragic precedent for the medium and long term just to address a short-term situation. This is totally unnecessary, given the powers the minister currently possesses. Streamline the environmental process and use it as it should be used.

Economics and politics must also act as partners to achieve socially desirable goals. The taxpayers are burdened with ever-greater demands. Cost- and resource-effectiveness must not be discarded in the rush to address shorter-term problems.

I would like to leave you with the understanding that Laidlaw as a company, and its employees as citizens, fully support and encourage the transition from a consumer society to a conserver society. In our view, partnership has provided environmental, cost- and resource-effective solutions. Bill 143, with the proper amendments, can provide a framework for that partnership to meet the objectives set out by the minister for the management of waste resources. We would like to table for your consideration specific comments and recommendations on the bill.

On behalf of Laidlaw, thank you for the opportunity to be here today. I will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. I will keep five minutes at the end to allow you to sum up. I am going to divide the time available equally between the three caucuses and rotate from individual to individual so questions can be asked. First questioner, Mr Carr.

Mr Carr: Thank you very much for a very thorough presentation. I was interested in your comments about the private sector. I agree with you; I think the private sector can do the job faster, better and cheaper than the public sector can. You should not be surprised to know that in housing and day care -- you are not the only ones being pushed out.

Why do you see the efficiencies you talked about? I think you used the figure of 40%. How is it that you can do the job better than the public sector? Where are these efficiencies coming from? Maybe you could give us a bit of an update.


Mr Cook: I think we see two fundamental reasons that cost-effectiveness is available through the private sector. The first is that our operations exist in over 100 locations and we are faced with competitive challenges in those locations, from both external competitors and from the needs expressed by municipalities and governments to provide certain services in the most cost-effective way. We face challenges both of understanding and being able to manage differing kinds of waste management practices, as well as the desire of all contracted governments to have the lowest cost possible. That is the first reason.

The second reason is that that opportunity to compare provides us with the ability to measure our best demonstrated practices. Our need to be a low-cost operator means we compare the best we have and manage towards that goal consistently.

Mr Carr: I agree, and hopefully the comments were taken more for the members of the NDP. As I mentioned, in other areas, whether housing or day care, the same thing is happening. The government is driving people out of those sectors. We should not be surprised that there is not a strategy in your area as well.

Along those lines, I wonder if you could give us some idea of what the relationship has been. Prior to this hearing have you, as a major player, had any discussions with the ministry on this bill? Further, maybe you could explain what your relationship has been with the Ministry of the Environment and maybe just give us an overview. Do you see it as being good, bad or indifferent? Also, could you give some suggestions about what you would like to see to have a better relationship? Maybe you could comment on those things.

Mr Cook: First of all, we have had the opportunity, as have other stakeholders, to have input through the waste reduction office's initiative papers to the process. Our sense, however, is that this committee hearing presents the greatest opportunity for us to be heard, to have our message of partnership, cost-effectiveness and protection of the Environmental Assessment Act heard in public. I think that is a really important opportunity for us.

I suppose our greatest relationship with the ministry is related to the operation of facilities in the province of Ontario, and we have a fairly significant ongoing relationship with them in the management of the regulatory functions in our landfills, recycling facilities and facilities for hauling.

Mr Carr: When you describe the partnership -- because I think it is important. If we are going to solve all the problems not only in this area but the many challenges in other areas, there has to be a very clear partnership. In this day and age, with all businesses and a lot of groups, we talk about partnerships and we may even intend to work out partnerships, but when the reality hits you find that for a number of reasons there is not the cooperation.

How would you describe your partnership right now with the Ministry of the Environment? Are you pleased with it? I understand it sometimes puts you in a difficult position because if you are not pleased with it, it is very difficult to do. What is your assessment of that partnership and the cooperation? You mentioned a couple of examples. What else can be done to improve that partnership from your standpoint?

Mr Cook: Let me begin by suggesting that we really have two kinds of partnerships available to us in a province like Ontario. One is very tangible, the other is less tangible. The most tangible is the relationship with the typical municipality or regional government to provide services they might wish us to provide. Services included in that partnership would be the provision of collection, recycling, waste processing, marketing of materials, possibly owning and operating landfills to provide services to those communities.

The partnership we envisage with the province is less tangible. That is partly because the province has less-tangible services to provide in terms of actual collection, processing or marketing of materials. I have suggested in my presentation the responsibilities of provincial government.

The most available opportunity we think the ministry has in terms of Laidlaw or the private sector is to access our expertise. The opportunity exists for us because it is our only business: to know, to learn, to understand in hundreds of locations, not only within our own company but within the private sector as a whole and in other countries; to understand the challenges all governments are faced with today, and to understand how those are dealt with.

Perhaps more important, or perhaps more practically, all the good things we want to do with the 3Rs have a technical limitation, and that happens to be garbage. There are certain things both government and private industry have found they can do with garbage, and certain things they cannot. That is our business. We understand the profile of waste currently, and we think we have some terrific vision of what the waste resource will look like five and 10 years from now.

In the situation we find ourselves, where we are considering building major processing facilities, either publicly or privately, where we are considering collection systems that are going to have enormous capital resources used for them, it is critical that we build a flexible system that deals with the real waste resource we have today and the vision of the waste resource we have five and 10 years from now. We think the private sector brings that knowledge and skill to the table.

Mr Carr: So do I. Thank you.

Mrs Fawcett: Thank you very much for your presentation and for being here. I would like to explore a little further your fears, maybe, of the bill. I know you have pointed out several areas where you agree with it and so on, but I get the idea you are afraid that, because wording is lacking, possibly the private sector may be squeezed out. Do you really feel this legislation is designed to ease the private sector right out?

Mr Cook: I do not know. That has certainly not been a statement of fact presented in public. I think we consider it rather to be an oversight at this point and that perhaps, with regard to the value the private sector brings to the table in terms of the skills we can approach the problem with, our value is not yet realized.

Mrs Fawcett: Heaven forbid that it would happen, but do you know the impact in dollars and cents if you were to be forced out?

Mr Cook: No, we have not contemplated the impact in dollars. I guess what I can say in terms of the cost-effectiveness issue, however, is that the impact for both the taxpayer in the greater Toronto area, as we face significant tax increases projected this next year, as well as for businesses who face the highest disposal costs in North America, probably the world -- the issue becomes that those customers, those generators, who are, after all, not the enemy, are rather facing significant challenges in restructuring their businesses and attempting to become more environmentally compatible with the goals of this bill. Those people are facing significant struggles in dealing with the costs of doing business and the costs generated by our current process.


Mrs Fawcett: In view of what we heard last night from the Premier, I hate to think what it would cost municipalities, for instance, if they had to suddenly assume the total responsibility that possibly you people do now, if they were required to all of a sudden take over the whole operation. Any comments on that?

Mr Cook: Certainly if municipalities were faced with the decision of having to provide all services themselves, our sense would be that they would be struggling with both the skill sets necessary for those municipalities that do not currently offer those services themselves and also with understanding the cost base, being able to tell their taxpayers in advance what the costs would likely be. We think there are terrific cost increases there.

Mr Lessard: I want to thank you for your presentation. I think you will not find any disagreement on this side of the room that there are plenty of opportunities for the private sector in the waste management field. It was suggested to you by other questioners that perhaps if you were not in the business the costs would be enormous to municipalities and governments to deal with waste but ultimately somebody would have to deal with the waste and we as waste generators would have to pay for it.

You had mentioned the initiatives paper and the fact that you had been involved with the Ministry of the Environment in the development of the initiatives paper. I suggest to you that the initiatives paper does indicate plenty of areas where there could be private sector involvement in waste management, in 3Rs facilities and programs. You had also alluded in your oral submission to some areas where the private sector could be involved as well with respect to processing and marketing and dealing with things like that. In fact, you said that viable markets must exist or be created and that is an area where the private sector would have to get involved.

It is clear that we do have to establish partnerships not only between the private sector and governments but also the public itself. It has to go even beyond that, because the situation we find ourselves in is one we all have to deal with and face.

Through the initiatives paper do you see many opportunities for private sector involvement? Just because, the private sector is not specifically mentioned in the legislation, it does not exclude it. There is lots of legislation that does not say that the private sector is involved, but the absence of that does not mean it is excluded. Would you agree with that?

Mr Cook: You are correct in that the bill does not precisely exclude private sector involvement, but at the same time we at Laidlaw consider that by not precisely including the private sector and the skills and attributes we bring to the partnership as a major, successful, competent player in dealing with waste resources, an opportunity is missed. We believe that opportunity is ripe for creation, for an improved partnership, an improved set of circumstances in which we both recognize each other's roles and where the government makes full use of our skills.

Mr Lessard: I think we intend to make use of your skills, there is no doubt about that, because development of markets is part of that. You devoted some of your oral remarks to it. Waste management has to be economically driven. We cannot just collect it in the blue box if there is no place for it to go. There have to be markets that are developed so it makes it worthwhile for us to collect, separate and deal with it.

You had mentioned something about artificial barriers being imposed to prevent the transport of resources across jurisdictions. When I talk about this being economically driven, I guess part of the reason for there being some concern on the government's part about the transport of waste has to do with the fact that if those markets are not developed right now, then the economic decision to be made is whether it is cheaper to put it in a hole in the ground or to process it at this point. If it is cheaper to put it in a hole in the ground, we would not want to see it transported out of the jurisdiction for that purpose. We have to develop some markets. I wonder if you have some suggestions to the government as to how we might be able to play a role in ensuring that markets are available so that this is the most viable alternative economically.

Mr Cook: First of all, if we start off with an understanding of the profile of waste and the real resources that exist in today's waste stream, that is an excellent beginning. We can sit down and identify the waste profiles and say that there is a certain percentage of glass, a certain percentage of plastic, a certain percentage of wood and so on. The reality, as you have indicated, is that our ability to remove those materials from the waste stream is economically driven and driven by our opportunity to achieve markets for them.

Our practices are to prove that something works and to adjust our operating process to ensure that in fact it can work to create markets for the materials we have. I suggest that is a ratcheting process. As we find the material in the waste stream we identify a market for that material, then we find more materials and more markets. The two systems can only grow with each other. With Canadian Pacific Forest Products we are a leader in creating a situation with the newsprint marketplace in being able to match supply with demand rather than create the erratic supply-demand scale that sees prices hugely fluctuate or materials not be accepted by the market. It is important that we create supply and demand in a pattern that works well with each other.

I think the second issue is that there is no big bang. Having worked on a processing line myself recently, with garbage that came out of the back of a truck, it was very visible to me. I had tangible evidence that there was not millions of dollars sitting there in the back of the truck waiting to be captured in a perfect market. Rather, there are small steps that can be taken on a wide scale to improve the quality of the materials at their source. We agree with the government in terms of source separation and improving source separation. There is the opportunity to improve the quality of that resource at source so that it does not become a wasted resource that has to be buried. But those things happen one customer at a time, one person at a time, and creating that change, both in our society and in the practices of our people, is a major task.

We agree with the heading we are going towards. We are quite frankly much less sure of the ability to mandate that through rules and regulations. We believe we need to work with people to help them understand their needs. That is what the blue box program did. With any flaws that it may have, it has created both an urgency on the part of the individual to act progressively for his or her environment and provided an opportunity, a tool by which that individual can actually do that. It provided an educational process by which people could understand that they could impact their environment.

We must take the lessons learned from the blue box program and transfer those into practice with all industrial, commercial and institutional customers as well as government. The biggest thing government can do right now is make sure that its purchasing practices and habits are consistent with its goals. The largest customer for recycled papers in Ontario right now is probably the provincial government.


Mr McLean: I was here when the first 250 boxes were kicked off. I also remember not long ago when the millionth box was announced out on the front lawns at Queen's Park. I think it has been an exciting program and one that has been great for the province. I commend your participation within that program.

But I wanted to ask you a couple of questions. It has to do with the GTA. I am wondering about the size of your operation. Do you have facilities within the GTA that are landfill sites now? What involvement have you with the GTA with regard to the garbage side of it?

Mr Cook: Laidlaw currently operates two collection facilities and one recycling facility which serves most of the region of Peel, particularly Mississauga and Brampton. We also operate a small landfill on the east side of the Durham region which is in the process of going through an environmental assessment right now to be expanded.

Mr McLean: Why is it going through an EA to be expanded when Keele Valley at the head of the Don and Britannia do not have to go through an EA? Why is yours going through it?

Mr Cook: I suspect that we at Laidlaw have probably as much experience going through the environmental assessment as any other single proponent. We currently have three landfill facilities going through the environmental assessment process in terms of their expansion, one in Durham, one in Warwick and one in Kingston. We believe in both the environmental assessment as a protection for the environment and ensuring that proper public input to the process occurs. We are committed to going through that process.

Mr McLean: Do you believe that one of your sites is being looked at by the ministry as one of the three sites within the GTA?

Mr Cook: I do not know. There have been no indications that this is the case.

Mr McLean: Do you have other sites outside of the GTA that you own and operate?

Mr Cook: Yes. As I indicated, we have one in western Ontario. We have a site in Napanee that we currently operate and own. We have a site in the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton that we own and operate.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr McLean.

Mr McLean: Is that all the time I have?

The Chair: What I am trying to do is that in the rotation, if there is additional time, there may be time for one more question at the end, but with the request from the deputant for some time at the end.

Mr McLean: Fine. I have a couple more if I get the chance.

The Chair: Okay. I will put you down again. Mr Sola.

Mr Sola: I will just ask one question in order to allow my colleague Carman to pose a question as well.

Sir, you have touched on this topic -- you answered it partially when Mr Carr posed a question -- but on page 7 you state, "There are those who argue for pure public sector management, as though the profits private sector operators make take away funds that could be put to better use by government if they had exclusive involvement." Can you elaborate on that to tell us how you can do the same function as a publicly managed company, take out a profit and do it more efficiently than the public sector company?

Mr Cook: As I indicated in my previous answer, probably the most important issue is comparison. We have a need, a goal if you like, in terms of being competitive within the North American marketplace, to be a low-cost operator. As such, when a municipality requests that we provide services, our job is to be able to provide those services. To win the job, we must be a low-cost operator.

The way we get to be a low-cost operator in managing waste services -- let's take collection of waste for an example. It really is a matter of taking the waste out of the effort necessary to remove that garbage. There are simple, straightforward, well-managed ways to do it and there are less effective ways to do it. By our comparison, our systems -- it is, after all, the business that we are in and therefore it is the focus of all of our attention -- our efforts to do that have resulted in our having lower costs.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to turn to one of your comments on page 6 about recycling. Yesterday we had a presentation from John Jackson and the Citizens' Network on Waste Management. He was quite complimentary of the fact that we had separated the idea of waste reduction from the idea of waste disposal and that the creation of the waste reduction office was an important factor in getting rid of what could be a conflict with waste reduction and waste recycling and waste disposal. I am just wondering, as you have had some involvement in terms of waste reduction and recycling, what has your company's involvement been with the waste reduction office?

Mr Cook: Our most recent involvement was to provide a tour for the waste reduction office of our facilities in Mississauga. We have a simple but what we would consider to be an advanced processing facility in Mississauga that is very compatible with the ministry's concept of source separation. The waste reduction office, led by Drew Blackwell, came out and visited that facility.

Mr McLean: Whereabouts is the site that you had indicated you are having the environmental assessment hearing on?

Mr Cook: It is in the town of Newcastle, on the east side of Durham region.

Mr McLean: What size of site is that?

Mr Cook: Currently the site is very small with a capacity and a daily tonnage limitation of, I believe, approximately 100-125 tonnes a day. However, in its expansion process it is destined to be a site with between 6-million and 8-million tonnes of total capacity.

Mr McLean: What acreage is it?

Mr Cook: I think the total site covers an area of approximately 250 acres, but I am not absolutely certain.

Mr McLean: That is fine, thank you. To streamline the environmental process and use it as it should be is something I have been looking at and indicating should be done, that that should be part of the bill. Have you had any input into the ministry with regard to how that process could be streamlined in order that you could have a site approved within five years, instead of an ongoing million-dollar cost for industry and municipalities? What input have you had, if any?

Mr Cook: The ministry did a review of improvements to the Environmental Assessment Act over the last couple of years. We have had input through our industry association, the Ontario Waste Management Association, to that process. I suppose I could sum up our input in that we believe that the ministry needs to define certain needs in terms of disposal capacity as being appropriate. Then the environmental assessment process could become more focused on the environmental quality of providing for those needs, rather than the concept of trying to prove each and every item, each and every aspect of the Environmental Assessment Act in a way that in fact only delays the process.

Mr McLean: Your comments with regard to the bill appear to be more on what is left out of the bill than what is in the bill. You indicate that nowhere in the bill does it refer to the private sector involvement with regard to disposal sites. Is that correct?

Mr Cook: That is correct.

Mr McClelland: You have indicated, I understand, in a brief discussion with my colleague Mrs Fawcett -- she put a question to you -- that basically you believe the legislation is designed to try and force the private sector out. I can understand why you were a little bit hesitant about that.

Further to the question that Mr McLean just raised, there are elements of the bill that certainly call into question the involvement of the private sector in terms of waste management in this province. I think you have indicated that, and you may want to elaborate on that momentarily.

You have also touched on, in your brief, the cost benefit with respect to publicly run versus privately run. My colleague has asked a question to reinforce that. You are talking about, in general terms, 40% cost-efficiency in terms of the private sector. I think the impact on the public, the impact on the taxpayer, in government level funding, ie, the property tax, would be significant in the absence of the private sector, both in terms of household waste and also should the private sector not be around to deal with industrial, commercial and institutional waste. Much has happened over the past year in terms of tipping fees that have called into question the economic viability of private sector involvement.

You have doubtless had discussion, either you personally or people in your office, with the Ministry of the Environment. You are operating in a background, philosophically, in terms of things such as day care, where apparently the government says it does not want, in many instances, private sector involvement in the economy of this province. That is the background and that is the reality, the philosophical framework within which we are operating presently in the province of Ontario.

How do you see the future viability of the private sector in waste management in this province, the impact it would have on the taxpayer in the absence of the private sector? Most important of all, what kind of specific, explicit assurances have you had from the Ministry of the Environment that it wants you involved in this, beyond some rhetoric about partnership? The only thing I have heard to date was a passing statement by the minister on Monday that she sees some involvement, some role for the private sector. I am presuming you have had lots of discussions with ministry officials. What kind of specific assurances, what kind of indicators are you getting that the private sector is welcome in this province in terms of waste management, that you do not have rhetoric in terms of partnership but a meaningful role in terms of partnership in providing a valuable, cost-efficient service to the people of this province?

Mr Cook: In the discussions that we have had with the ministry, the ministry has accepted our involvement and listened to us, I think, with care. I believe I can only say that the result of that is what the minister on Monday indicated our role would be. Those assurances are the assurances that I think we can say that we have at this point in time.


Mr McClelland: If I recall correctly, the minister said something about seeing a role for the private sector in such things as operating recycling facilities. I think I am doing justice to the minister's statement in recalling that. That is so far the only specific or explicit framework within which you have been given any assurance or possibility of operation to date.

Mr Cook: I think the minister has indicated what her opinion is, and I think we have listened carefully to that. In terms of a more tangible relationship, my sense is that the waste reduction office and the process that the ministry is going through in terms of multistakeholder committees provides opportunity for opinions to be voiced. In turn, the waste reduction office has shown itself to be prepared to come out and visit with us, to learn the things that it finds acceptable from our practices. I think we have yet to have a substantial feeling as to the role we will play.

Mr McClelland: If you were not already here, would you invest here today? If you were not already in the province, would you consider investing?

Mr Cook: I really do not know. I do not think that has been part of our consideration at this point.

Mrs Mathyssen: There has been a great deal of talk about the initiatives paper, Regulatory Measures to Achieve Ontario's Waste Reduction Targets: Initiatives Paper 1. I know it proposes source separation for the industrial, commercial and institutional sector. This of course would be an extension of the blue box program in which you played a significant role. It seems to me that this would provide some real opportunities for private sector participation. What is your perspective on source separation for the industrial, commercial and institutional sector?

Mr Cook: I guess we believe that source separation has two important aspects to it. One is in terms of its reality, its ability to be done. In the case of a small generator, the ability of that small generator to practically separate a few ounces of one thing from a few ounces of another thing and to afford a cost-effective system of collection and processing for very small, very tiny amounts of generated waste may in fact be prohibitive in cost. So the realities of the ability to provide a much more expensive collection system to receive those materials is an important qualification that needs to be considered before we head down that path.

We at Laidlaw have believed in source separation for years, partly coming out of the blue box program. Many municipalities in North America moved towards a mixed-waste processing centre; other municipalities have moved towards commingled recyclables. Invariably the result was that although costs of collection might have been reduced, the cost of processing the actual materials recovered from the stream and the levels of contamination that were seen in the waste stream following the processing made the systems unpalatable. So we have been believers and continue to be believers in source separation.

Our industrial, commercial and institutional collection system right now includes some substantial office recycling programs which provide multimaterial collection to office towers with source separation. The key issue again comes back to their practicality and their ability to be done in a cost-effective way. We believe, but you should not take your beliefs and carry those to an extreme that does not have reality attached to it.

The Chair: Mr Cook, you have three minutes now to sum up.

Mr Cook: We at Laidlaw welcome the opportunity to have an ability to provide input to Bill 143 this morning. This has, I think, been our most important and most public opportunity to have this type of consultation so we certainly welcome this opportunity, as well as welcoming the minister's approach to being prepared to adjust the bill.

We have three key messages this morning. One is that we should build a partnership with government that realizes the best of both of our skills and abilities. We at Laidlaw certainly believe that the private sector has initiative, innovation and skills that should not be passed over in looking at and enacting these 3R applications.

Our second issue is the Environmental Assessment Act. We do not believe that projects involving landfill expansion or landfill development should fall outside of the Environmental Assessment Act. We believe that the act is there to protect Ontario taxpayers, Ontario people, and that it should be used consistently by all.

Third, we believe that in undertaking any major system, cost-effectiveness is a key criteria in advance of starting the project. The taxpayers and conservers of Ontario deserve to understand and know what the costs of this program will be before it starts.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We appreciate your coming before the committee today.

As I tell most of our witnesses and presenters, if over the course of these hearings there is additional information you think would be helpful to the committee, please feel free to continue to communicate with us in writing. Everything we receive before February 14 will become part of the public record and anything we receive after that, during the course of the deliberations through clause-by-clause, will be considered by all members of the committee.

Mr Wiseman: Do we get an opportunity to place questions?

The Chair: Would you like to place questions to which you require an answer?

Mr Wiseman: Yes, I would. In my understanding of legislation and judicial writing in the history of the Commonwealth and of Canada, silence means no change. In other words, if it is not specifically written in a document, traditions, habits and things that have been done in the past continue to exist and have not been outlawed. So the request to have what is no change stated in a bill seems to me to be a request for a fundamental change in the way we write legislation. I would like the legal staff to comment on that in terms of whether I am correct in that understanding and whether that request is actually necessary for legislation such as this.

The Chair: Your request is noted.

At this point, following deputations, I usually allow members to place on the record questions either to be answered by the ministry research staff or by presenters. Does anyone else want to put a question on the record?

Mr McClelland: I would also like to know if the ministry staff have provided any documents they have done that do a cost-benefit analysis in terms of the private sector versus the public sector involvement and waste management, the cost impact of the elimination of the private sector for household and ICI wastes in Ontario.



The Chair: I would like to call next the Ontario Waste Management Association. You have one hour for your presentation. Please begin by introducing yourself. Just sit in the chair and speak right into the microphone and Hansard will be able to pick up everything you say. For anyone watching these proceedings, everything is recorded and the document is available is both official languages. Please have a seat.

Mr Temple: May I get a glass of water?

The Chair: Yes, please help yourself. There is water and I believe there is some coffee and some juice as well for anyone who is thirsty.

Ms Haeck: What about Kleenex?

The Chair: You have a cold; I am sorry, Ms Haeck. Yesterday, what we managed was some napkins. It is the best we have been able to do.

Are we ready to proceed? You have a full hour. We ask that you leave as much time as possible for questions from committee members. Please begin your presentation now.

Mr Temple: My name is Jim Temple and I am the director of the Ontario Waste Management Association. We are the association of the private waste industry companies and we number over 300 companies. These people are engaged in all aspects of the waste and recycling business including collecting, disposal, recycling, equipment manufacture and supply. We also represent several law firms and consulting engineers who specialize in the fields of waste and recycling. Our industry has invested several hundred million dollars in this province and we employ thousands of people, both union and non-union.

In my presentation, I would like to give you specific comments on Bill 143, clause-by-clause. I will be brief and to the point. I fear that some of the points I make may be somewhat a repetition of the previous speakers and I apologize for this, but I think it is some indication of their importance in our minds. Then I would like to deal with what we perceive to be the philosophy of this bill and how it will adversely affect the people of this province.

Part I of the bill, sections 9, 10 and 11, give far-reaching powers to inspectors to enter on to private property and to take whom they wish with them. We feel these powers are excessive and would suggest that the ministry fall back on existing statute law in order to accomplish this objective. Under the Environmental Protection Act, the ministry, in the person of a provincial officer, already has the right to enter property for the purpose of taking samples and similar activities.

We are also concerned about the future relationship of the crown corporation with the Ministry of the Environment. Is the Interim Waste Authority, as an arm of the government of Ontario, the proponent at future hearings, related to the regulatory body through the MOE, and possibly the future operator of the site? If so, the Interim Waste Authority and the Ministry of the Environment will be involved in some difficult conflicts of interest.

Part II of the proposed legislation deals with the criteria for selecting long-term sites. In section 14 the government has ruled out the selection of several alternatives to the proposed site. In doing so, they eliminate one of the central principles of the Environmental Assessment Act, that of a complete review of alternatives. They have eliminated both incineration and movements of wastes outside the community.

The legislation should not restrict incineration because of some prejudiced view of this alternative, a view which may not be shared by the electorate. Incineration should stand or fall based on specific proposals introduced at a public hearing. For the same reasons, the proposals to move waste outside of regional boundaries or the primary service area referred to in the legislation should stand or fall on their merits at a public hearing involving both the waste generators and the prospective waste recipients.

For an undertaking of this magnitude, nothing less than a full environmental assessment hearing is acceptable. But there is an indication here that the government is trying to get around an act which we in the private sector have been operating under with some difficulty for years. If the government cannot face a full environmental assessment hearing because that is too tough, then they should scrap the Environmental Assessment Act and legislate something simpler for the benefit of all of us.

Section 12 dictates that the landfills must be located within the boundaries of Peel, Durham and York regions of Metro. This is wrong. Landfills should be sited for minimal overall environmental disturbance based on such criteria as geology, compatibility of adjacent land use, roads and transportation, social disturbance, population, and the distribution of waste generation. The Environmental Assessment Act hearing will decide on the suitability regardless of political boundaries. If we introduce political boundaries into the landfill siting equation, where, logically, should we draw the boundaries -- on a provincial level, regional levels, county levels, township or city levels?

Section 13 of the proposed act states that the Ministry of the Environment will advise the crown corporation as to the amount of waste that will be diverted from the proposed landfills during a 20-year period, and that the crown corporation must use these estimates. Under a fair EAA hearing process these estimates should be the responsibility of the applicant, ie, the crown corporation, and it should take its advice from where it chooses and be prepared to be cross-examined on its estimates.

In subsection 14(2), Bill 143 rules out the export of waste as a disposal alternative in an environmental assessment. But in the proposed amendments to clause 29(2)(b) the Ministry of the Environment through the director seeks powers to order municipalities to accept waste from outside their boundaries. There can be no import without export. Will the government clarify its position on this?

In Section 16, the bill seeks "to assist persons in participating in any part of the environmental assessment process to which the Intervenor Funding Project Act, 1988 does not apply." If there are people in genuine need of intervenor funding and not properly covered by the act, then surely the remedy is to change the Intervenor Funding Project Act and not bring in supplementary legislation.

Part III of the bill deals with legislation designed to solve the present waste crisis by forcing the extension of the Britannia Road and the Keele Valley landfills. Before the minister resorts to force majeure and overrides the Environmental Protection Act and a host of other agreements and acts, she should once again satisfy herself that the crisis is bad enough to justify this action. Total waste volumes to all landfills in the greater Toronto area are down drastically due to the depressed economy, recycling efforts and export of waste outside of the GTA. If an emergency still appears to exist after this re-examination, then the sites should be expanded only after a successful hearing under the Environmental Protection Act designed to explore the technical feasibility of site expansion.

Speaking of export, the government should take a more pragmatic approach to the export of waste. This initiative by the members of our association has already gained the GTA months of valuable lead time in its search for a site. When the GTA has adequate landfill capacity, then is the time for the government to re-examine its export policy.

But we are most of all concerned about the effects of part IV of the proposed bill. In this section, the director named in the legislation will have far-reaching powers to control the waste activities in the municipalities, control over: the establishment of recycling, transfer and resource recovery facilities; the closing of any of these facilities; assessing the needs of the municipalities, and the financial management of these systems. The government of Ontario seeks these powers but has made no clear statement on how it intends to use this legislation.

No doubt, the municipalities will be telling you of their fears in this regard. Let me tell you of our misgivings in the private sector. The legislation seems to view the present waste problem as an exercise in power-sharing between the government and the municipalities. As far as this legislation is concerned, the existing private waste management industry simply does not exist. But right now we collect virtually all of the industrial, commercial and institutional waste, and we are responsible for most of the recycling of this waste. We also collect and recycle a good part of the residential waste in Ontario. Private industry was the first with the blue box program.


One of our group has just invested over $20 million in a recycling plant, but this company is only one among many. We have been in the recycling business for years. I had lunch last week with a gentleman who was working for a waste paper recycling company in Toronto in 1937. That is 50 years ago. I believe he is in the audience, Madam Chairman. We employ thousands of people in the province, union and non-union, and yet one could read this critically important waste management legislation and not even know that we exist.

I suppose that at first sight to be left out of legislation is not all bad. Business has not always been receptive to government regulations. But we do need to know where our industry fits into the government's plans. To put it bluntly, does it intend to use the legislation to compel the municipalities to set up municipally owned and operated recycling facilities with all their attendant flow control and price control regulations? Such an initiative would devastate a flourishing private sector and create an unnecessary burden on the taxpayer.

We do not need a recycling industry in this province operated by public employees. The recycling industry works with a combination of truck operating skills, factory management skills and commodity trading. Government does not do these things well, and this is no discredit to the dedicated people in public service. It is a structural problem. Our industry operates to a simple rule. We must cover expenses with revenue. We can only recycle that which is economic or which can be made to be economic.

Yet one can read the plans, initiatives and proposed legislation and look in vain for the dollar sign or the words "costs," "prices," and "market demand." These words seem to have been expunged from the word processor. But in the singleminded pursuit of empirical goals of 25% reduction and 50% reduction, the facilities built at taxpayers' expense could become a reality. We fear that in the pursuit of these empirical goals, the province may view itself as the recycler of last resort and will move into grossly uneconomic programs to meet its goals.

The blue box program is an example of heavy costs borne by the taxpayers. Let us not repeat this with similar programs in the industrial and commercial sectors without careful thought. The recent government initiatives paper already mandates compulsory source separation by industry of certain items deemed by the government to be recyclable. This compulsory source separation is apparently to take place regardless of costs or available markets for the materials.

Ontario is in the midst of a financial crisis. Now is the time to take account of the costs and the benefits of our recycling efforts. Our message to the government is simple. We know a great deal about the waste and the recycling business and we are ready to invest in it. Make us part of your future plans and legislation. Let us all face up to the real costs of this waste reduction effort.

I would like to thank you and your committee for the opportunity to express our views to you today. I do not know whether this opportunity comes as a result of the strongly expressed opposition to the bill in the Legislature or as a genuine desire of the government to listen to the electorate. However, the end result is that we have been given the opportunity to get our point of view across: Do not ignore the private industry; we have been in this business for years. And do not legislate your way into government-owned and -operated recycling schemes -- you will regret it. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. I call now on members of the committee for questions. Mrs Fawcett.

Mrs Fawcett: I was very happy to see that you mentioned the far-reaching power of the inspectors, because that sort of jumped out at me first of all, especially if we really think about fundamental civil rights of land owners and of -- well, anyone. Could you enlarge a little bit? How do you see the new powers that are to be given to these inspectors different from what they are now?

Mr Temple: I am not an expert on the act, but I have operated landfills and I do remember using the services of the Ministry of the Environment to gain access to a land owner's property for the purpose of taking samples when that land owner was unwilling to do it. I do not know whether it was the threat of invoking the powers of the ministry or whether they invoked the ministry. All I know is that we got on to the property. I think one should go back there and re-examine those powers.

Mrs Fawcett: But you feel that this new part of the bill is different?

Mr Temple: I think it goes too far.

Mrs Fawcett: Can you say how you feel it goes too far?

Mr Temple: First of all, if the ministry already has some powers it should re-examine those. I particularly object to the power to take anyone on. I think the land owner has a right to make sure he knows who is on his property. I can see the right of a ministry official going on there for the purposes of a landfill application, but the rights to take on anyone he chooses, and I would presume any quantity of people he chooses, seems to me to be an invasion of liberty and privacy.

Mrs Fawcett: With police backup.

Mr Temple: Yes, always with the police backup.

Ms Haeck: I would just like to make one quick observation before I ask Mr Temple a question. While my riding is not the home of the future site of the Ontario Waste Management Corp, it is next door, and I can assure you that a lot of people in my area, all over the Niagara Peninsula, are very concerned about the kind of waste, toxic and otherwise, that would be moved into the Niagara Peninsula. I am very concerned about some of your remarks in here about the transportation of waste along the GTA boundaries and the fact that a number of the other environmental groups that have presented to us so far have indicated their, shall we say, joy at the fact that transportation within the GTA is all that is going to be allowed.

Mr Temple: You said, "Is going to be allowed."

Ms Haeck: Is not going to be allowed. Sorry, my cold is getting in the way. Most of us outside the GTA are thankful that now Toronto is going to be responsible for its own garbage.

The government believes, very clearly, that the private sector does have a role, as we have had through a few questions of the earlier deputant, and it is obviously part of economic growth. If anything, a number of the things that have come out and will come out, as far as new industrial initiatives are concerned, will be around green industries. Obviously your members will in fact receive grants and other economic incentives to develop those industries.

I would like to have you expand on your thoughts at this time on how businesses can really bring about waste reduction. I think that is something that is really important for us all.

Mr Temple: I wonder if I could touch first of all on this mad paranoia that we have about the government's involvement in this. Is that part of your question?


Ms Haeck: No. Basically, the question I am asking you is that, as opposed to my own observation, you have raised in your paper the issue of reduction and actually your industry's fear around the issue of being closed out of the waste business. I am asking you, as someone who is involved with the industry, how in fact waste reduction can be better achieved within the business sector.

Mr Temple: I do not think the industry as a whole has any quarrel with many of the aims and many of the programs of the present government. In fact, I think we were well consulted on the initiatives paper, which is really your first legislative move on that. I think we responded very sympathetically to that.

First of all, I do not think you should assume that, just because we feel we are left out of it, we are in any way against some of the things the government is trying to do. I think we are for the source separation in industry, but the point at which we become cautious is at a point of economics, where we ask, how are we going to legislate compulsory source separation in a situation where it is going to lose money for businesses? Is that a defence in law? That would be one of my worries.

I think the efforts to expand the blue box program are very praiseworthy. My own feeling is that the government should look more to the depths rather than the breadths of this thing and should put more effort into trying to encourage the level of participation. There are many communities that have found that making disposal difficult for home owners is one way of making recycling work. Right now, in the city of Toronto, I think I can put out 400 pounds of waste a week. I think it is six bags at 50 pounds twice a week; that is 600 pounds of waste under the present bylaw.

Many communities have gone to paying by the bag. I spent the winter in New Zealand two years ago. In the little town I was in one got 52 bags delivered to the door, and if you wanted any more you paid for them at $4 a bag. When you start to do things like that, "Take it away for recycling and it is free; take it away as garbage and you pay for it," the participation goes up.

I have a file this thick on that in my office. The city of Seattle has been doing it for years. It is not without its difficulties. Nothing in life is easy, but I would suggest that the government take a serious look at that. I have written the minister and told her that I would be willing to let her have the information if she wanted it.

Beyond that, I think we are largely on the right track. I think that at some time the government might want to look at some of the initiatives the US government is taking a look at. I have in my briefcase here the recent Congress report on financial incentives such as recycling credits and tax incentives. It is a fairly complex subject. I would not want to have to expound on all the alternatives right now. But there are other ways than saying you must recycle in business. There are incentive-type programs of varying degrees of complexity.

Ms Haeck: As you have pointed out, there is a gentleman sitting in the audience who has been involved with paper recycling for at least 50 years, which is obviously highly commendable. In fact, it seems to have taken us 50 years to get to this point. In the case of businesses, not just paper is being used but a wide variety of products. Is your association actively involved in research and development about how to reduce and recycle, trying to find those new markets, the niche markets of not just paper -- though batteries are a concern -- but for pens and plastic and whatever else is being used in business?

Mr Temple: I would not call it research and development, as we are somewhat limited by our budget. We are a trade association. We do have a recycling committee which deals with this and with problems in the industry and where we think the opportunities are. We meet on a regular basis to discuss this and encourage that among our members.

Mr McLean: On page 5 of your brief, you talk about section 13 of the act. It states that the MOE will advise the crown corporation as to the amount of waste that will be diverted from the proposed landfill sites during a 20-year period and that the crown corporation must use these estimates under any EA hearing process. How are they going to arrive at estimates? When we are looking at a 20-year span and the economy the way it is now and the export of garbage that we have, how are they going to be able to do this?

Mr Temple: Unfortunately, somebody has to do it. If you turn up at an environmental assessment hearing with plans for a site, I think you have got one of the central pillars of your argument. You have to demonstrate need and you have to say, "We need a site here, and there is going to be X amount of waste going into it." I think it is just a question of realizing the problem of doing this and saying, "Any estimates we make are going to be approximate." They are going to depend, as you say, on population, economic activity, recycling and so on. Having said that, I am not so sure it is really critical as to whether you are 20% or 30% or 40% out. I am not so sure it is a critical part of the hearings. The hearings all seem to come in the same size and shape regardless of the size of the site.

The point I was trying to make is that I do not think that whoever is the proponent in this should hide behind somebody else's estimates; having made those estimates, they should be in a position to be attacked on those and have all those approximations exposed.

Mr McLean: Thank you. I have another question, sir. You mention in your brief that the legislation should not restrict incineration. I am curious to know the experience you have had or any facilities you have seen, whether you are talking about energy from waste or whether you are talking about a complete incineration of everything or what experiences you have had with incineration.

Mr Temple: On a personal basis, the previous company I worked for, Waste Management Inc -- I am now retired from it -- built a plant in Tampa, Florida, which takes most of the Tampa area waste and I think generates 15 megawatts of electricity. To the best of my knowledge, it meets all the air emissions standards of Florida.

I would point to Florida as being one of the places where incineration is more likely to go than elsewhere. If you are talking about landfill in Florida, if you dig a hole any more than a foot deep it fills up with water. I do not think there is a great deal of clay in Florida. There are a lot of sea shells and sand.

I think the point would be that you should not eliminate any of these options from a hearing. They are site-specific. It may be that in Ontario one can make a better case for landfills; I do not know. That is the job of the Environmental Assessment Board to decide. One should not take a stand in principle on these things.

Mr McLean: The other question I have is with regard to export of waste. We in Ontario are now a large exporter, I believe, to New York and there is nothing in the bill that refers to that, as far as I can see, whether we are going to continue to increase export or whether we are going to do something else. What is your opinion on the exporting of waste?

Mr Temple: I have to be quite pragmatic about it. As far as export goes in Ontario, we should be so lucky that someone has taken that initiative. The waste is being transported legally. It is going to permitted sites in the US and those sites are managed. The EPA regulations and the state regulations in the US are every bit as strict as ours, and I have no reason to think they are not implemented in any way.

They are helping us in Ontario to gain more lead time. We are already talking about months and perhaps a year. I spoke to someone in Metropolitan Toronto fairly recently. They are now talking about 1996 and onwards before they are going to run out of capacity. Of course, partly this is due to export and partly due to the economy. I really do not think we have any choice. The minister is in the position of having to override all the facts and cause a lot of problems in expanding these sites. I do not for a moment say it was a problem generated by the minister. The parcel was going around and the piano stopped playing and the present minister was left holding the parcel. But I think export is probably the lesser of two evils at the moment, and I think that when we have lots of space and lots of room in Ontario, then we can start getting principled about it.


Mr McLean: Do you have any recommendations on how the Environmental Assessment Act can be changed in order to have a level playing field for all people, whether it is the government ministries or whoever wants to apply to have a landfill site established, whether it is in the GTA or anywhere in the province, provided they had guidelines laid out that they could have a site improved within five years? If you have any recommendations, I would like to hear them.

Mr Temple: That is the kind of subject you could sit all afternoon and talk about, I am sure. I have never been through an Environmental Assessment Act hearing. I have spent months, even years, with the Environmental Protection Act, and I think it is the same structure.

I would think that initially one has to improve the response time by the ministry to requests for information and for the processing of applications and documents. I am sure the ministry has its problems with staffing and the checking of these things, but the main complaint I hear on what extends the time is getting into a position to hold the hearing.

Having got to the hearing, if there is any way of cutting back the adversarial situation you have there -- if you have 10 proponents and 10 lawyers, you have, theoretically, 100 cross-examination situations.

That would be all I would say in a short time.

Mr McClelland: Mr Temple, I want to pursue a point that you brought up. You make reference to it on page 9 and page 10 of your brief. On page 9, you say, "As far as this legislation is concerned, the existing private waste management industry simply does not exist." On page 10, you more or less ask a question without putting it into an interrogatory form: "But we do need to know where our industry fits into the government's plans."

To date I think what we have heard -- certainly the previous deputation indicated that the indications have been a sentence or two from the minister on Monday of this week, and today we hear from my colleagues that the private sector is welcome. I understand that does not give you a great deal of assurance and I know that it is not a whole lot of hooks to hang your hat on at this present point in time, and I would ask you to pursue that thought momentarily.

Out of interest, you also indicate something on page 4 of your brief. I do not know if you know that Mayor Cooper of Kingston, as chair of AMO, was here yesterday. She said that in her view there were two classes of people created with respect to the Environmental Assessment Act: those within the GTA and those outside the GTA. It seems to me that you are saying here that there are now three and possibly four: the government, those within the GTA, those outside the GTA, and the private sector.

In terms of fairness, operating principles where you know what you are dealing with, the vagueness in terms of the response from the government -- quite frankly, I do not know what it means to say the private sector is welcome. I am sure you do not know what it means.

I would like you to expand on the viability of the private sector. You have indicated that this bill does not give you much assurance; in fact, it raised some concerns. What we see is some negative response and people shaking their heads opposite. Quite frankly, I do not find that sufficient comfort. I am not sure whether you do.

I would like to hear more about where you see these apparent contradictions. You are hearing today that the government is welcoming the private sector. On August 13, 1990 the government said that only a publicly run waste management system was viable for the province of Ontario. Only a publicly run system was acceptable to the New Democratic Party in August 1990. Of course, at that time they said, "In all cases we are going to have an Environmental Assessment Act," and that was sacrosanct, so things change. They very well may have changed; maybe now the private sector is welcome. The Environmental Assessment Act was sacrosanct in 1990; apparently it no longer is. The private sector was not welcome in August 1990; maybe it is now.

What comfort level do you as a private industry have in terms of where we are going with Bill 143? You have indicated here that you are not comfortable at all. Are there any assurances that you have had forthcoming?

Mr Temple: I do not feel any different now from when I wrote the paper. I guess our mild state of paranoia springs from several sources. One is we suspect that perhaps there are ideological roots in the present government. We have elected a New Democratic Party; I do not think it is entirely a government of Ontario problem. From what we have seen of the municipalities, Metro Toronto's attempt to modify section 60 or 66 of the Municipal Act, I think it was -- excuse me if I get the numbers wrong -- that deepened that paranoia. It would seem that Metro was trying to take over the private sector, and all we can draw comfort from, I think, are some rather polite reassurances that somewhere we fit into the structure.

I would like to talk to the government about this and find out in more detail where we fit in. I cannot invent the solution. It is just that we need some comfort if we are going to put some money in. I think it would almost go to the point where if we could get some reassurance from the government that it would not invest public money in recycling plants until it was convinced that the private sector was either too lazy or too stupid to do the job or that it was simply not economic for the private sector to do it, if we could get some reassurance that all of these would be examined in the light of private sector investment, that would give us a lot of assurance.

Mr McClelland: Supplementary to that, Mr Cook of Laidlaw was somewhat reluctant to comment specifically in terms of what-ifs. That is an unfair position to put anybody in; I recognize that and in a sense I apologize for that up front. But you have had many years of experience. You represent a number of companies. I am not asking you, and I would not even consider asking you, to betray any confidences in terms of what may be happening in the industry, but from your assessment based on your many years of experience and your representation of companies across this province and your international experience, would companies come to Ontario today?

Second, what is the risk in terms of companies leaving, taking their capital out and costing many, many jobs, based on the uncertain climate in which the private sector is operating?

So a twofold question: From your personal assessment, is there any reason to hope that the private sector would presently be prepared, without some changes, to invest, and is there a risk that many are prepared to leave or certainly considering leaving? I am not going to get into specifics, but I know a company left, folded its headquarters and just moved out of here last year, a major operator in waste management. Is there more of that to come?

Mr Temple: I think there is a risk that the present uncertainty will discourage investment, and I do not think you can quantify that risk. I think it all depends on what you are going to get into. The waste collection business is a pretty portable kind of business. You crank the trucks up and you can take them elsewhere. But when you start to commit money, when you start to put the footings in and build the steelwork and start to put cement into the ground, which is not portable, I think there is a genuine fear that there may be government initiatives in this field which would obsolete that. I get calls from people asking me what I consider to be the climate, and I say, "Wait and see." I just do not know, and I am talking now about major capital investment.

Mr Lessard: I want to thank you, Mr Temple, for your presentation here today. I can assure you, at least myself, that we are not going to be ignoring the private industry, and I can tell you that personally I am here out of a genuine desire to listen to what you and other people have to say about waste management here in Ontario.

I know that in the Windsor area there is a partnership between the private sector and the public sector in dealing with waste management, and we are experiencing a lot of problems that are being experienced in the GTA right now as well.

You talked about one of your members investing $20 million in a recycling plant recently. I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about that operation: where the waste comes from, what sorts of materials are separated, what the markets might be like and what the future is for that particular investment.


Mr Temple: It is an appropriate question because it is my former employer. The company is Waste Management. It invested in a plant in Etobicoke which is a factory-type situation which takes dry, mingled waste and recyclables and separates them in factory conditions. I might say that some of the new legislation threatens to render that method obsolete, and I can expand on that if you wish.

Mr Lessard: Yes, please do.

Mr Temple: There are two approaches to this method of getting recyclables out of waste. You can either say we will do it at source, as in the blue box program -- we will make the generator of the waste put it into a variety of nice, neat little pots; second, we can separate it to some degree into wet and dry waste -- obviously the wet waste is putrescent waste -- and we can do the sorting in a factory.

There is a great deal of constructive conflict going on in the industry now as to which is the best way. It could be that there is no one best way, that it settles down somewhere in between depending on the location. For instance, in the downtown area it is hard to put 10 different kinds of boxes around when you do not even have room for your garbage can.

I think it is unfortunate, but it would seem the trend of the legislation is to take sides in that debate and say, "We are going to compel you to source-separate." I think we would like some clarification from the minister that she is not going to necessarily take sides in what could be a very constructive conflict over the years as to where this settles out.

But the plant is designed to sort waste and to take out, if I am right, corrugated cardboard, newsprint, metals, glass and plastics. It is partly mechanical. There are things that do a very rough sort, but then it comes down to what most of these are, which is conveyor belts with people seeing a bit of this and a bit of that and a bit of the other. That is all I can tell you.

Mr Lessard: You seem to agree more with source separation, if I get the drift of your oral presentation. You make reference to the blue box program, which is some source separation, and you seem to use that as an example of something that was a good idea to start with. You also made the comment that this is an example of heavy costs borne by the taxpayer.

Mr Temple: Yes, indeed.

Mr Lessard: So you are somewhat critical at the same time. I wonder if you can explain that.

Mr Temple: I do not think I would want to be characterized as taking sides in it. It seems to work well for the blue box program for residential waste, but residential waste is not industrial waste. The makeup is different.

I do not think there is any doubt that you cannot match revenue and expenses with the blue box program. It is costing more to do than the value of the recovered product. I am not being particularly critical about that, because it seems to be what society wants; people are willing to pay the price. The only thing I would say is, can we get more out of it? The cost of picking up in blue box programs is the cost of driving around, and I think if we were to be source separating 5% or 10% more in the blue box programs, it probably would not cost much more to operate the program. That would be my comment on the blue box program. One of the ways is to say to the householder, "It's so much a bag for your waste" -- so much again.

The Chair: Mr Lessard, there are just two minutes left for your caucus, and Mr Martin, Mr Wiseman and Mrs Mathyssen have all requested time.

Mr Carr: Thank you for the presentation. I must say I am impressed that some of the other members across are starting to talk about cooperation with the private sector, and I am sure they will be encouraging their other cabinet ministers and the minister in particular in that regard, because I think it is important.

As you know, the decisions that will be made on bills and so on quite often are made around the cabinet table, and I am sure the parliamentary assistant -- but I did want to commend some of the people who have mentioned that. I suspect, though, that some of it may have been the result of last night. Some of the people who in the past have been driven by ideology are now confronted with reality, but I did want to compliment some of the folks on the other side who are saying some of those things.

I was wondering if you could characterize your relationship with the ministry, both on this particular bill and in some of the other areas. I know it is difficult sometimes to come into a forum and be critical of a government, if you were going to be, so what I might suggest is, if that is the case and you do not feel comfortable, maybe you could describe any other jurisdictions where cooperation between government and private industry is working. I know you talked a little bit about some of the things that happened in Florida. Could you maybe describe your relationship with the Ministry of the Environment, and then give us some idea of where else some of the relationships are working, with some examples of what you would like to see.

Mr Temple: One relates to the Ministry of the Environment on several different levels. First of all, to a lot of our members they are, quite rightly, the policemen and we are the policed. Their responsibility is to administer the environmental statutes, so it is quite a correct and somewhat adversarial relationship because of the nature of the job.

I think we have had a fair amount of input to the ministry through various working parties and committees; I could not trot out every committee we have been on right now. I think we were well consulted on the initiatives paper. They took a great deal of trouble to put the show on the road, but there is a lot of difference between giving your views and being listened to and seeing something come out. Looking at the legislation, one would wonder if they were really -- perhaps we are not eloquent enough, or talking in a loud enough voice or whatever, but looking at the legislation, which by the way we were not consulted on, I was somewhat disappointed to see that we were not consulted.

I do not think we are a shy bunch of people, and I think we have been saying to the ministry when it has been good enough to listen to us -- and the minister was good enough to be the guest at our annual dinner meeting. I sat next to her and I had an opportunity to talk to her, but I would have liked to have seen something more reassuring in the legislation that would take away this, as I say, mild case of paranoia that we have in the industry.

As to other jurisdictions, I really could not comment on that. I am not an expert on the relationships between people in other jurisdictions.

Mr Carr: Thank you. I do not think it is that you are not eloquent enough, that is for sure. In all fairness to the ministry, sometimes when we talk about consulting, it is difficult with time lines; but like a lot of people, I would be surprised that you were not consulted on something like this. Hopefully governments will learn from some of the mistakes that are made, given in the spirit that it was.

On page 8 you talk about some of the powers of the director, and you elaborate on some of your concerns. On page 9 you go on to say, "As far as this legislation is concerned, the existing private waste management industry simply does not exist." Is it one of your fears that giving so much power to a director, which could then lead to the situation of a director being all-powerful, regardless of what any government of the day's philosophy may be, that the director, he or she, may exercise those powers? Is your concern specifically with power being so much with the director? Maybe you could elaborate a little bit on your concerns in that area.

Mr Temple: I do not think we have a concern as an association, but personally I always thought that the director was responsible to the minister for his actions anyway. To me, I do not see it as an issue. If the minister chooses to delegate some of her powers to the director, I would imagine that the minister, he or she, cannot escape responsibility for the acts of that director.

Mr Carr: So it is not with any specific issue, it is just the fact that there is so much power. Thank you very much for your presentation.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Carr. Mr Sola?


Mr Sola: Thank you, Madam Chair. Sir, you state that landfill should be sited for minimal overall environmental disturbance, regardless of political boundaries, and I think most people would agree with that. I am asking you, is there any logic to placing political boundaries on waste disposal and landfills, or is this simply a method to eliminate the private sector in a shadowy manner?

Mr Temple: I do not think it has anything to do with the private sector whatsoever, I think it is a problem that transcends that. Perhaps I can be corrected, but I understood the reason for the minister putting the boundaries in there and saying, "Peel's waste must be in Peel and Halton's waste must be in Halton," is that one would be made responsible for one's own detritus, as it were, that you would wallow in it and that would make you somewhat more responsible. I personally cannot subscribe to that. I think it is a well-intentioned idea, but I think as long as the truck leaves your house and goes to the end of the street and there are no seagulls swirling around at the end of the street, that is it, man, it is gone. I think it is a well-intentioned move that I do not think will work.

Political boundaries have come in just because of practical politics. People have said, "Well, we ain't taking their waste and we are going to build a political boundary around our community."

Mr Sola: But the political boundary, is that not simply a method to encourage public waste management systems rather than private ones? You mentioned that New Zealand had another way of getting around its waste disposal problems. Could you touch on that, please? You know, in order to be efficient, the private sector gathers as much waste as it can, regardless of political boundaries, and then it disposes of it, whereas in the political realm, jurisdiction is more important than efficiency, and you could subdivide it into municipalities or regions or whatever.

Mr Temple: There is no doubt that from a practical viewpoint, if a municipality makes up its mind to say, "We are going to produce a waste master plan, and this is going to be the master plan for this region, and we are only going to have one site in this region," it makes it somewhat difficult for the private industry to function, and that is one of the reasons you are not getting some of the applications. That is just the practicality of the fact that the community has said, "We are only going to have one site," and the community is not likely to give a monopoly of that one site to a private company.

I think a lot of the smarter communities might say, "We are only going to have one site, but we will contract out the design, building and operation of that site to private companies." I think that might be smart.

Mr Martin: It seems to me that this issue particularly is one that we very much inherited when we arrived at Queen's Park on September 6, 1990, and was actually a Pandora's box that, as it unfolded, became much more interesting.

Mr Temple: You are talking now of the waste crisis, are you?

Mr Martin: That is right, yes. We had a waste crisis that was mounting and actually caught up with us and darned near swamped us.

The intention of this piece of legislation was to do two things: to look into the future regarding how we might manage more effectively the waste management challenges that will come at us invariably into the future, and also to deal with an immediate problem.

The question I wanted to address to your predecessor and colleague -- and I was not here to do it but I will now do to some degree with you -- is to explore the participation of the private sector in arriving at the problem that we have today, and why there was not a more positive outcome to that, so that we are in the present situation. What leads you to believe that there would be down the line a more positive answer to the problem than what we have laid out here in this legislation, or the context within which this legislation puts the resolve down the line?

I know, for example, that in Sault Ste Marie the city is involved in the waste management business, and so is Laidlaw. They used to own the landfill site; they do not any more. There were some problems and the city took it over. Could you maybe comment on those comments?

Mr Temple: That is about three things, I guess. The waste crisis: I think those of us in the industry have watched this thing develop with fascination. I mean, it was obvious long ago that it was going to take six or seven years to get a site and that the GTA had three or four years left. It was the old schoolboy conundrum of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. At some point something had to give. I think it was just a question as to who did what and to whom. When you do not have enough time to get a new landfill you have got to take some emergency powers.

I do not think you should finger the private industry for not doing the job in that period. I was instrumental in getting the last major private landfill going in the GTA. By the way, that was Maple and it was a private landfill that was permitted through all levels of government and eventually was sold with all permits intact to Metro Toronto. I spent several years of my life getting that going.

I think it was such an exercise that a lot of the private industry looked at the regulations, the Environmental Assessment Act and the 10 years that Halton had taken to get it done and said they simply could not risk their shareholders' money on those kinds of things. It is just beyond us now. It is just too difficult for a private industry to get a landfill under the present regulations. I think it is just as simple as that. I think it is interesting to note that at the end of this process at Maple we chose to sell it to Metro Toronto.

Mr Martin: May I ask a supplementary?

The Chair: No, put it on the record after. Your time is up.

Mr McLean: I just have one question, Madam Chair. Mr Temple, you are a director of the Ontario Waste Management Association. You represent an association of private waste industry companies that number more than 300. Your people are engaged in aspects of the waste and recycling business including collecting, disposal, recycling, manufacturing and supply. You have lawyers and consultants that you represent.

My question is to the ministry, and I would like a written reply to this, Madam Chair. Why was private industry left out of the people that you were to contact? They indicated today they were never contacted. They are representing all these companies. I would like a reply from the ministry of who they contacted in private industry and why private industry is not referred to in this legislation.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr McLean. Questions for the record only. Mr Martin.

Mr Martin: To follow up the question I had asked, I was going to move into perhaps exploring actually what role you see more concretely the private sector playing within the context of the legislation that we have now put here. I think we would be most interested in that kind of information. Certainly the private sector is involved in a number of committees established by the ministry. The obvious one is the waste reduction advisory committee, which your colleague who appeared before us previously belongs to. Certainly, I think the direction that we want to go should be clear to you: recycling, reduce, reuse.

The Chair: Question, Mr Martin.

Mr Martin: Within that, I am wondering if you might share with us what role the private sector sees itself playing as we move into the future with this problem.

The Chair: Question, Mr Wiseman.

Mr Wiseman: My first question is to the delegate. You made reference to changes that have taken place in the United States and I would like to have an understanding of what those changes are, so if you could add those, and maybe an evaluation of what the added costs are going to be for companies to do business in the United States with respect to waste. I would like to have some indication, if you know what they are, of the suggested changes to the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States in this area, and perhaps, if you have done an evaluation, what impact that is going to have on Ontario.

The Chair: Question, Mrs Mathyssen.

Mr Wiseman: I have one more. My second question is to the parliamentary assistant and staff. It is that this question of inspectors continues to be raised and I think it would be very helpful to have the ministry staff tell us in a written form, and perhaps orally, the relation of the inspectors' powers to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the powers that exist in other acts like the Expropriations Act and all those other wildlife acts and so on. I would like to know what powers are available and how they compare to the powers that are being outlined in Bill 143.

The Chair: Question, Mrs Mathyssen.

Mrs Mathyssen: I am asking for some clarification and a response. Through the brief you have suggested that you are very wary of government intrusion into waste management and yet on page 13 of your brief you have suggested in your statement the desirability of government listening to the electorate. From my point of view, the electorate is telling us very clearly that we have to be responsible and manage our environment better, and that includes responsible waste management. Society is saying government is to manage this. Would clear rules, regulations and waste management objectives in terms of reduction not help your industry do its job in fulfilling the needs of society in meeting those demands?

The Chair: Question, Mr Lessard.

Mr Lessard: I would request that Mr Temple provide the committee with some ideas as to amendments that he would like to see in Bill 143 that would provide some assurance to private industry that they do have a role in waste management in the future in Ontario.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation today. We will be providing you with a copy of the questions that have been asked, and if you could and would like to respond in writing to the questions we would appreciate it. We cannot compel you to do so. You can do us a favour if you will and we appreciate that. If there is additional information over the course of our hearings that you feel would be helpful we would appreciate it if you just communicate with us in writing.

Mr Temple: Thank you, Madam Chairman.

The Chair: Thank you.

The committee recessed at 1202.


The committee resumed at 1402.


The Chair: The standing committee on social development will come to order this afternoon for public hearings on Bill 143. Our first deputant is Rhonda Hustler. Please come forward and introduce yourself. I believe you are here on behalf of Rural Action on Garbage and the Environment. Just for the purposes of Hansard, introduce yourself for the committee. You have an hour for your presentation, and the committee has asked if you would leave some time for questions from committee members. We welcome you to the committee this afternoon.

Ms Hustler: Thank you. My name is Rhonda Hustler and I represent Rural Action on Garbage and the Environment. On behalf of RAGE, I welcome this opportunity to speak with you today about the critical issue of waste management in Ontario, in particular Bill 143. The members of RAGE believe it is essential to express our views about the process currently under way determining the province's future waste management system, to explain the issue in our terms and to make specific comments on part II of the bill. While Bill 143 has some areas that need clarification, it has many strengths, and we hope to provide this committee with constructive commentary from citizens across the province.

RAGE members live in communities once targeted for GTA waste, landfill and incineration, so we are especially aware of the crisis and the importance of developing an equitable provincial system.

The RAGE coalition represents 10 citizens' groups across Ontario, with the combined support of over 25,000 citizens. Our 10 communities were targeted for GTA waste transport in 1989 and 1990, particularly disposal of waste from Metropolitan Toronto. The RAGE groups are still committed to responsible waste management. Because we support part II, waste disposal sites, in Bill 143, we believe that waste must not be transported hundreds of kilometres from the solution. We believe there are positive alternatives to hauling garbage around the province for either landfill or incineration.

Critics of part II offer several arguments, most often that if a "willing host" site has a full environmental assessment along with employment opportunities, GTA waste should be transported. The argument refers explicitly to Kirkland Lake but implicitly to other potential sites across the province. In theory this argument may sound reasonable, but in practice we know that it creates enormous problems.

To understand our position, consider our experience with the transport issue. As you know, in early 1989 the greater Toronto authority on waste management was developing long-term solutions for the five regions of York, Durham, Peel, Halton and Metro, and advanced a policy of municipal and regional responsibility. No mention was made then of waste transport for disposal in landfills or incinerators beyond GTA boundaries. At the same time, many of us in other municipalities, counties and regions across the province were participating in waste management master plans designed to serve local needs within our own boundaries. We thought the GTA regional management plan sounded equally logical.

But Metro Toronto took a different route, becoming a political force of its own, searching for sites across Ontario, operating according to its own interests, and the Expressions of Interest information report in late 1989 placed rural Ontario under siege from companies such as Browning-Ferris Industries, Notre Development Corp, Laidlaw Waste Systems and Ogden Martin, not to mention dozens of small business garbage entrepreneurs trying to cash in on the garbage crisis with new landfill and incineration proposals. Despite public outcry from our communities, Metro pushed ahead with these proposals and opened a Pandora's box of waste disposal chaos, the effects of which we continue to feel in rural Ontario.

Yesterday Brennain Lloyd presented the Northwatch position on the willing host theory and I echo her comments. The Kirkland Lake referendum, often cited as justification for transport, did not mention the key words "GTA," "Toronto," or "disposal," or the private business interests of Notre Development. The Adams mine project would be only the first of many such projects, and as we saw in 1989 and 1990, private proposals would spring up around the province.

I should emphasize here that thousands of rural citizens strongly opposed these proposals and public opposition grew each day as more and more proposals surfaced. We were not simply opposing a little dump down the road. Many of us already live near county landfills and accept responsibility for our area's waste, but these proposals meant literally hundreds of trucks or train cars transporting millions of tonnes of Metro's garbage for at least 20 years. None of our communities has anywhere near the required infrastructure or services and we were not prepared to transform our communities into garbage centres.

We were not in any sense "willing hosts," a term coined to promote the notion that shipping Metro's garbage to rural Ontario could be considered a benefit, a kind of social service, and that we in turn could be persuaded that as a host community we were performing some kind of valuable social function. Although we opposed the landfill and incinerator proposals, the proponents proceeded with their plans.

At Orillia, Nelson Aggregate proposed 6,000 tonnes of garbage per day, 52 million tonnes a year, to a 400-acre quarry filling with water from underground springs. At Marmora, Armbro Materials proposed dumping 20 million tonnes of Metro waste into the Marmoraton open pit mine, a 75-acre lake with 340 feet of fresh water. At Cayuga, private businessman Neil Slack proposed an incinerator and landfill on 407 acres of wetlands at the headwaters to the Grand and Welland rivers. In southern Ontario we had a proliferation of proposals, particularly in Lambton county, often considered the mecca of garbage disposal. In Warwick township, Laidlaw Waste Systems proposed disposal of eight million tonnes of GTA waste over 300 acres of agricultural land.

In Plympton, just down the road from Warwick, a private developer offered Metro 700 acres of class 1 farm land for Metro garbage. In Moore township, still Lambton county, and in the city of Sarnia, Ogden Martin proposed giant energy-from-waste plants for 3,000 tonnes per day. In Petrolia, Metro offered nearly $40 million to the village for its 100-acre landfill. In Kent county, Harwich township, the BFI facility proposed expanding its landfill by another 175 acres of agricultural land for Metro's garbage.


In each instance RAGE communities were promised economic opportunities and social benefits from living with new landfill sites and incinerators based on GTA waste. We said no then and we still say no, because transporting waste to rural communities offers none of us real solutions to the garbage problem.

Proponents of waste transport may be truly naïve to think that our rural communities would welcome waste for landfill-incinerator proposals when communities in the five regions of the GTA oppose them. Rural Ontario citizens are not fooled by million-dollar promises that carry with them Third World attitudes and a garbage economy that will make our communities depend on, in fact demand, the steady generation of GTA waste to sustain our economy. Establishing garbage economies in rural communities will abuse and contradict the progressive environmental policies of waste reduction and conservation.

Some provincial members of Parliament advocate transporting GTA waste because they believe a solution cannot realistically and practically be found within the boundaries of Metro Toronto; GTA property is too valuable, the population figures too high. Their arguments suggest a rather narrow view of the province and community values. Are they suggesting that GTA homes and neighbourhoods are more important than those in the north or southwestern Ontario?

We often hear the argument that it has to go somewhere, suggesting landfills are a necessary evil; that the 3Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle cannot possibly hope to solve Metro's latest garbage crisis, so the garbage has to go somewhere, preferably somewhere else. Without landfills, garbage will pile up on the streets of Toronto and on property too valuable for garbage disposal.

But RAGE believes that "somewhere" must be within the greater Toronto area. If a person's garbage disappears every Tuesday morning on the back of a garbage truck bound for a rural township, individual responsibility disappears too: out of sight, out of mind. Transporting garbage to somewhere else encourages people to throw away garbage year after year with no real commitment to conservation. The incentive to conserve and reduce waste is diminished when GTA citizens know the waste they generate goes away literally and figuratively to some other place. Transporting waste reinforces the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality that encourages greater waste of non-renewable resources.

Rural citizens would also lose their sense of responsibility if we saw garbage trucks from the GTA hauling waste into our neighbourhoods. If the GTA appears to have despaired of solving its garbage crisis, we too will abandon our initiatives, concluding that such responsible waste management is beyond our grasp and the crisis is unsolvable.

Living with the realities of one's own waste reinforces conservation, increases environmental awareness and makes each us of sensitive to garbage problems and solutions. Sites must be located near where the garbage is generated, and GTA politicians and provincial representatives need to say, "It has to go somewhere here."

The RAGE coalition has had considerable experience in the issue of incineration, having studied various energy-from-waste proposals during the past two years. We understand that your committee has already spent several months studying reports and you have an abundance of documentation. We do not presume to rewrite those studies or tell elected officials how to respond to an issue; rather we would like to offer you a summary of our position to assist you to choose other strategies for waste management.

Ontario's Ministry of the Environment estimates that incinerating 3,000 tonnes of waste leaves 1,000 tonnes of ash to be landfilled, as well as 100 tonnes of hazardous fly ash that requires disposal as hazardous waste at enormous cost.

Often proponents of EFWs claim that incinerating garbage eliminates the need for landfilling on agricultural land. But Ogden Martin's representative in Lambton county, Harry Olivier, admitted last fall at a public gathering that his company's proposed incinerator for Moore township, Lambton county, at 3,300 tonnes per day would fill all of Lambton county's landfill capacity, plus require additional acreage to bury the residue ash.

The economic risks of bottom and fly ash disposal have been realized at London's Victoria Hospital EFW incinerator. The Victoria Hospital fly ash was sent to the Westminster landfill site outside London until the Ministry of the Environment ordered it to Tricil at an annual cost of $500,000. Even escalated tipping fees could not balance the financial debt of fly ash disposal. In just three years of operation the London EFW lost $13 million and will be closed if a buyer cannot be found.

Incineration undermines the conservation of resources by relying on a mixed waste stream of plastics -- oil -- and paper -- wood -- to reach the required BTUs, a mix that creates dioxins in stack emissions. After taxpayers invest billions of dollars to build and operate an EFW, they have to produce a steady volume of garbage for decades, and waste reduction and diversion work at cross-purposes to fuelling an incinerator.

Energy-from-waste plants perpetuate the myth that garbage can simply disappear as we rationalize our consumption of resources. But often the energy costs of constructing and operating the facility, as well as the downtime of the facility, offset the energy produced from burning waste. Some US operations report that fluctuating energy production caused by the mixed waste stream reduce efficiency.

Stack emissions pose considerable health risks. In 1988 the city of Toronto passed a moratorium on all solid waste incinerators because stack emissions created health risks for area residents. Even when faced with a critical garbage crisis for the past two years, councillors did not turn to incineration as the solution.

Documented health studies now support long-standing health complaints from citizens living near EFWs. Citizens near Toronto's Commissioner Street EFW incinerator documented health problems associated with lead levels and their public opposition to incineration forced the plant to close after only seven years of operation.

Residents near London's Victoria Hospital EFW and Moore township's Laidlaw environmental hazardous waste incinerator would tell us that burning waste harms both the human and natural environment.

The Detroit incinerator, for example, exceeded legal mercury levels by 30% from the first day of operation. The Ontario provincial government has serious objections to plant operation. More recently, Orillia physicians and the Ontario Medical Association officially opposed incineration in their health study. Lambton county officer of health Dr Greensmith stated last fall that his concerns with EFW facilities prevented him from supporting an Ogden Martin incinerator proposal for the area.

Technology for cleaner stack emissions has a catch-22: the more pollution controlled in the stack, the more heavy metals caught in the ash, the more toxic the ash and the more costly its disposal at a hazardous landfill site. Very often the facility does not run at full efficiency levels and emissions fluctuate. As the technology ages and costs increase, the pollution control devices deteriorate. Emission standards acceptable today will no longer be acceptable to the ministry or the public even 10 years from now when state-of-the-art technology has become state-of-the-ages machinery.

Incineration is a consumer and technology fantasy which says that we can continue to consume our world and that our waste will disappear in a sleek industrial process. We will never have to take responsibility for garbage. Incineration proponents promise jobs, energy and state-of-the-art technology. We in turn try to legitimize our garbage with incineration.

We need to reduce garbage by banning excess packaging and disposables, while implementing mandatory composting, reuse and recycling programs. If we recycled cardboard and paper at 25% of the waste stream and composted 30% of food and yard wastes, we would reduce 55% of all our waste, more than incineration and without the environmental problems of landfilling ash and stack emissions.

We might ask the proponents of incineration how much money is allocated for the study of alternatives and implementation, the recycling component versus incineration. Even if recycling reached the 15% level, the need for incineration and landfill expansion would drop significantly. Witness the success of the non-profit Blue Water Recycling Association in Lambton county where, together with composting, we have seen a reduction of waste of approximately 25%. If we recycled paper and cardboard at 25% of the waste stream and composted 30% of food and yard wastes, we could reduce 55% of all our waste.


If we choose incineration EFW, we commit ourselves to considerable expense and personnel to research, development, design, installation, operation and monitoring of incineration, which draws funds and talent away from the development of alternative strategies. Once built, these facilities will not be replaced or waste reduced, regardless of changing attitudes or scientific knowledge.

Incineration removes the incentive to develop new strategies. Incineration capacity, based on current habits and projected waste volumes, ensures we will not reduce waste. Incineration guarantees the generation of garbage. Any plans to scale down the operation will be difficult to accomplish. Incineration on a large scale guarantees a long-term, self-perpetuating demand for waste. The flow-control contracts grant exclusivity of supply to an EFW. Incineration and recycling work at cross-purposes. Incineration strategies tend to set upper limits of recycling at 25%, whereas recyclers argue that we could reach twice that figure.

Finally, incineration is not waste disposal but waste processing, from solid waste to ash and gases. Incineration is not a long-term solution but simply another technology applied to the problem of waste management. Every time we burn or bury garbage, we waste resources that in turn must be replaced.

Let's say that the perfect incinerator could be developed: no air emissions, no hazardous ash. Such an incinerator would do nothing to diminish the industrial activities that add to the greenhouse effect, global warming, damage to the ozone and pollution to air, water and soil. Incineration promotes consumption, whereas the alternatives promote conservation of the earth's resources, including its inhabitants.

When choosing methods for waste management, I suggest that the alternatives of the 3Rs and composting be considered as closely as industrial facilities, that public education aimed at conservation be as important as bury-and-burn technology.

Landfills and incinerators are not particularly popular within the GTA or in rural areas. Are we all just NIMBYs looking out for ourselves? How are RAGE groups different from GTA citizens, who think waste transport is the solution to a difficult problem? One difference is the political reality for GTA citizens who live within the five regions and share a common geography, political and economic region. They have the right to vote in the regional elections and those elected to municipal office have a voice within the GTA regional government.

In other words, they have a political and social voice in their own regional government, a voice that will call for direct action on reduction and conservation in their neighbouring regions, a voice of real political and social pressure on GTA citizens to reduce the volume of waste going to regional sites, a voice to effect real change in their own regions, where municipal accountability is possible.

In comparison, rural Ontario people have neither a voice nor a vote, neither social nor political pressure to affect decisions in the GTA, and when in 1989 and 1990 we came to Toronto to oppose transport proposals, we had no audience either. But surely we are more than NIMBYs, although we probably all begin these issues with self-interest and a special focus on our own local situation.

It has been my experience that with information we move through that initial stage to a degree of enlightened self-interest that searches for equitable and lasting solutions. Many RAGE members now are actively involved in a variety of environmental issues that serve the interests of all people in Ontario. We believe that Bill 143 expresses the same kind of enlightened self-interest for us all.

A final argument criticizes Bill 143 for sacrificing the rights of the individual for the needs of society, in particular the rights of GTA residents who must live near the sites. While we understand that view, we also believe that transporting waste from one large urban centre to a small rural community will sacrifice one region of the province for another, the rights of rural residents for the needs of urban society. If we consider, as we must, the issue of social need versus individual rights, we can only conclude that when regions take responsibility for their own waste, social needs will be met and the rights of the individual protected.

Public ownership of waste management is essential to our discussion of transport. Disposal deals with Browning-Ferris Industries, Laidlaw Waste Systems, Stinnes Enerco, CN-CP, Nelson Aggregate, Armbro Materials and other private developers created tremendous conflict in our communities as they proposed landfills and incinerators across the province. Private companies consider garbage a growth industry and have little interest in fewer landfills or less waste. Their interests run counter to those of us who want responsible waste management designed for conservation and reduction of waste.

Site proposals originate with private garbage companies intent on developing new sites or expanding existing landfills for profit. A member of the Legislature put it best when he said, "The whole business of garbage is really one of those things that generates an awful lot of cash for people involved in it."

Garbage, of course, is never a problem for Laidlaw and BFI but a lucrative opportunity to make literally billions of dollars from the public taxpayer, and several of our communities still face massive landfill expansions where disposal fees can be many times greater than capital and operating costs, creating what economists call a monopoly rent.

Many private firms still hope to capture huge disposal revenues generated by GTA garbage over the next 20 years, public dollars going to private interests. Without public management of waste through waste management master plans, private waste disposal companies will monopolize site development, transportation and disposal, while reduction and diversion programs receive only token efforts.

It is an illusion to assume that the public will somehow avoid paying the costs if the investment in EFW plants and landfills is made with private capital. The public will be providing the revenue essential for these consortiums to make profits. Cost-plus contracts with escalator clauses will give the private sector an incentive to make money by doing things the most profitable, rather than the most economical or environmentally correct, way. Rather than pay private industry billions of dollars in monopoly rents from Ontario taxpayers, waste management must be publicly managed as another utility.

Public control over disposal is the key to control of the entire waste system. The private sector, which has contributed so much to exhausting the capacity of our landfills, will now be the prime beneficiary if the GTA accepts the quick-fix transport proposals. The best way the public can protect its interests is to ensure that the future waste management system is publicly owned and operated through the waste management master plan.

While RAGE endorses part II of Bill 143, we have some concerns about the processes involved in part III. We want to make explicit our position that the minister implement broad public consultation with adequate time for members of the public to review technical reports and reports related to possibly using Keele and Britannia for the interim period. We understand that the minister has made provisions for community groups to respond and we strongly endorse that kind of relationship between government and citizens.

RAGE has considerable confidence in the minister and her staff to conduct effective public consultation. Our groups have participated in various consultation sessions with the minister and we know from experience that she does indeed listen to citizens and, in our view, act with integrity. In the interests of the GTA citizens, we ask that the same consideration and public consultation process be followed by the minister when dealing with GTA sites.

In closing I again thank you for time and interest in RAGE. We have been pleased to come here to comment on Bill 143. For many of us in RAGE, the efforts of the past few years have been realized with the waste reduction initiatives, the decision on transport and incineration and the leadership shown by the minister on waste management and conservation. In our view, this bill reflects the position of many citizens across the province who were involved directly in the issue of waste transport and incineration and who remain convinced that reduction and conservation are the true solutions. We believe that in Bill 143 we have an equitable and responsible piece of legislation that represents the best interests of society and the environment.


The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. I will now call on committee members for questioning.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you, Ms Hustler, for coming and presenting to our committee. As a member from rural Ontario I am very glad to see someone here from rural Ontario voicing the concerns and the perspective of rural Ontarians.

I have two questions, or perhaps one observation and a question might be more accurate. Laidlaw and the Ontario Waste Management Association came to testify this morning and the suggestion from their presentation was that government does not have or should not have so much of a place in terms of waste management. I am wondering if you could comment on that based on your experience. Second, I would be interested to know what the effects of Metro waste would have been in your community had it gone there.

Ms Hustler: Perhaps for the other committee members, I live in Lambton county where we have the Laidlaw landfill site beside the village where I live, and we also have a Laidlaw environmental hazardous waste incinerator about 20 minutes from my house. So Laidlaw is my special interest. But I am also familiar, for example, with BFI in Kent county. Philip Environmental Group of Hamilton is also part of Lambton county private disposal sites.

Laidlaw's presence in our community has been felt for about 20 years. For the most part they have existed on 100 acres, but they now propose over a 300-acre site expansion and they tell us quite candidly that they are banking on GTA waste and would like to have a certificate for the entire province.

Just this Monday we had a meeting with the directors in charge of expansion for Laidlaw and they describe waste management as recycling and disposal. The word "reduction" does not enter into their vocabulary and they told us quite frankly that if they could they would have a licence to bring waste as far as their trucks could haul it. In other words, their approach to waste management is a volume business, and in their own interests they look at waste as disposal with only a passing interest in recycling.

For example, our site, which has been in operation 20 years, has absolutely no gate restrictions on what goes into the site except for hazardous waste. They accept refrigerators, they accept iron, they accept white goods, anything that you want to take you can dispose of. They are not in our estimation on the leading edge of recycling. Their interest is still disposal.

Mrs Fawcett: I was interested in your extensive information given on incineration and all of the emissions. While I know we have to be careful and look at all aspects of something, I really do not like to see something totally banned as an option, because you really do not know what is around the corner. So I take exception when the minister just rules something out completely. All right, we do not have to go forward with something right now, but it can be put off.

I will just ask you a few questions, especially on the stack emissions. You had quite a list of different incinerators. I just wonder, are these the most modern up-to-date incinerators? What I would like to know is, what is the best technology we have now? We never really seem to get that, we always just seem to say, "Incinerators are terrible, horrible things and, you know,that all recycling and everything will stop automatically if you use incineration." Why does it have to be that way? There are certain restrictions you can put on incinerators, that they are not allowed to accept certain things, but what is left over you still have to do something with. I try to wrestle with all of these things and I really have not seen any figures yet on an up-to-date emissions report on the best possible incinerator. I wonder if you have any of that.

Ms Hustler: The examples I use here are really ones I am personally familiar with because of the proposals that came out during the Metro transport issue. The issue that brings it clear to me is the technology. I think it is more technology than we need. For example, if we think we have problems siting a landfill now, there will be no less resistance to siting an incinerator. I have seen that around the province. We had incinerator proposals at Orillia, at Cayuga and two in Lambton county. Citizens were as concerned, if not more concerned in fact, about incineration.

Mrs Fawcett: But that could be because of lack of facts and information.

Ms Hustler: Possibly.

Mrs Fawcett: It is the rumours that are perpetuated too.

Ms Hustler: To give Ogden Martin its due, it worked very hard at promoting incineration and really minimizing the concerns of local residents. But quite frankly, when pressed to describe the waste stream, Harry Olivier again said at a Lambton county council meeting that in fact 70% to 75% of the waste stream had to be plastics and paper in order to reach the required BTUs. That completely contradicts an argument from Ogden Martin that would say incineration is compatible with saving resources such as wood and oil.

Second, the grim reality for us was that at one time Lambton county actually was pro incineration, but we realized that we would need more landfill space for the bottom ash than the current capacity of landfill. We were looking at this as part of a waste management master plan, as an alternative. But the reality was that we would fill up our landfills plus. That was directly from Harry Olivier again.

We also have the hazardous waste landfill site at Tricil and the hazardous waste incinerator, and there is a great deal of public opposition to that. I am sure Laidlaw Environmental would tell us that it is state-of-the-art technology, that every emission is monitored, that every precaution taken. We also know, for example, that in Sarnia there are smaller incinerators within certain facilities. Dow, for example, has been going through an environmental assessment for a rotary kiln. But it has decided for the moment that the need may not be there and it may not be the technology it wants to be responsible for. I think there is a movement.

We also have to keep in mind that when we speak to proponents of incinerators, we are talking to marketing agents and engineers who are in the business of promoting that technology. We have, I think, to be sceptical. Citizens certainly are. There was not one incinerator proposal in Ontario that was greeted with any kind of positive reaction. We are seeing the very same kind of reaction in British Columbia right now, where Ogden Martin is promoting incineration.

Mrs Fawcett: But I have not seen any that would be completely in favour of a landfill site either. So you can say that about incinerators, and I agree with you that people are really fearful, but they also do not want a landfill because of the leachate problems. That is a whole other thing.

Mr McLean: I just want to pick up on where Mrs Fawcett left off. I also noticed that over half of your brief, and pretty nearly every page, referred to incineration. The minister has made the announcement that there will be no incineration. I am wondering if you are having some thoughts that the minister may happen to change her mind, and you want to make sure where you stand and where your group stands with regard to incineration. Is there a concern in your mind that she may allow incineration to be part of the overall waste management?

Ms Hustler: No, I do not have any concern with that. But what I am concerned about frankly is that the proponents continue to approach municipalities and that the industry is still there. I think there is a great deal of pressure from industry on all members of the government, both federally and provincially and even locally, still to entertain ideas of incineration.

Our fear, I think, is that the proponents of incineration may simply fall back for a couple of years, regroup, and then march forward with more state-of-the-art technology. This, I think, is my opportunity as a representative of RAGE to tell you that incineration is not acceptable to rural Ontario. Just as a footnote to that, there is a bit of a perception that rural Ontario is incinerator-friendly. For example, the Ontario Federation of Labour at one point endorsed incineration. But I think the distinction has to be made that many rural citizens have a very different idea about incineration. They have the kind of burn barrel in the backyard idea.


Mr McLean: I am from Orillia, so I am very familiar with what has happened there. I asked the minister in the House a question with regards to coal ash coming from Lakeview generating station to the Uhthoff quarry and, being that Lakeview is in the GTA, I never got an answer saying, no, that would not happen. So there is room for concern within this bill.

I want to get to public versus private waste management. You are very much opposed to private companies being involved in waste management. I have always found that private companies can sometimes be involved in dealing with municipalities. In the county of Simcoe, we have Waste Management Services that runs all the sites. There are private haulers that haul to those sites. Are you telling us that you do not think there should be private haulers involved in the garbage business?

Ms Hustler: Not as they currently operate in the sites I am familiar with. The combination I think could be effective is if policies and decisions were made in a public forum and the policies were implemented, and if private industry in some way wanted to be part of that and fulfilled that public mandate, then I would welcome it. But my experience has been that in fact they thwart the process of public waste management. I could cite you several examples.

Not only that, but the interests of the immediate community are very often neglected or ignored by private waste sites. I would go back again to the BFI site in Kent county, for example. That particular site covers a five-county area. They want to expand their certificate for the whole province. They want to add 175 acres of Kent county agricultural land, which is probably among the best in southern Ontario. There is a lot of public opposition and they are oblivious to it. The same in Watford, where Laidlaw is. My concern has been that private industries are driven by the profit motive. They make their money from disposal.

Mr McLean: I would like to ask you a couple more questions. Do you agree that the Keele Valley, the Britannia site, should be allowed to expand and proceed without an environmental hearing? Laidlaw, which owns a site in the east end of Metropolitan Toronto, has to go through a full environmental assessment, which it is happy to do,. But do you agree that this bill should allow the minister to approve a site without an environmental assessment hearing?

Ms Hustler: I think it is a very difficult position because of the time frame. In our situation as RAGE members, we have to recognize that in this situation the time frame and the crisis situation within the GTA may not make it possible. But there should be every consideration given to the consultation that in fact was given to our groups when we consulted with the minister last fall. We went through a series of very effective consultation processes. If that process is carried out, given the time frame, I think we would find that reasonable.

Mr McLean: The other short question I have concerns the fact that I disagree with you on private versus public, because I do believe that private certainly does have a place within it. I understand that in Mississauga, Laidlaw picks up its garbage. They have a contract with them. The city of Barrie has a contract with McLellan Disposal Services. I feel bad that you are opposed to private companies being involved within this overall scheme of our private operations in Ontario.

Ms Haeck: Ms Hustler, this is really a refreshing view and I appreciate your document. I represent the riding of St Catharines-Brock, which is next door to the riding of Lincoln, which is the destined site for the Ontario Waste Management Corp. Many of the things you are saying here have been corroborated by the citizens living in parts of Lincoln county for some time, 10 years as a matter of fact.

But you raise actually a very interesting point, which I think many people really have not examined and which is basically the pressures on the infrastructure of the transportation of these wastes, be they from the GTA or from some other larger urban area, on to the rural community. Has anyone in your group really looked at the possible costs to roads and what have you of this continual transportation along your streets?

Ms Hustler: One example would be when there was talk of bringing Metro Toronto garbage into Lambton county. Laidlaw was proposing two new cloverleafs on Highway 402 just to have exit ramps. Even now, Laidlaw is still talking about putting in its own ramps. The MTO of course was astonished, so they did not think that was a particularly good idea.

What we also do not have of course is any leachate treatment facilities. In fact, there is no facility to treat any kind of landfill leachate probably within an hour and a half's drive. As well, we do not have the kind of roads or services that could even begin to look after a facility of that sort. Frankly, there is no interest in even developing an infrastructure for garbage.

Ms Haeck: No. Let me tell you, it is quite expensive. The Glenridge landfill site, which is part of my riding and is probably notorious among most of the people working for the Ministry of the Environment, has cost the taxpayers of the city of St Catharines in excess of $2.5 million in very recent years to deal with green goo that ends up in their basements and in their sewers; in fact, it has lifted manhole covers three feet into the air. I would suggest to you it is a very expensive undertaking. I really appreciate your comments.

Mr McClelland: A quick question and then I will get into a more lengthy question. Did you have any pre-Bill 143 consultation, specifically with respect to this legislation, with the ministry or minister?

Ms Hustler: We are part of the Ontario Environment Network and we have a waste caucus made up of citizens' groups. In fact, we had a consultation Saturday with Drew Blackwell from the waste reduction office. We have also been passing questions of clarification between the OEN and the minister's office.

Mr McClelland: Quite frankly, it is no surprise then for me to hear you say, as a special interest group, and legitimately so, that you endorse this bill. But let me tell you that the other people involved who, if you will, take the other side of the coin, were not consulted, had no input prior to this bill being brought forward.

I will tell you very frankly as well, not to be critical, but I have a concern about any individual, any interest group, any government, any minister, who says: "I know best. I'm not prepared to look at all things objectively. I'm not prepared to endorse the environmental assessment process and put on the table for consideration all options to look at the best environmental solution or multiplicity of solutions to apply to solving a problem."

I have a fundamental concern with that in terms of fairness in the sense that none of us, in my view, knows best. We can all learn one from another and collectively sometimes there is found some wisdom. I say that as a recognition of my bias. I do not believe anybody has the right to come and say, "I know the solution and it may be tough but I'm going to do it." I do not care who he or she is, what minister it happens to be, what government it happens to be or what interest group. The responsibility of government is to have a process in place and to maintain integrity in that process, to be objective and to look at it.

Having said that, you said, "Given the circumstances, I understand the minister is in a tough situation." I wonder what your reaction will be a year or two from now in your community when the minister comes in and perhaps says: "We did it in the GTA with Bill 143. I'm sorry. We're bouncing from crisis to crisis and all bets are off in terms of EA. I know I told you I believed in the process a year ago and I know I told you two years ago I believed in the process, but 80 sites are closing around the province in 1992."

I don't know the numbers for 1993, 1994 or 1995, but as much as I can, and nothing is certain in life, I tell you almost with certainty that there will be the same principles applied across this province and in your backyard. There will be communities where the minister will come in and say: "I'm sorry. We are in a crisis in your community and this is the way it's going to be, because I know best." Let me tell you, fundamentally I am opposed to that. I believe in the process and I believe in integrity in terms of what people say, that they ought to stick to it. I would be interested in knowing how you feel about the integrity of the environmental assessment process.

I will just add parenthetically that the private sector not only has said it is willing to, but it has complied with the strictest adherence to the environmental assessment process and in some cases has been put through a much tougher grind than the government is even prepared to do.

Yesterday Mrs Cooper, as president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, said there are now two sets of rules. I think there are four sets of rules. There is one for the private sector, one for GTA municipalities, one for non-GTA municipalities and one for the government or for people who happen to agree with the government. I do not believe in four sets of rules. There is one set of rules and everybody applies them and you do not change the rules in midstream. What is going to happen when that happens in areas that RAGE is impacted with?


Ms Hustler: I would begin by going back a little stretch, because when we were dealing with the former government, that is exactly the system we were given. We were given the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee, SWISC. In that case, we simply were anted up across the province and Metro came out and marched through its consultants and technicians with absolutely no interest in any process. There were exemptions and those exemptions became the very basis of our opposition because we were denied the full process. So we understand how that can work and we did not like it.

The difference for us, and I tried to explain that here, is that people within the GTA exist within an economic, political and geographical process.

Mr McClelland: Which is not insulated from the impact across the province.

Ms Hustler: Indeed it is, because people have a right to vote in this area. They have a whole municipal system in which they work. We are not part of that. There are two versions of this. There is the GTA, because it affects a very specific community of communities. When we would come to Toronto, there was no audience because we did not vote. We were nonentities and so be it. But when Metro would come into our communities, we were even denied the right of going through any kind of environmental process.

I also understand that the minister makes orders when there are emergencies, for example, Storrington waste is now being shipped to Ottawa-Carleton, another Laidlaw site. As well, Lobo's waste is now being brought to Watford because of mismanagement at another site. So I know that garbage is shifted around in a crisis situation.

But I also believe that in the GTA situation there has to come a time when the people within the GTA face the consequences within their own region, and transport is not the solution. Nor is it fair for communities in the north or the south to pick up the slack. I personally think that as soon as that recognition takes hold, the answer is not to evade the system or break the system, as you suggest, but fix it at the beginning. Do not make so much garbage. If it is a problem within the GTA, then do not make it.

It is the same problem we are facing in Sarnia. The Sarnia site for Lambton had to go through an emergency certificate and the crunch came down for reduction. We do not need the expansion now.

The Chair: Mr Wiseman, you have the floor.

Mr Wiseman: It is nice to see you again. I would just like to give you a little background of my own experience with landfill sites. I grew up in Scarborough just down the road from a landfill site that was quite old and slipped on to a roadway last year. I currently live in Ajax in the south where we have just found out that roughly 300 or 400 metres from my house the landfill site is leaching into the Duffin Creek.

I am also about half a mile to a mile away from a sewage facility that takes leachate from the Keele Valley site and I am down wind from the Brock West landfill site. So when you start talking about transportation of waste and so on, you really are talking about the fact that it will transport itself in many different ways, whether we like it or not, and the consequences of that will be huge costs.

The municipality of Ajax now is looking at having to clean up this old landfill site and it is really having trouble coming to grips with how much it is going to cost. When the sewage treatment plant overflows, if the storm water system does not work, it winds up on our beaches and we cannot use our beaches. So we cannot hide from costs. They are going to be there and that is why the transportation of waste is such an important issue. So I am very pleased to read your presentation on the transportation of waste.

A number of people have suggested, though, that ruling out incineration and the transportation of garbage somehow compromises the environmental assessment process. I would like to have your perspective on that and how you feel about that.

Ms Hustler: My own view is that incineration and transport simply muddy the process. They are not really alternatives. They are not solutions. They are one method of really prolonging the dilemma. To consider them as alternatives is to in some ways endorse them as reasonable and positive when in fact they are not. For us, transport poses enormous problems. Anyone familiar with incineration knows that it is completely undesirable, so I am not sure for whom these would be reasonable alternatives. Certainly not for anyone who knows anything about them and has firsthand experience with them.

In fact, it simplifies the assessment process because the process is then assessing legitimate methods of waste management and it would be, to me, much more effective.

Mr McLean: I want to get to composting. It has taken place across this province, as was intended. We are looking at 30%. In the wintertime I observe that some of the composters I know of, when they get the snow, are never opened. I am wondering what your thoughts are on the future of composting, whether it is going to have a percentage increase or not.

Ms Hustler: I am certain that it will. It has been slow to develop. The composting has not been as speedy as the recycling and the blue box, but I think it will certainly catch on. I think most environmental groups would like to see a much broader, comprehensive composting system take place so that there is compost pickup or centralized composting. But I think it is very popular. You would know as well, from a rural community, that composting is not a new idea. It is not particularly popular in all centres, but I think it is very practical.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before the committee today. Over the course of our hearings, if there is any additional information you think might be helpful, please feel free to communicate with us in writing. We appreciate your coming today.


The Chair: Next presenter, from the city of Mississauga, Mayor McCallion. Welcome to the standing committee on social development.

Mrs McCallion: Thank you very much. I have with me Kent Gillespie. Maybe you would like to join me.

The Chair: Your worship, just for the record, although you need no introduction, introduce yourself and who you brought along with you.

Mrs McCallion: I would love to introduce myself. The mayor of Mississauga, the eighth largest city in Canada.

The Chair: You have one hour for your presentation. We would ask that you leave as much time as possible for questions from members, but it is your time and, if you wish, you can request a couple of minutes at the end in order to sum up. Would you also introduce the gentleman you brought with you.

Mrs McCallion: Yes. Mr Kent Gillespie is the regional solicitor, the region of Peel. Madam Chairman and members of the committee, first of all, I want to express our deep appreciation to the Conservative opposition and the Liberal opposition in the House that allowed this most dictatorial bill not to proceed, but to come to a standing committee for some input. I can assure you that the bill was a shock to us. I have a lengthy report here, but in short it takes all the authority away and hands you the bill.

The shortest way I can express it is to say people's rights are completely ignored and recognition for the official plan of a municipality, zoning bylaws, legal, binding documents are put in the trash can. It also takes over the complete responsibility. In other words, Bill 143 concentrates authority for virtually every aspect of local and regional waste management decision-making in three provincial entities: the Minister of the Environment; an unelected director of the Ministry of the Environment, and a new crown agency, the Interim Waste Authority.


By the way, municipalities have been trying to get away for years with special purpose bodies accountable to nobody, either financially or in performance. Municipalities will henceforth be saddled with the worst of all possible worlds: Responsibility for the financial but no authority for the wellbeing of their constituents with respect to waste management decisions. As I say, they will pick up the tab for it.

Today, I do not want to talk about Metropolitan Toronto's crisis, I do not want to talk about the GTA's crisis, because there was no crisis in the region of Peel until the provincial government interfered. We are not interested in carting our garbage to any other municipality. We want to look after our own garbage in our own region of Peel, and we were well on our way to doing it, but the provincial government interfered each time and created the crisis. I cannot speak for Metro and I cannot speak for the GTA; I only know the situation in the region of Peel.

However, the members of the standing committee should be under no illusion about the broader, province-wide implications of Bill 143, which we are very concerned about. If the government can do this with regard to waste management, it can do it on all services. In my opinion, this is the thin edge of the wedge of this provincial government. In other words, it creates a crisis, and to get out of the crisis, it uses dictatorial powers to do it.

Coupled with the systematic undermining of municipal authority is the diminution of the role of the public to participate. Before the election, the Premier of this province said, "There will be no expansion of any site and there will be no new site developed without a full environmental assessment hearing." With regard to the Britannia landfill site expansion, there will be no hearing at all.

Even though the present minister says she does not believe in the Environmental Protection Act, that is why she stopped our interim site 6B. We did not ask for the Environmental Protection Act for 6B; the province dictated to us that it would allow us to proceed under the Environmental Protection Act. What is so interesting is that the Britannia landfill, which the minister says is not a safe site, was approved under the Environmental Protection Act. We will expand an unsafe site, in her opinion.

Both of these developments have the effect of centralizing and insulating waste management decision-making at the provincial level at a time when it should be subject to greater, not lesser, municipal and public scrutiny and involvement, as well as the involvement of private enterprise. I want to deal with that later. I strongly believe private enterprise should be involved in waste management. Government should set the controls and monitor and let private enterprise do the job, because no level of government can do anything as efficiently and economically as the private sector. We must control. That is our role as government.

Let me summarize Bill 143. As the committee is well aware, Bill 143 is divided into four parts: the Interim Waste Authority; waste disposal sites; implementation of the minister's report under section 29 of the Environmental Protection Act, mainly directed to interim waste disposal sites, and amendments to the Environmental Protection Act. Each part of the bill raises serious questions about the impact on municipal decision-making which the standing committee must consider. When I hear the Minister of Municipal Affairs say, "We've got to get on with disentanglement," this is a prime example not even of entanglement but of taking over complete authority for waste management.

The Interim Waste Authority has been incorporated under the Business Corporations Act. The very word "interim" raises questions about its future role and status. What is its eventual role? Will it be involved with the operation of waste disposal sites? Will it be disbanded after its work has been completed and the operation of the sites has been handed over to municipal governments? We do not know. We are in the dark.

The city of Mississauga submits that because the IWA is vested with broad statutory powers in connection with the establishment of waste disposal sites, its role and mandate should be more clearly defined, including the ultimate role of municipal governments with respect to operation of the sites. When they came before us at the region of Peel, I said, "I'd like to see your budget." They said, "We're not sure we can show it to you." But we are going to get the bill when they are finished their job.

In the city of Mississauga, just to tell you, they had certain public meetings and they had one in French only. Five people showed up and they all spoke English. I just want you to know we paid for that public meeting.

The city further submits there should be more express provisions dealing with the control and direction of the IWA by the Minister of the Environment.

Waste disposal sites -- you folks have this in writing, so I am going to skip, because I want to comment on the minister's presentation to your committee. I would like to correct some of the inconsistencies, the incorrect statements and the misleading statements that are in her submission to your committee.

This director has ultimate authority to do anything. Boy, I would like to have his job. None the less, this is a very broad discretion to leave to a director or a minister if there is not an adequate check on the exercise of this authority. There is no appeal. This province is noted for appeals. In fact, it costs us a lot of money because of all the appeals. We cannot approve a development in Mississauga without an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. But this one, oh no, no appeal. Just let her roll.

The environmental assessment document is not required to look at any alternatives to the waste disposal site other than the amount of waste reduced, reused or recycled, and the use of other sites in the primary service area. The environmental assessment is also not required to evaluate the alternatives of incineration, transport of waste out of the primary service area or multiple landfill sites.

I happen to have Canada's largest airport in our city, and the federal Department of Agriculture dictates that the international garbage must be incinerated. Now the minister has banned incineration. I am not sure she was aware that international garbage should be incinerated. Second, if she bans the export of it, I only hope the good Lord comes down and picks it up, because I do not know what we will do with it.

The minister is granted authority to establish policies for the purpose of establishing long-term sites. The tribunal, either the Environmental Assessment Board or the joint board, hearing an IWA application must have regard to the estimates, decide in a manner consistent with the limitations on alternatives and take into consideration any ministerial policies.

The city of Mississauga submits there should be provision for consultation with municipalities and the public on the policies to be established by the minister, as these policies may be a vehicle for the minister to control and direct the process without any accountability to the residents in the areas involved.

For years I have heard the New Democratic Party in opposition say, "Public input; public consultation," but when they get into power they forget about all those things. I do not know how they sleep at night.

Mr Mills: Good.

Mrs McCallion: I am sure.

Under part III, the regional municipalities of Durham, Peel and Metropolitan Toronto are compelled to comply with ministerial orders issued under section 29 of the Environmental Protection Act, to extend or enlarge particular landfill sites or systems such as Britannia. Every conceivable legal impediment to doing so is removed.

For example, the requirement to obtain consent under various regional statutes is deemed to have been granted. Acts done in order to comply with a section 29 order that would otherwise be contraventions of binding municipal agreements, statutes or regulations are deemed not to be contraventions -- out the window. Requirements to otherwise comply with the Environmental Assessment Act do not apply. Ontario Municipal Board approval does not apply either -- do not tell them they have been relegated to nothing in this. A public hearing may not necessarily be held under section 30 of the Environmental Protection Act. Submissions may be received by the director, but he is not required to hold a hearing or give any further notice in respect of any decision. Gosh, Russia will look better than we will.


The cumulative impact of these and other related provisions under the part suggest the degree to which municipalities and the public are swept aside. Absolutely the public and citizens are swept aside in this bill. The standing committee should seek to improve and make more certain the municipal and public role under part III of this bill. We are counting on you, and I sure hope the government listens to you.

In this regard the minister stated earlier this week to the committee that all information now available indicates a need for extended capacity at the Britannia landfill site this year, and therefore she created the crisis by stopping us with 6B. That is the only reason Britannia is expanding. We had it well in hand. We were stopped.

It is interesting how I believe this present government when it was in opposition had great concern about developers. This act, where it deals with compensation, is what you could call the developers' guaranteed profit act. Citizens who live in the area are not recognized and compensated. No, the developers are, and you know what? They have already been in the regional offices wanting to know the injurious affection they are going to have. It is strictly limited to loss of market value, personal and business damages. A citizen cannot claim that. It is pretty hard, is it not? So this is called the developers' guaranteed profit act. I never thought the day would come that we would have to guarantee the profit of developers or that government would legislate it.

By the way, we notice that the minister has wakened up to the fact that it is a developers' guaranteed profit act and I believe in her presentation has decided maybe that should be dropped from the act. I hope this committee insists that it be dropped from the act and I hope she does not change her mind before you get back to the Legislature.

Amendments to the Environmental Protection Act: Section 23 allows the minister, and by delegation the director, to establish and operate sites. The section raises the issue of whether the IWA or the MOE will be operating the sites in Peel. We do not know. We are in the dark. We do not know if they are going to establish the site and then hand it over to us. We do not have any idea.

Section 26 replaces the existing section 29, which is the current basis under the Environmental Protection Act for ordering an extension. Bill 143 grants this authority to the director, though it is understood from the minister's recent appearance before the committee that the section may instead give this power to the minister. What is the difference really? At least the minister is elected. That is about the only difference. The director is unelected and unaccountable.

I am not going to go on to pages 9 and 10. You folks can read that.

The minister also acknowledged to the committee earlier this week that because of the concerns of municipalities about the long-term implications of the subsection 29(2) authority to require a municipality by order to accept waste from outside its boundaries, the minister was proposing a five-year maximum limit on such provincial orders. The city submits that the standing committee should inquire why the MOE is taking this position and what is the basis for the five-year limit. We do not know. There has been no explanation for that, unless she gave it to the committee.

It is hard to imagine what is left out -- and I emphasize "what is left out" -- of the waste management powers granted under Bill 143. Nothing is left out, I can assure you. It just takes over all the authority, unlimited authority, with no public concern or public interest at all, or any appeal. So we question very seriously the delegation to the director, and even that now residing, according to the minister, that she might pull back into her bailiwick.

Let me go now to her report that she gave to you: "Waste management planning was in disarray. The time and resources required to find landfill sites were excessive." It is interesting. When we were looking for landfill sites, we did not have the right to enter private property and test it. In one site in Peel we had to do the testing around the perimeter of the site. But when the province has to do it, it gives itself the right to enter, complete authority to enter, but it would not grant us that authority.

She says, "We were running out of landfill capacity, particularly in the GTA, leading to the need for emergency planning." We were not running out of landfill capacity in Peel. I do not want to speak about Metro. In Peel we were handling our own until the province interfered.

"Put the environment first." Mississauga has put the environment first. We are a leading municipality in this country on recycling and reuse. In fact, to prove it, I think you put your money where your mouth is if you really believe something. We pay $172 a tonne for every item that is recycled. We could dump it at the Britannia landfill for $48 a tonne. I think that is proof positive of our concern for the environment. We do not have to be told by a minister to have concern for the environment.

"Within the GTA area, the problems have been especially acute." Not in the GTA area. Exclude Peel, please. They were not acute. We were dealing with it. We know what we were doing.

It goes on. She even has the gall, and I mean it, to say, "Landfill capacity...has become very limited, especially in Peel" -- that is what is in here -- "where the Britannia Road landfill site is due to close by the middle of this year." Not so. Incorrect. False statement.

She cannot separate Metro and Peel. We are not a part of Metro, never have been and never will be, I hope. But she has blinders on. She can only see Metro's problem, and yes, Metro has one. I cannot blame the municipalities for objecting to Metro's garbage going to them, not at all. Metro has done no planning for its garbage, absolutely none, and it is coming home to haunt it. Peel was doing its planning until the province interfered.

"With respect to...long-term sites, GTA-specific sections of the legislation confirm the Interim Waste Authority as a crown agency and give it additional powers required to establish three" -- as I say, she is giving, the province is giving, this Interim Waste Authority unlimited powers to find a site but would not give us those powers, would not give them to any municipality.

She speaks very much against incineration. I have written the minister, "Please tell me what to do with the international garbage from the Mississauga international airport, because I would like to know what we are going to do with it if you bring in all the bans."

I have to tell you it is fine to ban a product, which we have done, by the way, on our own at the landfill, but do you know where it ends up? On our streets. I can take you on a tour of Mississauga and show you where it is. So we have to be careful with bans. It is costing us an arm and a leg to clean up the garbage that is distributed because of the bans, but we are prepared to take that responsibility and we are prepared to try to monitor. We have taken people to court. We have fined them etc.

"There are still people who clamour for the option of transporting GTA waste to a mine site near Kirkland Lake." We have never supported that. We are not involved in it. Please do not tie Peel into that. We do not want to take our garbage to Kirkland Lake, even though I have a letter from the mayor of Kirkland Lake saying he wants it. The other night at a public meeting she said nobody wanted it. They do want it. I have a letter from the mayor of Kirkland Lake saying they want it. It is not correct that nobody wants it. Some people do want it. I will tell you that we do not want it; we only want to look after our own garbage.

"Incinerators are ruled out because of the environmental hazards they present." There is concern about the hazards. But she also talks about the residual ashes. If she would look at the incineration of garbage in a cement kiln, there is no residue. All St Lawrence Cement is asking is whether it could go through an environmental hearing to prove whether its process is safe or not. But she is all-powerful right now and we do not know what she will do.


"All the information now available, however, still indicates a need for extended capacity at the Britannia landfill site in Peel region starting this year." Yes, because of the crisis she created; yes, no doubt about it. We have to have somewhere to put our garbage. We have to expand the site.

By the way, even citizens are reasonable today, especially in Mississauga. The citizens the other night gave her a six-point action plan, saying: "Yes, I guess Britannia's going to expand. We would ask you, Madam Minister, to give us some assurances" -- if they are worth anything -- "such as a 60-day deadline etc." I would like to file that on behalf of the citizens of my municipality. At this point they know there is no other choice except for us to pay an enormous sum to cart our garbage somewhere, and they too do not believe we should dump our garbage on somebody else. I hope this committee will incorporate this in its presentation to the government. We do not expect to hear from her, but I hope you folks will try to get some action from her on that.

"Unfortunately, the fact that Britannia Road landfill site reaches capacity next June makes a hearing on the extension there impossible." She stopped us in November 1990 and we knew when she stopped us that the next thing was the expansion of Britannia. We are not asleep out there. She took until February to make an announcement, all kinds of time for some public consultation.

She has placed us, the mayor and members of council in the region of Peel, in a position of breaking faith with the people. We say to people: "Before you buy a house somewhere, would you please check with the municipality. You're making your lifetime most major investment. Would you please check with the municipality. Don't even listen to real estate agents. Please check with the municipality." They come and check with the municipality and they see all the legal binding agreements on file, so they buy their home. Then she turns around and asks us to break faith with the people and go right ahead based on her order, which was illegal because she has not enforced the order, and you know why? She needs Bill 143 to enforce it. In fact, I even suggested I go to jail, and I know she cannot send me to jail until she gets Bill 143 through. By the way, I am not going to jail, I can tell you. I just say to you that she has been operating by news releases. Even when the mayors of the three municipalities and the chairman of the region met at Queen's Park with the Honourable David Cooke and the minister and we discussed with her this order she had issued, she denied an order was issued and her staff had to correct her and say, "Yes, Madam Minister, an order has been issued."

I summed it up the other night and I will sum it up now because I want to go to questions. She does not know what she is doing, but she is doing it extremely well.

The Chair: Thank you very much, your worship. I have a number of members of the committee who would like to ask you questions. We will begin with Mr McClelland.

Mr McClelland: Thank you, your worship, for being here. You said the minister was all-powerful. Apparently she is all-knowing as well, inasmuch as she has come into Peel and said, "This is the way it's going to be and I know best. My own mind determines what is best for you, and you may not like it and I may not like it, but it's tough medicine and you'd better hold your nose and swallow it."

You recounted how the EPA was not good enough. I was saying that I think that even perhaps on this committee a lot of people do not understand the distinction between the EPA and the EAA. I am convinced of that in my mind, based on some of the questions I have heard. But that was not good enough, so we put aside any process and any public participation.

The minister, who is not only all-powerful but apparently now all-knowing, came in and said, "Here is the solution." Last Wednesday when I received a copy of it, some reasonable requests were put to her at a public meeting. There were no commitments. There was no response of any kind, quite frankly. The suggestion was made by you on behalf of the people of Peel that this at least be limited to one lift. There were no undertakings given and the minister sat in silence.

That probably means nothing or is of little consequence in any event, because as you pointed out, promises made in the past were of no consequence. Whether you had received your promises or some kind of undertaking last Wednesday, I am not sure it would have made any difference. Promises are apparently meaningless and, as you point out so well, so are legal, binding documents, agreements and contracts that are brought out in good faith.

Last night you and I heard the Premier say: "I know you're tired of politicians who break their word and do not tell you all the truth. I know you've lost faith and confidence in politicians. But I want to remember the people of Ontario and I haven't forgotten." How do you, as mayor of Mississauga, as a member of the council of the region of Peel, and perhaps more important, on behalf of the citizens of Peel, see that kind of rhetoric in light of what has taken place with this bill?

Mrs McCallion: The citizens are fed up with politicians and I cannot blame them. As I said to the minister the other night, "It's bad enough not to believe their word, but when you can't believe their signature it's pretty sad." I did hear the Premier last night and I relate it back to Britannia. I can assure you it is a sad state of affairs. I am sure my people listened to the Premier last night, as I think they were looking forward to some encouraging statements. But to talk about public participation, to talk about open government and to talk about all those motherhood statements or policies -- I think you have to implement a few.

Here is an opportunity for the Premier of this province. I warned him on February 7, 1990, in the presence of the city manager of Mississauga, a representative from Mrs Grier's department and a representative from David Cooke's department. I said, "Mr Premier, your Minister of the Environment is going to embarrass your government, because she is trying to deal with the waste disposal issue and she really doesn't know what she's doing." That is on the record with three witnesses present. I think I have been upfront and straightforward and the prediction I made is unfolding beautifully.

As a result of creating a crisis situation, you have to use emergency powers. I will tell you that the people feel the government has broken faith with them. They cannot even accept legal, binding agreements. They cannot accept an Ontario Municipal Board approval that laid it down for 12 years. The zoning bylaw laid it down for 12 years; the environmental board that heard it said 12 years. How many more people do you want to say it? There is all the documented evidence, and then the minister comes along and says, "Forget all those things." What confidence can the public have in government?

Even though the provincial government does this, it reflects on all of us. It reflects on local government. It is time politicians stuck to their word, but certainly stuck to their signatures. We are being condemned. The federal government is not acknowledging our official plan in regard to the expansion of the airport. The federal government never entered into an agreement that it would never expand Pearson, so there is no agreement that we are breaking or it is breaking. Let's give them credit. They never agreed to it.

Mr McClelland: I wonder if I could revisit for a moment the creation of this so-called crisis that you say was not in existence in October 1990 when the now minister was sworn in as minister. Questions were put to her at that time by my predecessor, Mrs Sullivan, as Environment critic. The minister was asked what was going to happen in terms of capacity, including among other sites Britannia. The minister responded at that time that there was no garbage gap, that there was no problem, not to worry; she had a plan in place.

Mayor, you will know -- you and I have had some discussions -- that site 6B, as proposed by Peel, was in my riding. There was no shortage of political heat with respect to that and I am not necessarily convinced that site 6B would have withstood the scrutiny of an EPA hearing. None the less, there would have been at least an EPA hearing. Again I say I am not sure that everybody, with respect, even in the context of this committee understands the distinction between those two acts.

Having said that, I would like you to revisit the so-called creation of this crisis: where you were, what the time frames were, the requests that were made of the minister and the Ministry of the Environment for a response to your requests for information and the time gaps, the times you were left on hold waiting and waiting and only at the 11th hour, if you will, having Bill 143 brought home to rest.


Mrs McCallion: As I say, we were well on our way, as directed by the former Premier of the province, because of this situation that the government had gotten itself into in regard to the crisis in Peel -- I have to be fair; I want to be fair -- stopping 6A. They told us then, "Choose an interim site and we'll allow it to proceed under the Environmental Protection Act." It was not we who asked for it. So away we went. We decided that we could complete the contours at Britannia landfill. If it had closed right on the date that was specified, it would have meant the contours were not completed and therefore there could be a problem with it becoming a golf course, which it has been promised to be all along.

We were doing a management program. We were banning products from the landfill site. We were really, as I know our member of Parliament knows, doing everything possible. In our garbage contract in the city of Mississauga we got 11 items in the blue box, making every effort. Peel region was going out to industry. I am telling you, we were converting cartons as fast as we could to composting and recycling. We were managing. We were saying we have only got a time gap between 6B being approved -- if it was, and I agree with you; you do not know if any site is going to go through the environmental assessment. You are gambling at any time.

But if it went through within the time period the Environmental Protection Act would allow it, at the very most we might be forced to cart our garbage somewhere for two months. We were willing. Whatever tonnage we carried to that site, we would take back from that municipality the equal tonnage, because we believe so strongly that we should not be dumping our garbage on somebody else. We were willing to do that. We had hoped that maybe Halton, after it got its approval after all these years, might -- we talked to Peter Pomeroy about that. The problem is now that even though they got a site, they are having all kinds of problems in getting it developed because of the Ministry of the Environment.

We were managing. We knew we were in a crisis, but when you are into a situation like that you really make efforts and we were making efforts. Peel was managing this site in a very capable way because the staff there knew exactly what we were up against. We were meeting regularly. Reports were coming forward as to the tonnage and the diversion. We had some recycling companies set up in the city that were taking the garbage and recycling it and only taking the residue to the Britannia landfill. This bill takes all the authority away from us and we are just going to have nothing to do but -- oh yes, we are going to have something to do. We are going to pay the bill. We are going to pick up the tab; no question about that.

That is what is so sad about it. Other municipalities, if they did not manage it right, that is fine, that is their tough luck. If the minister has to take action against them, I guess she has to, but she had no need to take it against us, absolutely none. She should have kept out of it completely and let us go and said to me, "I don't believe in the Environmental Protection Act," and I say Britannia was approved under it. Are you telling me that is not a safe site? I think it is a safe site.

We went through a hearing. We managed it. We were well on our way to -- not well on our way; we knew we were managing it and we knew what the consequences were if we ran out of a bit of time. We had all the alternatives ready, that if we had to cart our garbage to Keele Valley, we would take back the exact tonnage we took there into our own landfill site. I think that is pretty responsible, in my opinion.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you for coming to present to us today, Mayor McCallion. I was quite interested in your brief and I wondered if you would answer a question for me. While you were presenting, you said that while you were looking for a Peel site you could not sample onsite, you had to have people or inspectors go in and sample all around. I am just wondering: Do you feel that affected your ability to find the best possible site? Did it hamper you in finding the kind of site you needed in order to take care of your waste?

Mrs McCallion: Of course, until you can actually test the actual site there is some risk in taking tests around the perimeter of the site, if you want to do a thorough job, the ideal. Second, it delayed us considerably because, needless to say, we went out of our way to try to get approval.

It was a developer, Ronto Development Corp, that owned the site. I do not know if you see a connection between that and something that happened with this former government, but there is a connection: Ronto Development. They would not allow us on this property, so we had to take sites -- yes, it delayed it and in my opinion it is not as thorough as it should be. You should be able to go on this site and take as many samples as you possibly can to make sure that the site is environmentally acceptable before you go through a hearing. You try to get to a hearing so that you have a pretty good idea that your site is going to go through the hearing. Otherwise, you are wasting. By the way, we spent $8.5 million of Peel taxpayers' money on the two sites, 6A and 6B, and we have nothing.

Mrs Mathyssen: I am not sure I understand what you mean by the connection to Ronto Development.

Mrs McCallion: I believe Patti Starr was involved with Ronto.

Mrs Marland: I was going to refer to the fact that it is really kind of difficult to sit here listening to the Liberal members talk in such self-righteous terms on this subject of the crisis in Peel. It is true that we were on our way to a hearing on site 6A under the Environmental Assessment Act, the full act, the full investigation, when suddenly at the witching hour we received notice of an order in Peel from Jim Bradley, then Minister of the Environment, that they could not proceed to that hearing. We did think it was kind of a coincidence that the property was partially owned by Patti Starr's husband, in partnership with Ronto Development. So certainly not all the blame lies at the feet of the current government. The history of putting Peel into the situation it is in now goes back to the Liberal government, without question. When we look at the fact that the hearing on site 6A was a full Environmental Assessment Act hearing, that it was not an Environmental Protection Act, I think that is very significant.

Madam Mayor, you referred to the meaning of somebody's signature. I was wondering if you would like to comment on the fact that you have also seen, as most of the committee members should have by now, the secret cabinet document that refers to two lifts at Britannia. The signature on that document is that of Ruth Grier, the Minister of the Environment.

Mrs McCallion: Yes, we have it here in a binder that Mr Gillespie made up. It gives the chronology of the thing and we have the document here. It says two lifts at Britannia and is signed by the minister. The citizens do not believe anything these days. She backed off from the two lifts to one lift to try to soft-pedal the blow.

I told her the other night, when you were present, Mrs Marland, that she has not got a hope in you know where of having the long-term site ready by the dates she gives unless she uses her emergency powers again. She talks about appeals, she talks about legal action and she says, "We hope to have it ready by 1996, maybe 1997, but in the event of appeals and legal action and injunctions we don't" -- what she is saying is, "We don't know when we're going to have it ready." So what are we going to do with our garbage?

First of all, she is now putting this through at our cost, another $1 million we are going to spend to look at Britannia to find out if it is safe for another lift. I hope you know that. We have to go through that rigmarole to find out if it is safe for another lift. I asked her the other night: "What do we do if it isn't safe? Where is our garbage going to go?" We do not have the slightest idea. I assume she will order it, and now there are emergency powers to take it to Vaughan, to Keele Valley or somewhere. They do not have any idea.

Second, what happens if the long-term site is not ready? Britannia now has had one lift completed, so many tonnes. We are in purgatory as far as the landfill situation is concerned. So we have the document and the people say: "Look, if you said two lifts and you are now saying one, what can we believe? You signed the one that said two lifts, and now you have signed the one that says one lift." No wonder the people are fed up with politicians. They cannot believe it.


Mrs Marland: Madam Mayor, you referred to the fact that the Interim Waste Authority would not discuss its budget with you at its presentation to regional council. In my recollection, the budget is $17 million.

Mrs McCallion: That is right.

Mrs Marland: I wonder if you could tell us what they did say when you asked what they were going to spend $17 million on, after you found out that whatever they spend, Peel is going to be paying anyway for that portion that is spent in Peel. How did you feel when they would not discuss their budget?

Mrs McCallion: I hate picking up the tab for something when I do not know how it was spent or how it will be spent. It is not the way we operate in Mississauga. Maybe that is why we are debt-free. We know where we are going financially. I just find it hard to believe. If somebody else wants to pick up the tab, then it is their responsibility, but it is quite clear that we are going to pick up the tab. And do not think it is only going to be $17 million. It will be like Dr Chant, where it is now $100 million and they still have not got a site ready for hazardous waste. It just shows you that when government does anything, if you want a waste of money, that is one way to go.

So we have no idea, we do not know, but we are going to have the privilege of picking up the tab. We said to them, "Why are you holding an information session in French in Mississauga?" It is hard enough to tell people about waste disposal in English. But, no, they had to hold one. So they held it and five people -- well, you were there, I think.

Mrs Marland: I was there.

Mrs McCallion: Five people showed up, at our cost. We do not hold things in French in Mississauga. If anybody wants something in French, we will be happy to provide it to them, but we do not go out of our way to waste taxpayers' money. The citizens have asked the minister to enter into an agreement, as you know. There are six options. They hope she will stick to them.

Mrs Marland: Madam Mayor, is it true you asked to meet with the Premier on this crisis and have yet to have the privilege of having that meeting?

Mrs McCallion: Yes. He has refused meet with us. No question about it.

Mrs Marland: Have you ever had a Premier in the past who refused to meet with you at your request?

Mrs McCallion: No, not even the Prime Minister of Canada. I have never had a refusal from an elected person to meet with me in the 23 years I have been in politics. They may not agree with me -- that is nothing -- but they have never refused to meet with me.

Mrs Marland: Your municipality is about 460,000 people?

Mrs McCallion: Yes.

Mrs Marland: And the region of Peel is close to three quarters of a million people now?

Mrs McCallion: Yes, 700,000. I can appreciate why the Premier does not want to meet with us, because I think he is concerned as well. That is my opinion. Waste disposal is not an easy thing to understand. As I told the minister the other night, it is nice to be in opposition and tell everybody what the answers are. It is when you get into government and you do not find them that it is kind of difficult.

Mrs Marland: It is now a week since the public meeting. Has anybody at the region of Peel or the city of Mississauga had any response yet?

Mrs McCallion: Not that I am aware of. The region of Peel and the citizens have filed this officially with the minister, with the region of Peel, with the city of Mississauga, asking that these be the conditions under which Britannia will take the lift. They are filing it with you, Madam Chair; I think it is coming through today.

Let me deal with recycling. As I said to the minister the other night, I am going to predict to your committee that there is a crisis coming on what we do with the recyclable items we collect. If you are not aware of it, you had better know it is coming. We had 550 tonnes of mixed plastics stored in trailers and on Laidlaw's site. Talk about private enterprise. The best deal we ever made was to have Laidlaw responsible for the collection of our garbage and for the disposal of the recyclable items they collect, because we would have been stuck with the cost of storing 550 tonnes of mixed plastics. Waste paper was stored for months.

I can only tell you that we are headed for a crisis situation in regard to recycling. If the minister and the province would only get on with the job of creating the markets and let us handle the collection and the disposal of waste -- I hope this committee will recommend that -- and get on with the jobs that they can do, we appreciate the effort. They have given us $1 million to experiment with composting, and we are doing it. That is the type of thing they should be in. Let us do it with people who are monitoring etc. They should just get on with developing the markets and encouraging the companies and stay out of the waste disposal issue and let the local government look after it.

I am not blaming this government for the complete crisis situation. Mrs Marland, you have heard me outline this. I have been fair because I am basically Conservative with a liberal point of view, a great social conscience, and I am looking for reform in waste management in this province. So that covers the whole thing.

The Chair: Thank you, Madam Mayor, for that very non-partisan last statement.

Mr Offer: As members of the committee will know, the Britannia landfill site is located within the precincts of my riding. I would like to thank you for your presentation, Madam Mayor, not only about the issue at hand but certainly about some other things that I think it is important for the committee to know, such as the need for an expansion of markets for recycled goods. I think it is crucially important that the committee recognize that.

I think it is also important for the members of the committee to recognize that when we are talking about the landfill problem and issue in Mississauga and Peel, we are not talking about the GTA. We are not talking about a Toronto issue. I think the mayor has brought that forward clearly, and I hope and trust it will be kept in mind by members of the committee in the deliberations on this issue.

The point I want to bring up is the six-point action plan that you properly brought forward to the committee. I think the members of the committee should be well aware that this is an action plan which has been prepared and presented by three ratepayers' groups. For the committee's information, they will be able to see, at the bottom of that plan, that the ratepayers' groups are those groups closest around the landfill site. What they are asking for is for the ministry to commit to a 60-day deadline and to restrict the expansion of the site to one lift only. I am glad the mayor brought that forward. They are not taking the position of no lift, no expansion. They are taking the position of one lift only, and they want a commitment that it will be restricted to that.

Madam Mayor, you have had a great deal of experience and expertise in the whole issue of landfill and the whole issue of waste and waste disposal. There is no question about that. Could you give us your impression of this type of position taken by the ratepayers' associations in the area on this matter?

Mrs McCallion: In fact, I met with the ratepayers before the meeting where Mrs Grier agreed to come out and talk to the citizens. My approach to them was that we really were cornered. I was mayor at the time the Britannia landfill was established and therefore had said to the people -- because we had a lot of objections then, like we have on any landfill site -- "It's for 12 years only. You're going to have a golf course. Please, 12 years will pass quickly." The agreement was that the next site would be in Brampton. Peel agreed to that in the legal binding agreement.

So now I said to them, "The minister is all-powerful, and you had better recognize it. Therefore, in my opinion, I have to tell you that you're going to get a lift at Britannia. What are the conditions that you want?" That is why they came through with this. Otherwise I think they would have been at the meeting the other night saying, "No expansion, no lift, no nothing," because they are very upset.

In my opinion, these conditions must be responded to by the minister, and they are not unreasonable. They are not unreasonable at all. If the minister is prepared to use her emergency powers to bail herself out of a crisis such as she has created in Peel, then she should be prepared to use her emergency powers to give us a permanent site. She talks about an environmental bill of rights. Thank God it never passed before this bill went through, because this would be contrary to the bill of rights.


Mrs Marland: That is right.

Mrs McCallion: There is no question about it. Thank goodness that is held off. That would have been another problem.

In addition to that, unless the minister changes the Environmental Assessment Act, there is no way a site will get through, and she has not done that yet. As you know, there has been a review of the Environmental Assessment Act -- I appeared before it -- but there is no legislation that I see coming to the House to change the Environmental Assessment Act, unless through some devious means this one will do it.

Therefore, the site that the Interim Waste Authority brings forth, if it takes as long as it took Halton -- now they say they have got a different process. I know what the different process is. The citizens will never be in front of politicians. They will never have that opportunity. I am sure the minister is not going to come out, when the Interim Waste Authority is going through the citizen participation and citizen involvement, to hear their complaints. We sit and take the flak, and have for many years, on waste disposal sites.

They are asking here for conditions. I think it would be terrible, irresponsible in my opinion, for her not to respond to this and to give some of these citizens some confidence, some comfort that she will do what she says she is going to do, because her record does not in any way support that. I think in fairness we have to. I hope this committee will realize that this is a reasonable approach by citizens. It is not easy to get citizens to come down to a reasonable approach. I think they have said, "Look, if we're going to be shafted, we'd like to know how long we're going to be shafted by the province." That is exactly it.

The Chair: Mr Wiseman, you have the floor.

Mr Wiseman: I have two really quick questions. It is nice to see you again. I thought I was fairly well on top of these developments, as I have been involved with garbage since 1987, but was site 6A under a full environmental assessment?

Mrs McCallion: Site 6A was at the point where we were ready to go to a full environmental assessment hearing when Mr Bradley issued an order that we go back and do it all over again.

Mr Wiseman: When did you think, given the parameters, that site 6A would have been up and running?

Mrs McCallion: When do I think?

Mr Wiseman: Give me just a rough estimation. In your planning scheme you must have had some idea of when it would have been up.

Mrs McCallion: Sure we had a planning scheme, but how do you know how long it is going to take? I guess if you consult Halton they could tell you. I mean, we do not know. We felt that unless the consultants were off the mark completely, we had a safe site.

Mr Wiseman: Would there have been a gap between the closing of Britannia and the up and running of site 6, with no gap?

Mrs McCallion: No, there would have not been. Well, we do not think so unless there were injunctions, legal actions and all that, as the minister says. How do you know?

Mr Wiseman: The reason I am sitting here in total shock is that we were talking in my riding back in 1987 about this and P1 was going under the Environmental Protection Act. It was a full greenfield site. We never said never in our backyard, but we wanted a full Environmental Assessment Act hearing on it. We were asking our municipality to take care of its own garbage. I applaud what I am hearing from you because I said for a long time that should have been happening in my own constituency, so I applaud you for it. I applaud you for your blue box as well because that is significant in terms of what I think has to happen.

My residents are extremely pleased with parts of this bill in terms of the expropriation. We know, for example, that governments have massive powers to expropriate at will. We have 41,000 acres of north Pickering that was expropriated back in the early 1970s --

Mrs McCallion: For an airport.

Mr Wiseman: -- to show the power of expropriation. In this bill there could be no expropriation until the certificate of approval has been granted, which means that governments cannot accumulate massive amounts of land and then turn around and sell them for some use other than what they were originally expropriated for to avoid land banking.

The testing section, for example, when P1 was put on the table because it was Ministry of Government Services land, total access was allowed and the farmers there had no power to recoup any of the losses created by the drilling and so on. The idea of the testing part and that there would be compensation built into this bill, I hear from my constituents is a positive thing. I would like to perhaps turn around and ask if parts of this bill are positive to you as most of this bill is positive from my point of view.

Mrs McCallion: Is that any different than what we do now? You have to justify expropriation. If you do not have a certificate that you can -- if you can use the land, that is certainly not justification.

Mr Wiseman: My residents in North Pickering would say there was not a whole lot of justification given that 20-some odd years later the land is now being considered for uses other than what it was expropriated for in the first place.

Mrs McCallion: The federal and provincial governments are all-powerful, they can do anything. We cannot at the municipal level. There is no way we can expropriate in the way the federal and provincial governments can expropriate. So it is no different.

Mr Wiseman: What I am trying to get at here is that the positive aspect is that if you named 20 or 25 sites throughout a region, which is going to happen in Durham, the minister cannot expropriate them all and then turn around and sell them for something else.

Mrs McCallion: But do you think that would happen? I know governments are screwy, but they cannot be that screwy. Come on. It is not logical that any government would do it even if it had the power to do it.

Mr Wiseman: Our government is logical, but I point to the 41,000 acres in north Pickering and my residents have some difficulty with it.

Mrs McCallion: I do not know what the federal government did. I cannot be responsible for that. I am only responsible for what happens in Mississauga and I can assure you we would not expropriate any land for any purpose unless we were intending to do the job, like a road widening or whatever. I hope governments would be more responsible in expropriation. We are, so I can only speak from experience in our city as to how we look at expropriation. It is the last resort. In fact, I am sure at times we pay a bonus not to go to expropriation because it is the last resort that should be used. I would hope the provincial government acts responsibly. If you feel the federal government did not act responsibly on the Pickering site, maybe it regrets that now that it has all that land sitting there growing weeds or leased it back to farmers. We cannot be responsible for that. I just say to you, we are responsible in the region of Peel.

Mr Wiseman: The second part of my question was the positive aspects. Do you see any positive aspects in this bill?


Mrs McCallion: There have to be some positive aspects. I believe in the 3Rs but the Minister of the Environment cannot teach Mississauga anything about the 3Rs. We are so far ahead it is not even funny. We are the largest city in North America to proceed with the blue box. We did it at our expense. Reduce, reuse, recycle, we have been doing it. When you think we have 11 items, the gamble we are taking, we are prepared to put our money where our mouth is. I wish the province was prepared to get on with the market so we can get rid of the junk we collect. We cannot get rid of it. The price of paper has dropped considerably. I am not blaming the province for it, I am just saying, would you please concentrate on the things you can do that we cannot do. Mississauga cannot develop the recyclable market for something that is not our responsibility or jurisdiction. When you have 550 tonnes of mixed plastics -- unless there is an answer to the mixed plastics, we are going to ban the Tetra Pak and mixed plastics from our collection as of March 1 if there is no market. That is the thing the province should be concentrating on. We will collect it; we know how to collect it and the private sector knows how to collect it.

Another thing with this bill which concerns me, and I am sure others will address it, it is time we allowed private sector to do certain things. In my opinion this bill could knock out waste disposal companies in this province. If you want government to run it all, you are headed in the right direction.

Mr Wiseman: How could that happen?

Mrs McCallion: You could put them out of business. If you ban where they can take the residue, that is what you are going to do. Where they have landfill sites, you cannot take it outside the GTA, you cannot take it outside a region. We do not know how far this bill will go.

I think it is government and private sector working together, as we do in the city of Mississauga. I can assure you we have saved a lot of money by having a contractor collect our garbage. We do not have any strikes as well. Second, they have the risk of getting rid of the recyclable items they collect. We do not have it, they have it. When 550 tonnes of plastics had to be stored, they had to be responsible for it, not the city. It is time we took a businesslike approach to some of these items. Business, private sector, has a very important role to play because government never does anything more efficiently or less costly.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation today. We appreciate your coming before the committee and I know you are aware that you can continue to communicate with us in writing if there is anything further you think would be of help to us during our deliberations. We appreciate your coming here today.

Mrs McCallion: Thank you very much. I hope the committee will really put in a good report.

The Chair: Mayor McCallion, you should be aware that the committee does not put in a report. What the committee will be doing is examining the bill clause by clause. There will be proposed amendments which may or may not pass, but the committee will report the bill back to the House for either committee of the whole or third reading debate. There is no formal report from this committee. It is an important distinction.

Mrs McCallion: Okay. I want to thank the two parties that got it before the public. I did not think they had a hope but I want to congratulate them on behalf of the people of the province of Ontario.


The Chair: I would like to call the next presenter, Pollution Probe. Welcome to the standing committee on social development. You have one hour for your presentation. If you would just have a seat and begin your presentation, please.

Ms Schwartzel: It will not be an hour.

The Chair: While the room is being cleared, I would ask for everyone's attention so we can continue with the presentation. The process for the committee is that after the presentation is completed -- order, could I have your attention please? Welcome. Could you please begin your presentation by introducing yourself to the committee? You have a full hour and we would appreciate it if you would leave time for questions from committee members. Please begin now.

Ms Schwartzel: Thank you for the opportunity to speak before you today. I would like to just give a brief introduction of Pollution Probe.

Pollution Probe is a registered charitable organization dedicated to the restoration and protection of the environment. The organization was founded in 1969 and currently has about 30,000 members Canada-wide. Pollution Probe has a long-standing history of advocacy on waste management issues. We were in the thick of things and willing to get our hands dirty as far back as 1973 when we helped establish curbside recycling of old newspapers in a number of Ontario cities.

Over the years, the organization has published numerous reports detailing the barriers to 3Rs initiatives and making recommendations to overcome those barriers. Our aim has always been to recommend practical solutions to help shift Canada towards a conserver society, and we have been pleased when from time to time governments have adopted our recommendations. A partial list of our publications on waste management issues is appended to the submission which has been distributed to you.

Pollution Probe is grateful for the opportunity to comment on the proposed waste management legislation recently introduced in the Ontario Legislature. We support the goals and intent of Bill 143. In our view, the proposed Waste Management Act contains a number of important, positive mechanisms to encourage waste reduction initiatives. Unfortunately, the same bill also proposes significant curtailment of public consultation rights; rights that are vitally important to the protection of the environment and that groups such as Pollution Probe have fought long and hard for. Consequently, we cannot support the bill in its entirety. In particular, we recommend changes to Part III that allow for public consultation in the form of EPA hearings for the proposed landfill expansions.

We have further specific comments on the following areas of the bill.

Part II: Our interpretation of Part II assumes that the long-term waste disposal sites for the GTA region are automatically subject to the Environmental Assessment Act, as they should be. Our reading of the minister's statement to this committee several days ago confirms that this is the government's intention.

As well, Pollution Probe supports the intent of section 13 under part II, which stipulates that the Interim Waste Authority will use the waste diversion estimates provided by the minister to determine the required capacity of landfill waste disposal sites. In our view, the waste reduction office of the ministry is the agency most competent to estimate the waste diversion levels that can be achieved over the coming 20 years.

Unlike the staff of the waste reduction office, the staff of the Interim Waste Authority have not spent the last year concentrating on waste reduction issues. They are simply less likely to know what is feasible 5 or 10 years down the road and what volumes can realistically be diverted. I expect the waste reduction office will make its calculations conscientiously and conservatively, because the figures will have to withstand close scrutiny.

On another issue, Pollution Probe applauds the government's decision to limit consideration of long-term waste management alternatives to aggressive 3Rs programs and the landfilling of residual waste. We are convinced that municipal waste incineration and waste export are disincentives to waste reduction and are not environmentally sound solutions.

It is probably worth pointing out that other governments have made similar policy decisions to cut off certain kinds of waste disposal options. In Ontario, for example, the previous Liberal government, citing environmental concerns, banned apartment incinerators. The same government also banned the use of waste oil as a dust suppressant. In a similar vein, the federal government under the Conservatives has banned the export of waste PCBs overseas. The committee may note the approach those governments took. They did not say, "We'll make sure apartment incinerators add new filters to their stacks," or, "We'll ensure that every litre of oil spread on roads is carefully tested," or even, "We'll be really, really careful about the overseas locations we ship our PCBs to." Those governments decided that fundamentally those disposal technologies were not environmentally sound solutions. They ruled them out. As a result of these bans, one would not expect such technologies to be presented as alternatives in environmental assessments.


Because there is still a great deal of debate about the merits of burning garbage, I would like to spend a few moments outlining our principle concerns with municipal waste incineration. Essentially, we see incineration to be a disincentive to reduction, reuse and recycling programs. Materials such as paper, wood, organic waste and plastics are all increasingly being recycled or composted, and finding markets. Materials such as glass and metal are in any case non-combustible. Under the national packaging protocol, packaging wastes are expected to be cut by 50% by the year 2000.

In general, the materials that would have the highest fuel value are also most readily being diverted from the waste stream. Paper is a prime example. Paper represents about 20% to 30% of the municipal waste stream, and much of this is newsprint. Committee members may be aware that there are at least 11 newsprint de-inking mills planned or under construction in eastern Canada. This represents an industry investment of approximately $1.3 billion. These plants will require all the old newsprint they can get their hands on. In fact, industry experts are predicting they will have to import old newsprint from the United States. Given this demand, it would be nonsensical to incinerate Ontario paper.

Incinerators compete with waste reduction programs not only for materials but also for financing. Modern, large-scale incinerators come with pricetags as high as $500 million, or even $1 billion in the case of a recent proposal for Sarnia-Lambton. The high costs of incinerators force municipalities to allocate the lion's share of their limited financial resources to the construction and maintenance of these facilities and make the funding of recycling and composting programs very difficult.

Once incinerators are built, they must be fed in order to ensure the operators' profits. As a result, incinerator operator contracts often stipulate minimum quantities of waste that must be supplied and include penalties in the case that waste quantities are not met. Under such situations, when city administrators have to choose between supplying fuel to the incinerator and minimizing waste through 3Rs programs, they generally opt against waste diversion.

It is often assumed that incinerators somehow make garbage vanish or that they eliminate the need for landfill. They do neither. Ash residues typically represent 20% to 30% of the original weight of garbage. The fly ash in particular is difficult and expensive to dispose of safely. Because this ash contains high levels of leachable heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, it is classified by both US and Ontario laws as hazardous waste and must be treated as such. For example, the London's Victoria Hospital incinerator, a relatively small facility, has had to spend $500,000 per year recently to dispose of its fly ash. Incidentally, that plant started operations in 1987 and is now over $13 million in debt.

Air pollution remains a major concern associated with incinerators. Despite modern air emission controls, incinerators produce significant quantities of air pollutants, including acid gases, heavy metals, fine particulates and chlorinated hydrocarbons. Mercury is a particularly tough toxin to control because it readily vaporizes and is released as a gas instead of being trapped with the fly ash. In the US it is estimated that municipal waste incinerators contribute more mercury, about 70,000 pounds annually, to the atmosphere than the entire industrial sector. Recent tests at a Detroit incinerator showed that it was emitting mercury at a rate of 80 grams an hour. Needless to say, the residents of Windsor are not impressed. Those interested in a more detailed critique of municipal waste incineration might want to read the summer 1991 issue of Probe Post magazine.

I would also like to briefly outline why we advocate a policy of local responsibility for local waste. At the outset you should be aware that this concept is not new or unique to Ontario. TheBasel convention of 1989 is essentially an agreement signed by countries which acknowledges the responsibility of nations to place restrictions on the export of their hazardous waste.

There are many who think the Basel convention does not go nearly far enough. For example, last June a bill was introduced into the US Congress which would ban imports and exports of hazardous wastes for that country. Several US states, such as Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, have also tried to prevent the importation of out-of-state municipal garbage, with varying degrees of success. We can expect garbage-receiving jurisdictions to step up these efforts in the future, responding to intense pressure from their own communities.

Having to keep wastes close to home does create a very strong incentive for waste generators to minimize their waste production. If the same administrators who control 3Rs programs are also responsible for the local landfill site, you can be sure they will do everything in their power to conserve landfill space. On the other hand, if that landfill site is 600 km away and someone else's problem, and the tipping fee is only $1.50 per tonne, they will be somewhat less interested in minimizing waste.

With regard to the GTA, the Minister of the Environment made a policy decision, a good decision in our opinion, that a landfill site search for GTA waste should be conducted within GTA boundaries. Ministers are entitled to make policy decisions; in fact, they are elected to carry out that responsibility.

There have been calls to carry out a full environmental assessment on the Kirkland Lake proposal. Such as assessment could not, in my view, be carried out without expanding the site search area again, to the entire province, and also considering sites in Lambton county, Marmora, Orillia, Cayuga, Plympton and dozens of other locations all over Ontario. Once again small communities all over the province would be open to the threat of GTA garbage. That threat has created enormous anxiety and uncertainty in recent years and is one reason why local responsibility for local waste is so important.

One also has to consider what would happen if the precedent of the Kirkland Lake proposal were set. Would only Metro Toronto have the right or the political muscle to ship its garbage to the hinterlands? Undoubtedly the same rights would have to be granted to London, Hamilton, Windsor and any number of other cities. Theoretically they could all ship their garbage far north where nobody important lives, where towns are so desperate they will do anything for a few jobs. This suggests a fairly perverse vision of northern Ontario transformed from a land of forests and tourism to a region of colossal garbage dumps and endless caravans of garbage trains. Few people would recommend this as the preferred form of regional development for northern Ontario, but as an old Chinese saying points out, "If we don't change our direction, we're likely to end up where we are headed."

As well, such a scenario would throw the waste management plans of small and large municipalities into chaos. Why conserve landfill capacity, why concentrate on reducing your community's waste, if political deals can suddenly make your community the recipient of another city's trash? I think you may have already heard that the waste management master planning process is arduous enough without this enormous additional uncertainty.

It is a basic fact that cities require all kinds of infrastructure to function. They cannot consist solely of prime residential areas. They require roads, industrial areas, cemeteries, sewage treatment plants and also waste management facilities, each appropriate to the size of the city. The siting of these kinds of infrastructures is undeniably difficult. It requires good land use planning and a good public participation process. It also requires patience, goodwill and a common vision.

There are cities that try to avoid siting and paying for the necessary infrastructures, but the social and environmental consequences of this are becoming unacceptable. For example, Halifax and Victoria have been pumping their raw sewage into the ocean for many years, but they are gradually being shamed into setting up sewage treatment plants. Similarly, transporting trash long distances is no solution to the garbage problem. Well-travelled garbage is not better garbage, and shipping everybody's garbage long distances in all directions would be simply ludicrous, unless of course your business happened to be shipping garbage.

With regard to part III, as pointed out in the introduction, Pollution Probe is disappointed with the province's decision to forgo public hearings on the proposed landfill expansions at Britannia and Keele Valley. We informed the minister of our concerns in a meeting on July 3, 1991, and two days later participated in a news conference criticizing the decision. We urged the minister at the time to accelerate the public consultation process rather than eliminate it, since there were then almost 12 months available before the anticipated closure of Britannia Road. We pointed out that this would allow time for technical studies and a scoped EPA hearing as well as site preparation. Peel's Britannia Road landfill site is projected to reach its capacity in mid-1992.


It was our understanding that an EPA hearing would require approximately three or four months of preparation time and that the hearing itself could be completed in a month. The time line was certainly tight, but with commitment and the possibility of emergency powers coming into force after a given deadline, we suggested that all parties could be convinced to concentrate on substantive issues and expedite the hearing.

The minister disagreed with our time lines. The time lines she described to you two days ago allow for a year and a half for studies and a further year and a half to complete the hearing and appeals. Evidently relations between various levels of government have deteriorated to such an extent that no goodwill can be counted on for any interaction. Every action is subject to delay and challenge in the courts. Such skirmishes provide high excitement for politicians and good employment for lawyers, but the people who live near the proposed landfill sites kind of get left out in the cold. I do not think they want a long hearing; they want a fair airing of the environmental issues that concern them before an impartial board. Instead it seems they must settle for a public liaison committee.

A public liaison committee as proposed cannot, in our opinion, substitute for the deliberations of an independent board. Under the Environmental Protection Act the board would be able to hear evidence regarding the impacts expected on the clay liner systems, the leachate collection and treatment systems and the gas collection systems. Based on environmental and technical considerations, the board would have the opportunity to accept the proposed expansions, impose conditions or reject them. The possibility of the board rejecting the proposals does exist. It is a necessary safeguard to ensure the protection of the environment.

We are still disappointed that the government did not proceed in this way. Now, at the 11th hour, it may indeed be too late for anything but ministerial fiat. The community living next to the Britannia site will have lost its opportunity to voice valid concerns before an impartial board and this will be a clear failure for public consultation. This type of failure cannot be repeated for the proposed expansion of the Keele Valley site. Given Keele Valley's new projected closing date of mid-1996, ample time exists, in our opinion, for an EPA hearing following the guidelines for interim expansion of landfill sites.

Part IV contains many valuable amendments to the Environmental Protection Act. Section 22, for example, validates actions which take place in order to protect the environment beyond Ontario's borders. We understand this particular section would be applicable to many issues and is not simply waste-related. It would add strength to initiatives taken to combat global warming, for instance, or to protect the stratospheric ozone layer.

Section 26 replaces the authority of the minister with that of the director to require municipalities to take certain waste management actions. This raises some concerns about accountability and the potential for abuse. We understand that municipalities but not other parties have the right to appeal director's orders before the Environmental Appeal Board. On balance, we do not see compelling reasons for this amendment and would prefer that the minister retain this authority. After consultation with AMO, I understand the minister has apparently agreed.

The five-year maximum time limit proposed on requirements that municipalities accept outside waste still seems inordinately long for what should be strictly an emergency situation. "Host" municipalities stand to lose much of their landfill capacity under such a scenario and "guest" municipalities have the breathing space to dawdle on their waste management programs. These agreements should be critically reviewed on a much more frequent basis and should be used only on an emergency basis.

Most of part IV establishes legislation which enables the government to put in place important new measures for waste reduction, reuse and recycling. We support these amendments and we are pleased that these sections are in large measure also being supported by members of the opposition parties.

The Ministry of the Environment's Initiatives Paper No 1 released last October outlined some of the regulations that are proposed under this legislation. For example, waste audits, waste reduction work plans and source separation of recyclables will become mandatory for much of the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors. Since these sectors are responsible for fully 60% of municipal waste, they need to be involved. Blue boxes on residential lawns cannot do the job alone. Waste audits are valuable tools that can help companies analyse their waste composition and identify processes that result in unnecessary waste. In the long run, and often even in the short run, waste audits can save companies money.

Doubtless you have heard some of the success stories of forward-looking companies that have already embarked on this process, companies as diverse as Bell Canada, Hewlett-Packard, Quaker Oats and the Royal Bank. The proposed regulations will ensure that all major companies and facilities get serious about waste reduction. I do not think it is going too far to say that this will be a factor in improving the competitiveness of Ontario industry. The October initiatives paper sets out regulations that will ease the siting of recycling and composting facilities. This also will be important to the success of other 3Rs initiatives.

As well, the proposed regulations will make residential recycling mandatory in all but the smallest communities. Currently a little over half of Ontario households are served by curbside recycling. If we want to solve Ontario's waste problems, clearly that figure needs to improve. The municipalities and the landlords who are willing and eager have, to a large extent, already joined up. The proposed regulations will ensure that everyone contributes to the solution.

In summary, part IV of Bill 143 provides critical enabling legislation for the province's waste reduction action plans and in our opinion should be passed in the Legislature. I thank committee members for their time and I would be happy to take any questions you have.

Ms Haeck: Thank you very much for a very good and articulate presentation. I want actually to turn to the bottom of page 8 of your presentation where you make the statement about improving the competitiveness of Ontario industry. We have had several presentations in the last couple of days from industrial representatives. They feel in some respects that they are going to be shut out of any dealings with the waste disposal industry and that competitiveness is in fact not going to be a part of the deal. On what do you base your statement?

Ms Schwartzel: In this case I am referring to the use of waste audits for industries that are generators. Any industry that is producing waste out its back loading docks has to pay tipping fees, and those tipping fees have obviously increased exorbitantly. Any company that does a good waste audit and discovers that it has internal processes that are unnecessary or produce excessive waste -- or it may discover as well that its own suppliers are providing excessive packaging on their raw materials -- discovering that and changing its processes will inevitably result in a better bottom line for it.

Ms Haeck: I am not sure whether you heard any of the comments from industries like Laidlaw or St Lawrence Cement with regard to their proposals around waste reduction and waste disposal.

Ms Schwartzel: I did not hear the submissions of other companies. Are their concerns that they will be put out of business?

Ms Haeck: That they will somehow be shunted aside and ultimately not be part of the garbage business.


Ms Schwartzel: I think there will always be a role for private waste haulers. The forward-looking companies are getting into recycling in a big way and finding new markets and entirely new components of their industry in that area.

Mr McLean: Could you identify for me any plant or facility in the province that is a large recycling plant being used to its full potential? I am talking about a large one that separates plastics, cans, papers.

Ms Schwartzel: To its full potential?

Mr McLean: I am looking at 50% to 60% reduction, separation of recyclable materials. Is there a large one in the province that you know of?

Ms Schwartzel: I would say that Guelph is closest to that. On its pilot-scale programs, Guelph has been able to reach 60%, I am pretty sure. That pilot scale, I believe, involved at least 800 families, if not more. I am going on memory, but I think the evidence was sufficiently compelling to Guelph city council that it has committed something like $14 million to go full scale on that so-called wet/dry process.

The debate that rages there is one of whether or not one should have three streams of residential waste or two streams of residential waste, but in both cases they seem to go beyond the 50% or 60% waste diversion. That of course involves a composting plant.

Mr McLean: Do you know of any facility that does the recycling and, at the end of it, what goes for garbage is baled and put into a site? Do you know of any site that is being used for that purpose? There is some company that does that. I know they were trying to get the program off the ground to do the recycling part of it and then what was left over was to be put into bales.

Ms Schwartzel: They bale it to reduce its volume.

Mr McLean: That is right.

Ms Schwartzel: I am afraid you have got me there.

Mr McLean: I thought I would find out. We heard from the mayor of Mississauga with regard to the foreseeable future what she predicts with regard to getting rid of what we recycle. What are your comments on that? I am all for recycling and would like to see 70% recycled, but what is happening with getting rid of it?

Ms Schwartzel: Finding markets for the recycled materials?

Mr McLean: That is right.

Ms Schwartzel: I think there are certain kind of plastics, PET is one, for which there are good markets, and I think the plastic manufacturers have begun looking at segregating the different kinds of plastics. There are at least six, and you may have noticed that they have their little logos on the base of them, but those apparently are not effectively used in municipal recycling facilities because people do not have time to read labels. So the segregation of the different kinds of plastics is still a technical problem and you cannot simply mix them willy-nilly. Well, you can, but you get superwood and there are limited buyers for that material.

I think there are a lot of initiatives out there looking at closing the loop on plastic containers and even closing the loop when the containers previously contained beverages. That is something that is being worked on.

Mr McLean: Hardly anybody today has touched on the subject of recycling rubber tires and the problems of getting rid of those. It is not really much to do with the bill, but I know Pollution Probe's long-standing concern over the environment. Have you made any recommendations with regard to those tires being shredded and put into building roads, or are there any other recommendations that the people in your organization have been looking at?

Ms Schwartzel: As a matter of fact, I am a member of the Ontario Scrap Tire Task Force -- a fancy name -- a bunch of people, largely industry representatives, who are trying to come up with a management plan for Ontario's scrap tires.

Certainly Pollution Probe's position has been that there are a number of things to be done. The first and best thing is to take better care of your tires, because according to the Rubber Association of Canada, most of us underinflate our tires; we just neglect them. Maintaining them properly would increase their lifespan by 30%, and that is the Rubber Association of Canada saying that. A simple public education program, letting people know that for $1.50 they can buy one of those tire gauges and see whether their tires are up to par, would help a great deal.

The second thing we would like to promote is tire retreading for passenger tires as well. We think that is something that has really been underestimated. There are companies that do it in North America. Lakin in Chicago turns out 1,000 retreaded passenger tires a day. It is the big, new green industry in Germany, for example. So that could certainly help. Then there are any number of crumb initiatives that are also being looked at, as well as the asphalt rubber, which is what you began your question with.

Mr McLean: You have some good points, because we always see truck tires being retreaded but we never hear of passenger tires being retreaded.

Ms Schwartzel: Yes, and the Canadian Standards Association has standards for them. It can be done. Germans are car crazy and drive pretty quickly and if they can cope with retreaded tires --

Mr McLean: We could.

Ms Schwartzel: -- we could.

Mr McClelland: There are a couple of things I wonder if you could help me on. On page 7 of your brief it says people "want a fair airing of the environmental issues that concern them before an impartial board." Am I correct in assuming that you had hoped that same right or luxury or privilege, whatever word you want to use, would be accorded to all citizens of the province regardless of whether they were proponents of a project, private sector or citizens? Would it be reasonable to assume that the position of Pollution Probe for the most part would be that all people should be given the opportunity for a hearing before an impartial board?

Ms Schwartzel: I think that is certainly true, and it applies especially to people who are likely to be affected in that way.

Mr McClelland: Thank you. In what will now be, under section 29, the new subsections 77(1) and 77(2) of the Environmental Protection Act, there is reference to a terminology, "a waste management problem," as yet undefined. In short, the enabling legislation, section 29 of part IV, will allow regulations to be promulgated that would deal with a waste management problem. There is no definition attached to "a waste management problem." Is that of concern to you?

Ms Schwartzel: I see that as enabling legislation that is going to require detailed regulations, and I think that no government would be able to pass those regulations without a great deal of consultation and without some pretty compelling evidence that something was a waste management problem.

I think that given the waste crisis, it is fair for governments to have that enabling legislation, if only as an opportunity to start discussion for other mechanisms of dealing with that material. If you look, for example, at the German green dot system to deal with packaging, the government put forward a pretty broad and aggressive piece of legislation which essentially said all packaging can be returned to retail, and package producers are responsible for it.

Mr McClelland: It is presumably in terms of part IV regulations. I would think that one of the things we would want to look at very significantly in terms of establishing a hierarchy of 3Rs is regulations that would encourage reduction, as you suggested, that would have financial incentive for the consumer, ultimately, but primarily for the producer. Those regulations we want to look at in terms of the export, as well as importation -- let me start again. We would want to look at the domestic production of product, but would also, and I would like your views on that, deal with the importation of product in terms of compliance with the regulation.


Ms Schwartzel: I do not think you can ignore the imports. You certainly have to address them in some manner. To be quite honest, I have not got the perfect solution there. It is a tricky one.

Mr McClelland: Part and parcel of that, which I think is very, very important -- I find it strange and I would be interested in your comments -- is that we talk about establishing part IV to set up regulations that would encourage a particular hierarchy, that would encourage reuse as the way to go. What is your response to the fact that early this week in excess of half a million dollars was committed by the taxpayer of Ontario to encourage reuse rather than reduction in terms of disposable diapers?

We had a situation where the government on the one hand is saying, "We really want to stress reduction," yet we are talking about recycling here. We are putting money into recycling; we are not talking about reducing the amount of waste created. The incentive seems to be contradictory. It seems to me we are looking at setting up a scheme that would enable regulations to set out a hierarchy to make the emphasis the top of the 3Rs, yet we are putting our money into the bottom, recycling. How does that sit with you in terms of the apparent contradiction on the face of it?

Ms Schwartzel: You may know that Janine Ferretti, the executive director of Pollution Probe, commented on that and expressed her disappointment. I must say I am disappointed as well with that particular decision. It is not that those studies should not be carried out; it is just the fact that taxpayers' money is being spent on it. Half a million dollars is not inconsequential. It is a reasonable amount of money. I just wonder how much funding was available to small entrepreneurs that were looking to introduce cloth diapers into hospital situations, for example. I would be rather surprised if it was anywhere near a half a million dollars.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you for presenting a brief that is not only very interesting and factual, but also demonstrates a sense of humour that I think --

Ms Schwartzel: Is lacking?

Mrs Mathyssen: -- we very often need to have in proceedings like this.

In your presentation you made reference to part IV of Bill 143, specifically to section 22. As you say, it validates actions which take place in order to protect the environment beyond Ontario's border. This section is criticized in a brief that Laidlaw submitted to us this morning. Basically, they said Ontario is exceeding its jurisdiction, particularly under section 91 of the BNA Act. Can you elaborate on why you think this is a good amendment to the EPA to protect our environment and the environment beyond our borders?

Ms Schwartzel: I guess that is a good question to ask environmentalists, because they are always the ones saying, "Think globally, act locally." I think we are realizing that environmental problems do not know jurisdictional boundaries. We have a lot of impact in Ontario on other jurisdictions. It is not just waste, but waste is certainly a problem.

Greater Toronto area waste is going to small landfill sites in Indiana and Ohio, where people live in farming communities and have virtually no controls over what their landfill site looks like. They just do not have the opportunity to protect their own environment and they are putting forward bills in their own state legislatures to ban out-of-state waste, or at least to ensure that the tipping fees resemble those that the waste would have found back home where it was generated. So far, those bills have not been very successful. I think this is a really forward-looking piece of legislation and it would be really good to see other jurisdictions provide the same kind of protection for their neighbours.

There is an interesting area that is not waste-related that we might think about. A lot of people may not know that the city of Winnipeg depends on Ontario for its drinking water. Shoal Lake is within the Ontario boundary and the citizens of Winnipeg are pretty nervous about that situation. It has caused problems in the past. That is just another classic example where a minister would have the opportunity to use this kind of legislation to ensure that the needs of other cities and other jurisdictions are safeguarded.

Mrs Mathyssen: I suppose the flip of that would be the Detroit incinerator and the very fact that this is creating problems for the constituents of my colleague Mr Lessard and the concerns around mercury contaminants.

Ms Schwartzel: Absolutely. I am sure committee members know that Ontario has been in court there since 1987, and that was established under the Liberal government. It has really been a very hard, slow slog for Ontario. We do not seem to have a lot of rights in the states. I think you would find few residents of Windsor who are really happy about it. It is a real problem.

Mr Lessard: My colleague to my left sort of stole part of my question, because I was going to bring up the incinerator in Detroit as well, happening to be a resident of the city of Windsor. It is interesting that you bring up that example because, as you know, we are still involved in that lawsuit. We heard the minister a couple of days ago saying that she is going down to Detroit on Monday to testify at that hearing. It is one of those issues that seems to have been going on for years and years, yet the garbage still continues to be burned in that incinerator.

You made some statements about the ash that comes from incineration, the disposal problems with it and the fact that 20% to 30% of what is burned you still have to end up disposing of, and you talked about the high levels of heavy metals and lead and cadmium. Does the process of incineration create those high values? Is there some chemical process that takes place in there or are those things that would be existing in the waste content, whether you burned it or not?


Ms Schwartzel: All those heavy metals are in the waste content. The mercury is in large measure what is left over from batteries. Lead is from car batteries and other types of equipment that have lead solder. The problem with incineration is that it increases the surface area of whatever is incinerated by many orders of magnitude. Essentially it produces ash. I am not a chemist by training, but what happens is that the heavy metals are a lot more accessible to leaching, to acids and bases, so that when the ash is in a regular landfill site and rain goes through you are going to get those heavy metals moving gradually down into the water table, and that is a real problem. These are large quantities of ash that are deposited in landfill sites.

The town of Westminster near London, Ontario, was the recipient of mixed bottom ash and fly ash for a number of years. A few years ago the federal incineration testing program established that the fly ash from that incinerator was in fact legally hazardous waste under law. It failed the test. Following that, the regulations were changed and now fly ash needs to be separated at the front end and needs to be securely disposed of as hazardous waste. The residents of Westminster are worried about their groundwater as a consequence of this.

Mr Lessard: Do you know the relationship of the costs of disposing of hazardous waste as opposed to just regular waste? Is it two times more expensive or three times more expensive?

Ms Schwartzel: I have not kept up with that recently. I have heard that costs of hazardous waste are approaching $700 a tonne, but I could be wrong.

Mr Lessard: In effect, you end up having to pay more if you burn it, I suppose.

Ms Schwartzel: For the fly ash, certainly, it is a great deal more.

Mr Lessard: I think you were here as well to hear from the mayor of Mississauga. She talked about the success of the blue box program and the efforts they have made with respect to the 3Rs in their community. They have done a good job in collecting recyclable materials, but she made the point several times about the 500 tonnes of plastics that they have stored around because they have not got a market for it. I wonder if you could give us suggestions as to the sorts of things the provincial government may be able to do to help develop markets for recyclable materials.

Ms Schwartzel: I think not only the provincial government but municipal governments at all levels have a lot of opportunity to produce markets and they do not need to go further than their own purchasing policies. Governments have enormous clout as customers. They have enormous budgets. They buy incredible amounts of materials and services. The problem is that purchasing policies are completely separate from waste management programs. Purchasing agents have their own bottom line. They have to make sure the material is as inexpensive as possible and that it provides for the needs of the people who are using it, but they do not consider other priorities of the same government. I think that needs to change.

The provincial government is beginning to move along those lines. The Ministry of Government Services has been working on that program for a couple of years now. I would like to see municipalities do a great deal more of that. There is more to buying green than just buying recycled paper. Going back to the issue of scrap tires, there are a lot of products that can be made using scrap tires that would be really applicable in public works programs: highway sound barriers or retreaded bus tires. There are a lot of cities in Canada, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, Montreal, that use only retreaded bus tires. I think any province that provides some sort of funding to a public transit authority might consider that. If they cannot make it a requirement, let's say they should strongly urge municipalities to go that route. Those are just examples.

The Chair: I have a request from the parliamentary assistant to clarify. After that I will allow Mr Martin at least to put his question if there is not enough time to have it answered.

Mr O'Connor: There has been a bit of discussion around the disposable diaper issue. We have to try to make sure we do not mix what we are here for, but since the topic was brought up, I think we should clarify that the government and the ministry are clearly committed to the hierarchy of the three Rs, which is reduce, reuse, recycle. In fact, mention was made of cloth diapers, and money has been spent on making sure that we can get some programs going for that. But perhaps, to speak to the money issue, I should turn it over to the deputy minister for regional operations, Jim Merritt, who can address the whole program of trying to access some of the grant money Mr McClelland brought up.

Mr Merritt: I do not want to take up the time of the committee, but just for clarification I want to point out that there is a regular grant program for assisting with reduce, reuse and recycle. This not an arbitrary program. There is a process and a set of criteria. Applicants are welcome to apply to this.

On top of the grant that has become an issue here, we have also received a number of applications from cloth diaper concerns and we have in the past provided $100,000 in grants to 10 institutions to assist them with switching to cloth diapers.

The Chair: Excuse me, I am going to intervene. Mr Martin may have a question which is relevant to Bill 143. I think he should be permitted to place that. I think you can give the committee this information in writing.

Mr Merritt: Certainly.

The Chair: Mr Martin, do you want to place your question?

Mr Martin: I want to follow up a little on perhaps some of the discussion between yourself and Mr Lessard and also Mr McLean. Certainly anybody who has been paying attention will realize that we have a problem in this whole area of waste management, and it has been building over a number of years.

On television last night the Premier said that we have problems in many areas, brought on by many forces that are not within our purview or control. There are no magic answers. I think this legislation is an attempt to put into some context at least the direction we want to go in, and certainly the three Rs are an important piece of that.

I know from some of my own work -- trying to get a tire recycling opportunity in the north, and you are familiar with that -- that the issue of markets is a big one, and things like the free trade agreement and state restrictions in the United States, and even interprovincial barriers in Canada, mitigate against some of that.

You said you belonged to an organization that is looking at the question of tires and how we dispose of them in waste. Is there anything happening that is shedding any light on this regarding the opening up of markets? I know that in some jurisdictions legislation is being passed regarding the percentage of a material that has to be recycled. That will create some markets, but it is the break into those markets that seems to be the challenge. Do you think this legislation will be helpful in that movement? Is there any light that you know of that is beginning to open up in front of this question of how we market some of this stuff?

Ms Schwartzel: I should just briefly say that the Ontario Scrap Tire Task Force has been established by the Ministry of the Environment's waste reduction office. That is a voluntary, temporary group.

I am not a lawyer and I have not looked at part IV sufficiently carefully to see whether it would allow the requirement of certain recycled content. It would certainly be useful if that were the case. For example, that has been used in the United States. There are a number of states -- Arizona, I believe, and California being chief among them -- that have required certain levels of recycled content in newsprint. Quite frankly, that has really shaken up the pulp and paper industry.

Prior to that they did not believe recycling was a going concern. They did not believe they had to do it. We are now seeing de-inking mills being built all over North America in response to that legislative decision. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency has made not quite as strong a statement on retreaded tires, but there is a procurement policy by the USEPA that all federal vehicle fleets shall consider using retreaded tires. Those kinds of directives are useful, needed and will help create the markets for recycled materials.

The Chair: There are a couple of minutes remaining. What I point out to the parliamentary assistant is that if the ministry wishes to clarify something in the interchange of the member who has just spoken, I will ask consent to do that. I felt it was important for committee members to be able to place their questions first. The ministry can always provide that information in writing for the committee.

There are two minutes remaining. The time is yours if you wish, Mr O'Connor. Now you can use the remaining time. Mr McLean?

Mr McLean: I just wanted to place a question on the record for the ministry to answer, just the very subject you were relating to with regard to recycling. There is a company in the city of Orillia by the name of Jolly Bottoms, which I think was appropriately named for a company that wants to become involved in the diaper recycling business. They have made application to your ministry on two different occasions. They meet the requirements and then the ministry comes back with more regulations. I would like you to give me a copy of the people who have been approved and what amounts have been approved.

The Chair: Perhaps the response to Mr McLean's question will give the ministry an opportunity as well to explain its grant program and how that works. All members of the committee can receive a copy of that and it will become part of the public record.

The time being 5 o'clock, I will announce that the standing committee on social development stands adjourned until 10 am tomorrow. Thank you all.

The committee adjourned at 1702.