In 2019 the RDNO Board of Directors endorsed a plan for regulating the disposal of commercial food waste in the region. Potential stakeholders were informed about the proposed regulation at several events in late 2019 and early 2020. With the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, this implementation was delayed with implementation planned for 2022.
The proposed regulation was originally referred to as “Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) Food Scraps Disposal Ban”. It is now referred to as “Commercial Food Waste Disposal Regulation” to more accurately describe the planned scope of the regulation and how it is planned to be implemented in the RDNO Municipal Solid Waste Management Bylaw (No.2832, 2019).
Food Waste makes up the largest component of landfilled materials for the commercial sector in the RDNO. Expanding organics diversion in this sector is an important step in meeting the region’s and province’s solid waste management goals. This involves reducing the annual per capita disposal rate by over 30% by 2028.
When food and other organic materials end up in landfills they:
- Generate methane, a greenhouse gas over 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Landfill gas collection systems will capture the methane, but most landfill gas collection systems will only capture up to 75% of the methane (meaning that 25% or more still escapes to the atmosphere).
- Use up limited landfill space. Buried under layers of waste and without access to oxygen, food can’t decompose properly.
- Increase leachate which is a liquid produced from the high water content in food scraps. This liquid percolates through other waste in the landfill making it a difficult material to manage.
- Reduce the recovery of resources such as compost which can improve soil health.
Also, wasting edible food is not sustainable, it takes a lot of energy and resources to grow, harvest, transport, package, store and dispose of wasted food.
Implementation & Enforcement
As more information becomes available for this proposed regulation it will be posted on this webpage.
An amendment to RDNO Municipal Solid Waste Management Bylaw (No. 2832, 2019) that will define the materials included and organizations affected by this regulation is planned for 2022. It is expected that an information and education period will take place after the bylaw amendment and there will not be surcharges for food waste disposal at RDNO Diversion & Disposal Facilities during this information and education period. After the information and education period, the initial enforcement will focus on organizations that generate significant volumes of food waste.
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