Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability

Solid Waste Master Plan

CAFES marks the end of our four-year engagement with the City on the development of its Solid Waste Master Plan.

On June 18th, CAFES made a public delegation to the Environment and Climate Change Committee on the final draft of Ottawa’s Solid Waste Master Plan.

The Plan, which will guide how the City manages waste over the next 30 years, was subsequently granted Council approval on June 26th, along with its accompanying Long Range Financial Plan. CAFES has provided input on the evolving plan since 2020 through our active engagement on the Stakeholder Sounding Board. In April 2020, CAFES and Waste Watch Ottawa came together to identify 29 specific recommendations for the plan, which were shared with the City’s Solid Waste staff, and which became our baseline for engagement in this planning process.

Since then, CAFES has consistently promoted an increased focus on waste reduction, increased ambition on recycling and organics diversion, and saying no to waste-to-energy incineration. We also stood up against the decision to allow plastic bags in the organic waste stream, supported the proposed “pay-as-you-throw” model for financing curbside collection, and advocated for accelerated roll-out of green bins in multi-unit residential buildings. Thank you to all who have been involved in contributing to this file. Your efforts have been very much appreciated.

Ottawa’s new Solid Waste Master Plan is definitely a step forward for our city, which has long been lagging behind other Ontario municipalities on waste reduction and diversion. However, CAFES remains concerned about the slow pace of implementation, with many of the waste reduction and diversion elements beginning with strategy development, and no clarity as of yet on specific actions.

We are also watching closely for the consultant assessment currently underway of potential residual waste options. Incineration is still very much an option under consideration, but without a full understanding of the additional costs entailed, including for another landfill required to process residual waste post-incineration.

Finally, after years of accompanying the SWMP development process as trusted partners, we believe that CAFES is well-placed as a broad-based network to support SWMP roll-out through the implementation of waste reduction and diversion initiatives. As such, we are supporting Ecology Ottawa’s call for long-term, sustainable funding for community partnerships. Consider adding your name to their petition!

Check out our presentation below and watch the full committee meeting here on Youtube.

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