An Overview of Links & Literature Relevant to Waste Management in Northern and Remote Communities in Manitoba
In 2018, Boke commissioned Rachel Hammerback to compile an annotated bibliography of documents that would be relevant for waste and recycling projects on First Nations in Manitoba and in other isolated communities in northern Canada, and to provide an overview of the recommendations in those documents. Her work has been supplemented by additional work from other members of the Boke team.
Northern and remote Canadian communities face unique challenges when it comes to waste management. The populations of these communities are generally small, with limited labour pools and resources. Also challenging is the distance to recycling facilities and the minimal options for transport. Given these factors, there are really only three the options for waste in these communities:
- landfilled on-site,
- sent south to a larger city or town, or
- broken down by composting and/or incineration.
As concerns about climate change have grown, so too has the conversation about waste and waste management. The Federal and Provincial governments are just beginning to look more closely at waste practices in northern communities and to set up funding programs and guidelines to assist in building their capacity for waste management.
The consensus among waste management practitioners and government entities (see, in particular, Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt). seems to be that the best approach to waste management in northern first nations is to establish a transfer station or a Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) facility in the community that becomes a staging area for waste diversion, rather than a final resting point.
A transfer station is a facility where some—or all—of a community’s solid wastes are received from local, short-haul collection vehicles, and where they may or may not be sorted, before being loaded onto long-haul vehicles for transfer to a disposal facility in a larger urban centre or town. In terms of economics, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC, formerly Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) has calculated that transfer haul becomes more economical than direct-haul when the round-trip distance to the end-point waste facility exceeds 50 km [source: Gov’t of Canada, Transfer Stations]. As a result, the three key questions for northern and remote communities become:
- What are the best practices for managing the various waste streams at a transfer station?
- Which materials will be accepted at that transfer station?
- What activities will occur at that transfer station?
This web page will seek to provide answers to the above for a northern, remote context.
An MSW facility—including ones which function as transfer stations—typically include the following:
- a dedicated area for processing and storing wastes that have been sorted (i.e.: hazardous and special waste, electronic waste, organic waste, recyclables)
- an area for residual waste disposal or transfer, and
- associated infrastructure such as heavy equipment, shelter for staff, signage and fencing [source: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt].
The level of staffing at an MSW facility will depend on the activities of the facility. However, it is widely agreed that even at the smallest of facilities, staff are required on at least an intermittent basis to ensure the site is being kept clean and that wastes are being disposed of properly [source: Gov’t of British Columbia, Guidelines for Transfer Stations].
MSW facilities must also decide whether or not to charge tipping fees for wastes delivered to the facility. Tipping fees could be applicable to all residents, or the community could decide to apply fees only to certain generators, such as businesses. Churchill for example, charges tipping fees only to commercial producers and on appliances ($10) and derelict vehicles ($50) [source: Town of Churchill].
The transition from being a community that does not charge for waste disposal to one that does may result in some challenges, including an increase in illegal dumping. This is especially a concern in remote communities where land is easily accessible to would-be dumpers. To help combat this, one community implemented a bylaw that prohibits waste disposal in non-designated areas. They enforced this bylaw by searching through any illegally dumped waste for a personal identifier and then posting a notice in the ‘lost-and-found’ section of the local paper asking the ‘dumpee’ to come claim it at their public works building [source: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt].
Depending on population and sprawl, a community may also decide to implement curbside pick-up for some types of waste. According to Stewardship Ontario, curbside pick-up only makes economic sense if the cost of doing so is less than $50 per household, per year [source: KPMG]. Once it has been decided that a MSW facility will be opened, a community will need to look at the types of wastes that will be accepted and how they will be managed.
Prevention and Reduction of New Waste
The first step in waste management is preventing and reducing waste at the source.
Minimizing waste generated at the source makes both environmental and economic sense, especially where southern recycling markets are far away. The key component of this particular step (and in the introduction of any new waste management practices) is public education. In their What We Heard document, the Northwest Territories (NT) government outlined how even when communities put resources into community clean-ups or waste management programs, without proper community outreach and education, the results of these endeavours would be undone within weeks.
To improve awareness while also reducing waste, the Northwest Territories launched a Single-Use Retail Bag Program whereby consumers were charged $.25 for each plastic bag they needed at the grocery store. This served to reduce the number of plastic bags in NT landfills by 73% in six years while also making consumers more mindful of their role in waste management [source: Gov’t of Northwest Territories].
Organics (such as leaf and yard waste, food waste and soiled paper products) typically make up 1/4 to 1/3 of landfilled materials and as such, an organics program provides a great opportunity to significantly increase waste diversion [sources: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt; Giroux Environmental Consulting].
Rapati researched several northern communities that have had success implementing a centralized composting system.
- In Mount Lorne, Yukon (pop. 800) for example, the community built an in-vessel composting tumbler using recycled materials. Residents pay a $20 membership fee to get access to the composter as well as rights to a share of the finished compost.
- Dawson City, Yukon (pop. 1,300) on the other hand, has three collection dumpsters situated around town. They are picked up and emptied by the town’s waste collector and are brought to the landfill where the landfill operator turns them weekly through the summer months using a backhoe.
- A commonly cited challenge was a lack of community buy-in. To combat this, Gustuvus, Alaska offered one bucket of finished compost for every 11L of food waste that was brought in. While this was not sustainable, it generated early interest in the program and got people excited about using the new system.
- Iqaluit, Nunavut (pop. 7,800), used some of the compost on projects intended to enhance civic pride, such as growing flowers and local plants and vegetables. They found that this helped to cultivate a sense of community and gave residents an opportunity to feel like they were ‘giving back’.
Rapati’s review looked at the challenges that each composting program experienced and how they overcame them. One key takeaway was that upkeep can be a challenge when the program is solely run by volunteers. It suggested that that there should be a staff person whose job includes or is dedicated to taking care of the composting program.
Manitoba has an incentive program for municipalities who set up a composting facility. Facilities that enter into an agreement with Manitoba Sustainable Development are eligible for incentive payments of $10 per tonne for facilities that process more than 2,500 tonnes a year and $25 per tonne with a maximum of $25,000 annually for those processing 2,500 tonnes or less. Communities must agree to obtain Compost Facility Operator Certification within two years, meet national standards for composting as well as provide reports annually or bi-annually [source: Gov’t of Manitoba, Manitoba Composts Program].
Small communities in the Northwest Territories have also had success diverting organic waste with backyard composting and vermicomposting. NT has put out a user-friendly guide called Composting North of 60 to help and encourage their residents to set-up a composting system in their homes.
With regards to compost, it is also important to note that while most paper products are recyclable, some communities are just too far away from a recycling mill for recycling to be economically worthwhile. This is the case in the Northwest Territories and some northern and remote areas of the provinces. As an alternative diversion method, paper is accepted in many composting programs (e.g. Nova Scotia, and PEI) as paper (cellulose) materials provide a good carbon source.
Residual waste is the non-hazardous household waste that cannot be recycled or composted. Due to its mixed nature and its relatively high volume, it is the costliest part of the waste stream to be managed [source: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt].
The Government of Canada recommends the disposal of waste in a landfill cell at the community MSW Facility as the most feasible way for northern and remote communities to manage residual waste [source: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt]. They cite various reasons why incineration may not be a practical residual waste disposal solution including:
- that a second disposal system, such as a landfill, is required to dispose of the ash and non-combustible portion of residual waste; and
- that acceptable waste incinerators are expensive and require highly trained operators and extensive maintenance and monitoring.
Some places, such as Sweden, incinerate their residual waste using waste-to-energy technology. The Northwest Territories explored this option but decided to focus their strategy on reducing and diverting waste instead. They found that the costs and benefits of energy recovery technology—for example, financial costs, maintenance challenges, composition of air emissions and energy output—vary greatly [source: Gov’t of Northwest Territories].
When considering which types of recyclables to begin with, it is recommended that communities focus on those materials that are covered by product stewardship and extended producer responsibility programs [source: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt].
Manitoba has 12 Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) that have been established to enhance material recycling. One of the most challenging parts of establishing a recycling program in a remote northern community is the high cost of transporting recyclables to market [source: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt]. For this reason (among many others), it will be key for our province’s northern communities to leverage the services of our PROs. (See the information, below, on working with PROs).
It is also a best practice for new recycling programs to making arrangements with a regional recycling centre to receive their materials. In northern Manitoba, this could be Flin Flon, Thompson, or The Pas [source: Green Action Centre]. These regional facilities may also be able to donate or lend equipment to improve recycling. For example, the Thompson facility has donated can crushers to northern communities to help them increase the amount that can be shipped in a single box [source: Green Action Centre].
Northern waste management often requires a collaborative effort. In 2015 for example, a group of Manitoba PROs joined together for the Winter Road Pilot Project to help address the build-up of waste items in St. Theresa Point First Nation. Multi-Material Stewardship (MMSM), Canadian Battery Association (CBA), Product Care Association (PCA), Switch the Stat (through Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada), Electronics Product Recycling Association (EPRA), Manitoba Association for Resource Recovery Corp. (MARRC), and Tire Stewardship Manitoba (TSM) teamed up to coordinate the removal of the built-up waste with inbound and outbound transporters. They also provided supplies such as pallets and tote bags to help the community better collect and store waste in the future [source: Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba].
End of Life Vehicles
The depollution of End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) should be considered a high priority for any recycling program as there are high human health risks associated with the waste [source: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt].
As previously mentioned, trained personnel will need to remove the battery, fuel, and refrigerants found in a vehicle. Scout Environmental argues that communities may be able to make their ELV management program more financially feasible by removing additional vehicle parts in the decomissioning process. Catalytic converters, aluminum wheels, lead wheel weights, rotors, and wire harnesses can be sold or recycled separately and can often earn a higher price than scrap steel. Once decommissioned, communities may wish salvage vehicle parts for reuse by community members. After that, the ELVs can be shipped to a scrap metal facility for processing. The revenue received from the scrap facility will not pay for the full cost of decommissioning and shipping vehicles, but it will pay for a portion of those costs.
The community of St. Theresa Point purchased a car crusher in 2013. In the summer, vehicles are collected from the community and crushed. In the winter they are loaded onto flat bed and ice road trucks and backhauled to a scrap metal facility. The crushers can also take care of old ovens, fridges, washers, and dryers. The money made from the sale of the scrap metal goes back into the St. Theresa Point recycling project and helps pay the wages of the seven employees who work in the MSW facility.
Bulky Waste and White Goods
The depollution of white goods should be considered a high priority. A trained technician will need to remove refrigerants from appliances. Other bulky waste includes mattresses, furniture, and fibreglass tanks.
Construction, Renovation, and Demolition Waste
One approach to reducing the quantity of Construction, Renovation and Demolition (CRD) waste destined for disposal within the community is to require contractors to sort the materials on the job site, and in some cases, arrange for the backhaul of materials for recycling or disposal as part of their contract [sources: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt; Gov’t of Manitoba, CRD].
It is a best practice to leave space at or adjacent to the MSW facility where household and other reusable or salvageable resources can be dropped off, organized, inventoried and stored for other community members to browse [source: Gov’t of Canada, Solid Waste Mgmt]. Churchill for example, hosts two curbside giveaway weekends each year which are immediately followed by a Community Clean-up Week. During Clean-Up Week, bulky items can be flagged and left out for collection by the town. They are in the process of opening a REUSE area at their transfer station, but in the meantime encourage their residents to use the online swap and shop, a Facebook group that anyone in the community is able to join and post on [source: Town of Churchill].
What follows is a summary of how northern and remote communities can recycle and divert various types of waste and how the services of Product Recycling Organizations (PROs) can be used.
MMSM provides up to 80% funding for a municipality’s household recycling program and municipalities north of the 53rd parallel may be eligible for additional Northern Assistance to offset higher costs of shipping materials. Churchill, Manitoba provides curbside pick-up for their household recycling and residual waste. They do not recycle their cardboard however, due to the significant volume being recycled as well as the cost to ship it south. Instead, the town is authorized to burn cardboard and clean wood at their licensed burn cell. Residents are asked to separate and stack cardboard curbside on recycling day [source: Town of Churchill]. Cardboard can also be used as the base for raised beds in gardens, where it will help retain moisture and improve the soil.
Recycle Everywhere will provide municipalities with free indoor and outdoor public bins, posters to promote the program to residents, as well as guidance on how to implement a successful program. Once the Recycle Everywhere bins are full, you can empty and transport the materials to your recycling site or transfer station. The beverage containers collected from the Recycle Everywhere bins can be combined with those collected from residents’ homes. It is recommended that you do not sort the containers into cans, glass and plastic as it is often most cost-effective for a community to ship co-mingled (mixed) recyclable materials to a recovery facility to be sorted there [source: Green Action Centre].
Tire Stewardship Manitoba provides free scrap tire collection to all registered generators. As long as they follow TSM’s scrap tire storage and collection guidelines, Municipalities and First Nations will also receive a fifty-cent per tire storage incentive for accepting and storing scrap tires at their MSW.
EPRA provides support to communities based on how they choose to collect e-waste. If collecting waste at a MSW facility, EPRA will pay for the e-materials based on their weight but will not provide funding for transport. If collected at an MSW site, e-waste will need to be stored in a covered and locked area. EPRA will help communities to determine an appropriate and cost-effective collection/shipping container for their needs. If the community opts to host a collection event instead, EPRA will pay the transportation costs from the community to a regional processing facility but will not pay for the materials.
Special and Hazardous Wastes
Special and hazardous wastes are typically dropped off by the public at an MSW facility and stored until enough material accumulates to warrant it being transported to a licensed disposal facility (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada).
Regional collaboration can play an important role in successfully removing hazardous and special waste from communities. For example, communities can collectively hire technicians to depollute End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) and appliances with ozone-depleting substances.
In other instances, PROs may require a certain amount of waste to be collected prior to paying to have it removed. Communities can collaborate regionally to inventory and ship out these wastes together (Environment andClimate Change Canada). The Northwest Territories are exploring the idea of having regional mobile shredders, crushers, balers or other equipment that could reduce the volume of recyclables and waste including tires, ELVs, and large appliances [source: Gov’t of Northwest Territories].
Household Hazardous Waste
PCA assists communities with diverting paint, solvents, pesticides, and flammable liquids from the landfill. If a community is approved to collect household hazardous waste at their MSW facility, Product Care will provide all supplies including approved containers to segregate and package Household Hazardous Wastes, a spill kit, portable eye wash, signage, labels, and promotional/educational material. They will also provide training and collect full containers at no charge [source: Green Action Centre].
Used Oil and Antifreeze
The Manitoba Association for Resource Recovery Corp. (MARRC) will share in the cost of setting up and operating a recycling depot for used oil and antifreeze. They will fund 50% of the capital investment to a maximum of $4,000 (total estimated cost for a 2,000 litre tank and used sea container is $8,000), provide operating support to a maximum of $2,000 for items such as insurance, advertising and supplies, cover the costs of required training, and provide a 10% return on the community’s initial capital investment each year for 10 years to a maximum of $400 per year [source: Green Action Centre]. The Island Lake Working Group of Communities (St. Theresa Point, Wasagamack, Garden Hill, and Red Sucker Lake) were recently granted approvals to begin collecting used oil and antifreeze products.
A growing number of First Nations communities in Manitoba (including St. Theresa Point, Lac Brochet, Tadoule Lake, and Brochet) have opted to burn waste oil rather than haul it to a different facility for disposal. A waste oil burner can serve as a heater for a local building, reducing energy costs. This solution also provides a safer alternative to the risks and liabilities of hauling [source: Brown].
MAARC is giving each community financial support of $7,500 plus $2,000 annually in operating funds for their burning unit. For communities interested in purchasing a Used Oil Burning Unit, Manitoba’s Used Oil & Antifreeze Recycling Program will support the capital investment to a maximum of ($15,000 x 50%) $7,500. They will also pay $0.08 per litre on the throughput volume of the used oil annually [source: MAARC].
Lead Acid Batteries (LABs)
The CBA provides funding for the transportation of batteries from a community to the closest recycling location. Your transfer station will need to be equipped with wooden pallets and cardboard boxes and the CBA provide rolls of shrink wrap, Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) labels and TDG/ Hazardous Waste Manifests at no cost [source: Green Action Centre].
Household Batteries and Cell Phones
If a community would like to set up a household battery and cell phone recycling program, Call2Recycle will provide postage-paid collection containers at no cost with a prepaid return shipping waybill. Communities may choose to host a collection event, where everyone saves their batteries for an annual or twice-yearly drop-off. Or, they may place the boxes in a central community space [source: Green Action Centre].
Brown, Thomas. Energy Logic. https://www.energylogic.com
A.J. Chandler and Associates Ltd. Technical Document for Batch Waste Incineration: Executive Summary and Overview of the Six-Step Process for Batch Waste Incineration. January 2010. http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2010/ec/En14-17-2-2010-eng.pdf
Prepared for the Government of Canada.
This document acknowledges that incineration may be an appropriate and cost-effective waste management option for remote communities. It discusses how to select appropriate incineration technologies to meet specific waste management needs as well as the operational requirements that batch incinerators must meet to ensure adherence to Canada-wide standards for dioxins/furans and mercury.
Chesni Advisory Group. Business Plan to Establish a Waste Management & Recycling Project in St. Theresa Point First Nation. St. Theresa Point First Nation. December 7, 2014.
Not available online.
City of Iqaluit, Nunavut. City Landfill Accepting End-Of-Life Vehicles. July 28, 2015. http://www.city.iqaluit.nu.ca/news/end-life-vehicles-disposal-fees-various-sizes-are-available-city-iqaluit.
City of Whitehorse. Solid Waste Action Plan. August 2013. http://whitehorse.ca/departments/environmental-sustainability/waste-diversion/additional-information/solid-waste-action-plan-swapand http://whitehorse.ca/home/showdocument?id=3476
This document is interesting, in part because, while it outlines a comprehensive plan for a wide variety of waste streams, it omits derelict vehicles.
Earthbound Environmental. A Study Into Economic Opportunities Utilizing Waste Materials In Thompson, Wabowden, and Norway House. 2000. http://bokeconsulting.com/media/2017/05/Earthbound-Thompson-Waste-Economic-Opportunities-2000.pdf.
Earthbound Environmental. A Waste Diversion Strategy for the Town of Gillam. 2000. http://bokeconsulting.com/media/2017/05/Earthbound-Gillam-Waste-Diversion-Strategy-2001.pdf.
Earthbound Environmental. Scrap Metal Recycling in Remote Northern Communities: A Pilot Project Implementation Plan. 2003. http://bokeconsulting.com/media/2017/05/Earthbound-Remote-Northern-Metal-Recycling-2003.pdf.
Ecology North. Managing Hazardous Waste in your Community. Video. http://ecologynorth.ca/our-work/waste-reduction-and-composting/managing-hazardous-waste-community/
Ecology North is an organization in the Northwest Territories that promotes the appreciation and protection of the natural environment. They have produced a video going over best practices in setting up a hazardous waste management plan in a Northern Community.
The video explain how best to set up a transfer station or MSW facility to accept, store, and transport hazardous waste and suggest hosting collection events once or twice per year to make it easy and top-of-mind for residents to drop off said waste.
The video also provides a helpful list of considerations to make when deciding which hazardous materials to accept at a transfer station. This list is applicable also to most other wastes a community may be looking to collect and manage:
- Can this be managed within the community?
- How do we manage this hazardous waste from residents?
- Can we manage this waste from businesses and government?
- How will it be safely collected? (does it require a special container?)
- Where will it be collected and how much space will we need?
- Whose role will it be to label identify, segregate and record the waste?
- How much will be collected before it is prepared for shipment?
- Will the material be transported out by road or barge?
- What signs and directions will show people what to do?
ELVS, Alaska. End of Life Vehicle Solutions. http://elvsolutions.org/?page_id=404.
Unfortunately, focused only on mercury switches.
Fisher, Ron and Megan Hooge. “Is it time for our industry to clean up the messes in our own backyard?” Automotive Retailer. April 13, 2015. http://www.automotiveretailer.ca/paving-the-way-for-the-future/.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Getting to 50% and Beyond: Waste Diversion Success Stories from Canadian Municipalities. 2009. https://fcm.ca/Documents/tools/GMF/Getting_to_50_percent_en.pdf
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities have compiled success stories of various communities who have reached waste diversion rates of nearly 50% or greater. They are sharing these stories in the hopes that municipalities who are just beginning to implement a waste management system can learn from their strategies.
Though an informative document, none of the municipalities profiled were similar to those we would be working with and did not address any of the challenges that a remote, northern community would face in terms of weather, access, population etc. Though interesting to read, this document does not prove too helpful for our purposes.
Giroux Environmental Consulting. State of Waste Management in Canada. 2014. https://www.ccme.ca/files/Resources/waste/wst_mgmt/State_Waste_Mgmt_in_Canada%20April%202015%20revised.pdf
Government of British Columbia. A Guide to Solid Waste Management Planning. Ministry of Environment. September 2016. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/waste-management/garbage/swmp.pdf
Government of British Columbia. Guidelines for Establishing Transfer Stations for Municipal Solid Waste. Ministry of Environment. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/waste-management/garbage/guidelinesestablishingtransferstationsmunicipalsolidwaste.pdf
Government of British Columbia. Waste Management. Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Parks. 2018. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management
The British Columbia guidelines provide a helpful overview of the various considerations a municipality would need to make when establishing a transfer station during implementation of their solid waste management plan. The guidelines cover such areas as zoning and location, design, operations, and costing models.
For our purposes, these documents most valuable in providing general best practices in terms of storage (how long, in what types of containers) and collection.
The Guidelines also provide an analysis of the various types of transfer stations (green box, dedicated truck, roll-off container, hydraulically tippable containers, direct dump, compaction) which may be important when looking at developing waste management systems for specific communities.
This guide provides advice to a First Nation on how to prepare a project proposal for a small (less than 50 tonnes/day) on-reserve transfer station. It looks at how to determine whether or not a transfer station is needed and identifies and discusses the various considerations one must make when planning and designing a transfer station in a First Nations context.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) asserts that a transfer station is essential for effective waste management on any rural or remote reserve that is not near (within 50 km) to an off-reserve disposal facility (pg 7).
This document will prove especially useful when developing waste management project proposals for specific communities.
Government of Canada. Indian Reserve Waste Disposal Regulations. Minister of Justice. C.R.C., c. 960.Current to September 26, 2018. https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._960/index.html
Prior to establishing any new MSW or waste disposal site on a reserve, these regulations should be reviewed and adhered to. To summarize, the Indian Reserve Waste Disposal Regulations state that no person should operate a waste disposal site on a reserve, use reserve land for waste storage, or disposal or burn waste without a permit.
Failure to comply with these regulations may result in closure of the waste disposal/storage site, fine or imprisonment.
Government of Canada. Mine Site Reclamation Guidelines for the Northwest Territories. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. January 2007. http://www.inuvwb.ca/Downloads/Mine_Site_Reclamation_2007.pdf.
Section 2.9 “Buildings & Equipment” is particularly relevant to northern communities. This section covers “ore processing/concentrator plant, head frame, maintenance shops, offices, warehouses, fuel tanks, fuel tank farms, assay and analytical labs, process reagent and explosive storage, boiler houses, power generation plants, and camp facilities. Equipment may include:
- all surface and underground mobile equipment,
- shaft installations,
- distribution piping, and
A significant portion of the non-vehicle metal waste in northern communities is like the material listed in this section of this document.
Government of Canada. Solid Waste Management for Northern and Remote Communities: Planning and Technical Guidance Document. Environment and Climate Change Canada. March, 2017. https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/managing-reducing-waste/municipal-solid/environment/northern-remote-communities.html
Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC’s) technical guide provides best practices in planning, design, and operations for Municipal Solid Waste facilities (MSWs) in northern and remote regions. This document is particularly useful for our purposes as it is location-specific, pragmatic, and builds on a traditional respect for nature, viewing waste not as a source of pollution, but as a resource (pg.4).
ECCC’s guidelines are unique in that they take a risk-based approach to waste management, prioritizing MSW activities based on the waste stream’s impact on human health and the environment. They advocate for a model of continuous improvement, implementing the high risk activities first and moving through the medium- and lower-risk items as resources become available.
Government of Canada. Study of the Extent of Abandoned and Derelict Vessels in Canada. Transport Canada. November 2012. http://avicc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/TransportCanada_Report_AbandonedDerelictVesselReport_Feb202013.pdf.
Government of Canada. Technical Document on Municipal Solid Waste Organics Processing. Environment Canada. 2013. https://www.ec.gc.ca/gdd-mw/3E8CF6C7-F214-4BA2-A1A3-163978EE9D6E/13-047-ID-458-PDF_accessible_ANG_R2-reduced%20size.pdf
This document is meant to be a resource to Canadian municipalities who are engaging with consulting firms and technology providers to assess potential options for organic waste processing. It takes into account the Canadian context (in terms of weather, markets and end-users) and provides an overview and advantages/disadvantages of various composting methods.
In addition, this document will be useful in planning for a centralized compost system at a MSW facility as it provides considerations for facility siting and design.
Finally, it provides an overview of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s (CCME’s) regulations for quality standards for compost in Canada.
Government of Canada. Technical Guide for Developing a Solid Waste Management Plan. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. October 2017.
For a proposed community solid waste management project (such as constructing or expanding a solid waste transfer station or a landfill) to be considered for funding by INAC, project proponents must first complete a community solid waste management plan per the guidelines provided in this document.
Should INAC funding be pursued, this document will be an integral resource.
Government of Canada. Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992. Current to August 19, 2018. https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/act-amendedact-69.htm
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act sets out the general requirements that must be met when handling or transporting dangerous goods. This act applies to many of the wastes at which we are looking, including e-waste, lead acid batteries, hazardous waste, bulky/white waste etc.
Government of Canada. Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. Current to August 19, 2018. https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-menu-497.htm
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations provides specific details on how to transport the goods that you may come across in your day-to-day operations.
Government of Manitoba. Construction, Renovation and Demolition Waste Management Guideline: Technical Update. Green Building Program Manitoba. July 11, 2017. https://www.gov.mb.ca/finance/greenbuilding/pubs/2017-07-11_constructionrenovationdemolition.pdf
While I have not been able to find many tangible examples of how construction, renovation, and demolition (CRD) waste is being managed in northern remote communities, Green Building Program Manitoba provides guidelines for developing your CRD waste management plan. They also detail the materials that are most commonly recyclable or salvageable and what the uses (or reuses) of these products usually are.
Though they make mention of the difficulties some rural and remote areas may have in diverting CRD waste from landfills, they do not provide any insights on how these difficulties may be managed.
Government of Manitoba. The Manitoba Composts Program. Sustainable Development. n.d. https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/wastewise/compost/program.html
Government of Manitoba. Standards for Landfills in Manitoba. Manitoba Sustainable Development. 2016. https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/envprograms/swm/pdf/standards_for_landfills.pdf
This authoritative document outlines the minimum standards for siting, design, operation, monitoring, planning, and closure of new or existing landfills in Manitoba. This document governs all landfills in Manitoba, including those operated by First Nations, unless it is operated on reserve land, in which case the Government of Canada documentIndian Reserve Waste Disposal Regulationsapplies.
Government of Manitoba. Standards for Transfer Stations in Manitoba. Manitoba Sustainable Development. 2016. https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/envprograms/swm/pdf/standard_for_transfer_stationts.pdf
This authoritative document outlines the minimum standards for siting, design, operation, monitoring, planning, and closure of new or existing transfer stations in Manitoba. It does not take into account how waste management practices could or should vary based on a community’s location within the province. In spite of that, this document should be reviewed during planning to ensure minimum standards are met.
Government of Manitoba. Waste Management Facilities Regulation. The Environment Act. Feb. 23, 2016. https://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/current/_pdf-regs.php?reg=37/2016
The Waste Management Facilities Regulation section of the provincial Environment Act should be reviewed prior to implementing a new or making operational change to a waste management facility.
The Regulation covers the licenses and permits required to operate a waste management facility, the operating requirements of various types of MSWs (transfer stations, material recovery facilities, landfills etc.) as well as requirements for closure of a waste management facility.
While the majority of these regulations have been re-stated in other sources, the Environment Act should be considered the definitive reference for minimum standards.
Government of Northwest Territories. Composting North of 60: A Guide to Home Composting in the Northwest Territories. https://www.iti.gov.nt.ca/sites/iti/files/composting%2520booklet.pdf
Government of Northwest Territories. Developing a Waste Resource Management Strategy: Discussion Paper. November 2017. https://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/sites/enr/files/resources/final_pdf_env_wrrp_discussion_paper_for_development_of_waste_resource_management_strategy_november_2017.pdf
Government of Northwest Territories. Developing a Waste Resource Management Strategy: What We Heard Fall 2017/Winter 2018 Engagement. June 2018. https://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/sites/enr/files/resources/what_we_heard.pdf\
The Northwest Territories’ (NT’s) Waste Resource Management Strategy is founded in four guiding principles and has four primary goals.
The founding principles are:
- protection of the environment
- economic development and financial liability
- environmental stewardship
- collaborative approaches
The goals are:
- to prevent and reduce waste generated at the source
- to divert waste disposed in landfills
- to improve waste management facilities and practices
- to lead by example (“Green the Government”)
- For each goal, they have suggested a handful of actions that may work in its favour.
It is important to note that this strategy is fairly broad (few best practices are discussed) and has yet to be enacted.
A follow-up paper, entitled What We Heard, was published in June 2018. It summarized community feedback on the discussion paper and the goals and actions therein.
This document is interesting for our purposes in that it provides insight into the types of waste management initiatives that may resonate with a northern community.
While the documents do not get too much at what northern communities are actually doing in pursuit of waste management, they demonstrate that we (Manitoba and NT) share some of the same challenges in this area.
A large focus for the NT will be on developing new extended producer responsibility programs to build on their existing two. For Manitoba, the focus for our northern communities will be on leveraging the 12 provincial programs that already exist.
The implementation of the NT’s strategy will be interesting for Manitobans to observe.
Government of Nunavut. End-of-Life Vehicle Hazardous Materials Recovery Program Manual: Manual for the Preparation and Disposal of End-of-Life Vehicles in Nunavut. January 2011. http://www.gov.nu.ca/sites/default/files/final_-_elv_program_manual_-_jan_10_2011_0%20%281%29.pdf.
Prepared by Dillon Consulting Limited, Dennis Heinrichs, P.Eng., Project Manager.
Green Action Centre. Starting a Recycling Program: A Toolkit for Manitoba First Nations and Northern Communities. April 2017. http://greenactioncentre.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Cover-Intro-ToC.pdf
The Green Action Centre provides an easy-to-follow guide on how communities in Northern Manitoba can leverage 8 of the 12 recycling programs run by provincial Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs).
The services provided by each PRO are provided, as is application information and key contacts for both the PRO and other important suppliers and service providers.
This is a well-organized document with many useful graphs and charts. In particular, the chart outlining best practices in storage, location, and transport of each type of recycling will be helpful.
Gringer, Bonnie. The Trash One Person Produces In A Year. n.d. TitleMax.com. https://www.titlemax.com/discovery-center/lifestyle/trash-one-person-produces-year/.
An interesting and eye-catching graphic based on average US trash production data from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The volumes will be different for people living in northern and remote communities.
Hamlet of Paulatuk, NT. Solid Waste Facility Operation and Maintenance Manual. July 2015. http://doczz.fr/doc/3081725/solid-waste-facility—inuvialuit-water-board.
Prepared by Jennifer Spencer of Dillon Consulting.
Hamlet of Ulukhaktok, NT. Solid Waste Facility Operation and Maintenance Manual. December 2015. http://www.inuvwb.ca/Downloads/Public%20Registry%20pdf%20files/2015-12-23%20Solid%20Waste%20O&M%20Manual%20-%20Draft.pdf.
Prepared by Dillon Consulting Limited, Jennifer Spencer, Project Manager.
Journal of the Northern Territories Water & Waste Association. http://ntwwa.com/journal.asp.
Useful as an ongoing resource.
KBL Environmental. Waste Management Plan: F-68 Well Site Remediation, Satellite Bay, Prince Patrick Island, NT. Inuvialuit Water Board. February, 2016 & February 2017. http://www.inuvwb.ca/Downloads/Public%20Registry%20pdf%20files/2017-04-13%20Updated%20WasteMgmtPlan.pdf
Particularly relevant in that it addresses waste materials beyond vehicles, including “old fuels, batteries, scrap metal…oily rags, and impacted water”.
KPMG. Blue Box Program Enhancement and Best Practices Assessment Project. Waste Diversion Ontario. 2007. http://www.stewardshipontario.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/KPMG_final_report_vol1.pdf
Machum, Eric. “Abandoned and Derelict Ships: Where do we go from here?” The Canadian Maritime Law Association. http://www.cmla.org/papers/Abandoned_Vessels.pdf.
A type of scrap metal that may be present in some communities but is not often considered in waste or recycling planning.
Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. Operation and Maintenance Plan Templates for Municipal Water Licences: Solid Waste Facility. November 10, 2015. https://glwb.com/sites/default/files/documents/Operation%20and%20Maintenance%20Plan%20Templates%20-%20Solid%20Waste%20Facility%20%28SWF%29%20-%20Apr%2020_17.pdf
A useful template for developing a solid waste management plan that can include much of the materials to be managed in First Nations and northern communities.
MARRC (Manitoba Association for Resource Recovery Corporation). MARRC 2017 Annual Report. http://usedoilrecycling.com/en/mb/sites/default/files/MARRC%20ANNUAL%20REPORT%202017%20COMPLETE%20FINAL%20April%2020%202018.pdf
Mason, Solomon. Report: Scrap Metal Recycling Project Two (2) Year Action Plan April 2014 to March 2016. St. Theresa Point First Nation. April 7, 2014.
Not available online.
Mason, Solomon, and Pinter & Associates. Waste Stream Study, St. Theresa Point First Nation. March 28, 2011.
Not available online.
Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba. 2015 Annual Report. 2015. http://stewardshipmanitoba.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/MMSM-Annual-Report-for-2015-1.pdf
Oteng-Ababio, Martin. “Missing links in solid waste management in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area in Ghana.” GeoJournal (2011): 551-560. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291047014_Missing_links_in_solid_waste_management_practices_in_the_Greater_Accra_Metropolitan_Area_GAMA
Oyegunle, Ahmed Oyeleye. Solid Waste Management Practices in Two Northern Manitoba First Nations Communities: Community Perspectives on the Issues and Solutions. Thesis Paper. 2016. https://umanitoba.ca/institutes/natural_resources/pdf/theses/Oyegunle,%20Ahmed.MNRM%202016.pdf
Oyegunle examines existing waste management practices in two Northern Manitoban First Nations—Garden Hill and Wasagamack. He provides a summary of the potential environmental and human health impacts that poor waste disposal practices may have on a community.
Based on this research and his experiences in Garden Hill and Wasagamack, he concludes with recommendations on how to improve waste management in northern first nations.
The most useful section of this report for our purposes is the recommendations portion. The recommendations, however, were fairly general and did not provide the specific best practices that I had hoped for.
Oyegunle recommends the following actions as a starting point for Garden Hill and Wasagamack:
- replace existing garbage dumps with sanitary landfills
- initiate community clean-up programs and closure of open dumps
- train community experts on waste to ensure environmental protection
- introduce a waste collection system
- build transfer stations
- embrace community environmental education and awareness to enhance community participation and capacity building
- enact band by-laws on solid waste disposal
- conduct a waste audit and develop a waste reduction plan
- understand the roles of the communities and the concept of shared responsibilities
- collaborate to develop a regional waste management approach
- develop a waste management option and compute financial implications
Oyegunle gives a fulsome explanation of the challenges faced by northern Manitoban communities when it comes to waste management and argues in favour of better support and action from the provincial producer responsibility organizations (pg 142).
Rapati, Kim. Feasibility of Centralized Composting in Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada. March 2014. http://www.ecologynorth.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Hay-River-Composting-Study-of-Options-March-2014.pdf
Prepared by Ecology North for the Town Hay River, Environment Canada, and other interested parties.
Kim Rapati of Ecology North completed a feasibility study on composting in Hay River, a small community in the Northwest Territories (pop. 3,528). Rapati investigated three scenarios:
- Composting of Poultry Manure and Paper Waste
- Composting of Source-Separated Organics and Paper Waste
- Composting of Source-Separated Organics, Paper and Aged Chicken Manure
The study outlined the importance and logistics of diverting paper from the regular household recycling stream for compost as well as best practices in compost facility location and design.
The study concluded that centralized composting in Hay River should be pursued and that the first step would be to place organics collection bins at major producers in town, such as schools, restaurants, and grocery stores.
Rapati, Kim. Review of Centralized Composting Projects in Small- to Medium-sized Northern Communities. 2013. http://ecologynorth.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/HRCompost-AppendicesLitReviewMarch-2014.pdf
Prepared by Ecology North for Environment Canada.
Rapati completed a review of 11 centralized composting initiatives in northern communities, from Alaska to Greenland. The communities ranged in size from 380 people (Makkovik, Labrador) to ~20,000 (Whitehorse and Yellowknife). In these communities, five types of composting were used: aerated static piles, in-vessel, turned pile, pallet heap (hand-turned) and open windrow.
Operators of each program were interviewed and offer their recommendations and lessons learned. Rapati concludes by offering best practices in operations, technologies and techniques, economics, and leadership and partnerships.
This is a very useful document for any northern community considering implementing a compost program.
Scout Environmental. Protecting the Land: A Practical Guide to ELV Recycling in the North. August 2014. https://tundratakeback.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Protecting-the-Land-A-Practical-Guide-to-ELV-Recycling-in-the-North.pdf
Prepared for Tundra Take-Back.
Scout Environmental (SE, formerly Summerhill Impact) provides a thorough but easy-to-follow and practical overview of End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) Recycling in a northern setting. It goes over guidelines for choosing a site to de-pollute and store ELVs and is divided into Beginner (de-pollute), Intermediate (de-pollute, flatten or crush) and Advanced (de-pollute, flatten or crush, transport for recycling) steps for ELV management. For each ‘level’ it provides the various jobs or roles that will need to be filled to ensure success as well as the best equipment and tools to use.
Practitioners will also find useful, for space planning purposes, the chart providing approximate measurements for vehicles depending on how they have been crushed.
Appendix A contains a list of shipping companies that operate in Canada’s north, which may be useful when exploring options for backhauling. Finally, SE provides step-by-step instructions for hoisting and de-polluting an ELV.
Overall, this is an excellent overview document on ELV Recycling.
Town of Churchill. Waste Management. http://www.churchill.ca/main.aspx?parentCode=A8C7E6CB-184B-4CAE-96D4-562BD4A96707
Tundra Take-Back. Successful Recycling and Hazardous Waste Management in Northern and Remote Canada. 2015. http://scoutenvironmental.com/images/uploads/mainimages/TTB-Report-2015Mar30.pdf
Van Dusen, John. “Gov’t of Nunavut looking to charge $1,000+ to ship a vehicle North.” CBC News. October 12, 2016. Http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/nunavut-considers-charging-vehicle-import-fee-1.3801501
Washington State. Demonstration Project: Solid Waste Management and Recycling. Department of Labor and Industry. November 2004. http://www.lni.wa.gov/safety/SprainsStrains/demofnl/solidwasterecycling.pdf
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industry provide an overview of the different types of processes and vehicles involved with refuse collection, collection of recyclable material (non-organic), and the sorting of recyclable materials at a material recovery facility.
This document provides an ergonomic assessment of the different waste management processes and recommendations for worker wellness. It may not be appropriate for our purposes.
Wordsworth, Anne. “Improving the Management of End-of-life Vehicles in Canada.” Canadian Environmental Law Association. April 2011. http://www.cela.ca/sites/cela.ca/files/784.ELV%20April%202011.pdf
Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council. Backhaul: A “How To” Guide. 2016. https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/dcbdaf_286fdf14a215417d9301c996864cbcc3.pdf