Posts Tagged ‘waste’

Increased Waste Collection Fines

September 6, 2008

In the absence of a municipal system of fines, the default max. amount is only $5,000 (section 61 of the Provincial Offences Act.)

Jay Stanford (Director of Environmental Programs & Solid Waste) is proposing that London’s waste collection by-law (WM-12) be amended so that higher waste management fines can be imposed.01 That’s possible because section 429 of the Municipal Act 2001 allows municipalities to establish their own system of fines for offences.

The proposal would see a $10,000 max. fine for a first conviction for individuals and $25,000 max. for subsequent convictions; $50,000 max. for a first conviction for corporations and $100,000 max. for subsequent convictions.

If approved at Monday’s ETC meeting, the proposal will then proceed to the next City Council meeting on September 15, 2008.

Sources:
01. 2008/09/08 – City London: ETC Agenda item #4

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Not Today?

May 16, 2008


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It seems that these guys may have to wait another day for their ride.

Sort of reminds you of the accessible taxi situation in London, doesn’t it?

EnviroChallenge: Reduce Your Flow

May 2, 2008

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It costs “only eight cents [to take] one KWH of electricity for each cubic metre of water drawn from Lake Ontario, purified, pumped to consumers, removed, run through a sewage treatment plant [to Toronto]. 01

Sounds like a deal, doesn’t it? Until you consider that Toronto used 374 million cubic metres last year.” 01

The numbers may be different here in London, but the conclusion is comparable. Use less water. It will save you money. It will also help to cut greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation.

Sources:
01. 2008/02/08 – TheGreenLife: Slow the flow

London’s Spaghetti WM Solution

March 27, 2008

“Until recently, city hall staff thought the city needed to build a $80-million plant in the south end to accommodate growth the next 20 years.” 01 Put another way, which better explains the politics of the problem, anti-sprawl activists have been advocating a diet plan to address the insatiable appetite of local developers.

Now we’re told of an amazing new ‘spaghetti’ filtering system that will allow existing pollution control plants to handle new development for only $20-$30 million as opposed to the $80-million cost of a new-south end plant.

And Ron Standish (director of waste water and treatment) is reported to have called that “a good thing for taxpayers.”

Well, I beg to differ.

Waste management is only one of the costs associated with new development. And even if you’re willing to ignore all of those other costs (as too often happens), should we really be putting all of our WM eggs in our existing basket? And surely people must now realize following the collapse of the Dundas/Wellington intersection that we cannot forever delay the costs of maintaining/rebuilding our infrastructure?

I really, really mistrust ‘magic’ solutions. Especially with so many members of Council whose election campaigns were so healthily enhanced with financial contributions by the development industry.

Sources:
01. 008/03/27 – LFP: Hi-tech may save city $80M for plant

Expansion of London’s Recycling Program

March 18, 2008


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My audio recording of yesterdays ETC meeting, agenda item #9, recommended changes to London’s recycling program.

Making Waste Smell Like Money

March 2, 2008

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Admittedly, we don’t have too much of a problem with people openly defecating in public. Still, it’s possible that a new technology by Indian plastics and textiles manufacturer Sintex Industries could have some application here.

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Roll Up The Environment

February 28, 2008

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Rumours to the contrary, the Tim Hortons coffee chain is not single-handedly responsible for the deterioration of our natural environment. But it’s certainly one of the culprits.

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Community Consultation re Waste Management

December 23, 2007

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“The broad field of waste management is a complex discipline that includes, but is not limited to, environmental protection, public education, waste reduction, recycling, composting, garbage collection, landfill construction and maintenance, data gathering and analysis, government regulation, and public relations. For municipal governments it requires staff that is continually learning new strategies, complying with government regulations and adapting and advancing techniques of waste diversion, collection and disposal. In London, the program is referred to as the Continuous Improvement System.” 01

Now, the City of London wants your opinion. You are being asked to read it’s just-released consultative ‘Road Map to Maximize Waste Diversion in London‘ report, that “outlines and explains a number of options the City has compiled and/or developed to help Londoners achieve higher diversion rates,” and to complete/submit a questionaire/comments form that it contains.

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Reviewing London’s Wastewater Strategy

December 9, 2007

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On this week’s ETC meeting agenda, a number of wastewater-related submissions…

First, we’ve got one titled “Review of Rainfall Intensity Duration Frequency Curves for City of London Under Climate Change.” I’ll give you a second to digest that. 😉 According to the agenda, there was a recent presentation made to Committee of the Whole “regarding the impacts of climate change and its potential impacts on the City’s water resources system and municipal infrastructure;” following that, Council requested more information. This appears to be the response to that request.

There’s one called “Wet Weather Overflow Strategy.”

And last but not least, there’s a sure-to-delight “Presentation to the International Solid Waste Association, September 2007” and “Waste Diversion Strategy Public Consultation Document and Recent Waste Diversion Initiatives.”

Appended:

Noah's Ark There’s a must-read article in this morning’s paper (‘City staff heeds alarm of scientist over sewers‘; Jonathan Sher; London Free Press; 2007/12/09) which provides more detail about the Rainfall Intensity submission, and UWO’s Dr. Slobodan Simonovic whose previous presentation warns that “storm sewers will be overwhelmed by torrential rains brought on by global warming” because the cost of the “much bigger drains, pipes and storm management ponds” which are required by a “worst-case scenario” is “unbearable for the city…these numbers are huge.”

Links:
2007/12/08 – FMBS: Wastewater Tax Increase
2007/12/11 – Green Daily: Driveways become grassways

Fast-Food Waste

December 9, 2007

A Torontoist sketch.
comic

Exporting Our e-Waste Problem

December 8, 2007

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Although “the environmental and human health costs” of unregulated handling of e-waste “are huge,” many Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions “are caught in a ‘secret cycle’ ” of unsafe disposal that often includes meagerly-paid workers in “China… India and some African nations” (“Chipping Up Computers“; Hilary Feldman; AboutMyPlanet; 2007/12/02).

Links:
2006/12/19 – AMP: Many “Recycled” Computers Go To Digital Dump

Zero-Waste Public Events

December 7, 2007

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A delegation representing TREA, Waste Free World and Home County appeared at the 2007/11/26 ETC meeting along with this written submission about reducing the volume of waste at all downtown special events.

ETC directed that recycling receptacles be installed “in all City-owned and managed facilities by June, 2008.”

So far, so good.

The matter of waste elimination was referred to administration “to report back on the viability of conducting a pilot project to commence in 2008, with appropriate resources and finances, and the requirement for an evaluation report once the pilot project is completed.”

Seems pretty obvious to me that the pilot project is viable. The devil’s always in the details. We’ll have to keep our eyes on this to make sure it gets a fair chance to prove it’s worth.

Skewed Priorities?

December 3, 2007

$265,000?

That’s how much some senior members of City Hall staff and some members of Council appear to be willing to pay to “beautify” the pollution plant/ waste depot that’s on Oxford Street West.

I’m not opposed to visually enhancing our community. In fact, I’ve advocated for graffitti removal, public art, regulation re abandoned grocery shopping carts, etc. But is this a good deal for the money? Could it be done as well for less? Should it be done as long as other more important things are being underfunded or ignored altogether?

What ticks me off is the way that the City appears to decide upon the propriety of spending tax dollars, sometimes large amounts of it, without attempting to weigh the comparative importance of one initiative against another.

This “beautification” project is a perfect example, because the amount of money being proposed is almost as much as the City spends over the course of an entire year on Walkway Lighting. And let’s not forget to inadequate way that City Hall attends to landscaping along sidewalks and pathways. And let’s certainly not forget the pedestrian safety concerns that I’ve raised with respect to Commissioners Road East, particularly the design of the Commissioners/Pond Mills intersection (which a police report confirms is dangerous to pedestrians and which City Hall has ignored for this entire year).

But there’s little cause for City Hall to worry about such trivial concerns as pedestrian safety, having secretly “swept” my proposal for a Pedestrian Committee “under the rug” instead of dealing with it in public. Until pedestrians have a seat at the table, we’ll continue to be attacked and injured and killed needlessly.

Links:
2005/05/17 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/07/22 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/08/10 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/08/29 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/11/15 – FMBS: Walkway Lighting Budget
2005/12/10 – FMBS: Public Letter to City Council
2005/12/14 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/12/21 – FMBS: City Refuses to Reveal…Salary
2006/02/13 – FMBS: Unlit Walkways
2007/04/20 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2007/05/14 – FMBS: Walkway Fences
2007/05/14 – FMBS: Waiting Patiently
2007/07/14 – FMBS: Still Waiting Patiently
2007/08/18 – FMBS: Anybody Seen This Missing Councillor?
2007/11/14 – FMBS: Letter to ETC re Obstructive Landscaping

Loretta Lau’s Timmy Petition

November 30, 2007

care2Petition logo I’d like to draw your attention to an online petition which attempts to influence Tim Hortons® (Canada’s largest food service operator) to do more toward addressing it’s harmful behaviour than simply putting anti-litter messages on it’s packaging (click HERE to view the petition).

logoI’d also like to highlight a similar initiative by a group of local student activists. EnviroWestern’s Mug Team is trying to get “as many as people on campus to utilize travel mugs as possible.” Very nice.

Why are we so complacent in the face of commercial enviro-assaults? Have we convinced ourselves that nobody will pay more than lip service, or that we’ll only be ignored completely? Too busy to bother, do we assuage ourselves into believing that somebody else will eventually confront the problem?

Please have a look at these petitions and consider giving them your support. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, it doesn’t cost you anything, and it’s a whole lot better than doing nothing. Because, by remaining silent, you’re still making a statement. But, is it the one that you want to make?

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Links:
2007/11/28 – FMBS: Making a difference …
2007/11/30 – Gazette: Curb waste with biodegradeable cups

Hamilton’s New Garbage Limits

November 30, 2007

It’s more confusing than it has to be. It will take a lot longer to put in place than is necessary. But despite all that, Hamilton’s new policy on garbage pickup is going in the right direction, and puts London’s 4-bag system to shame.

2008/03/31-
2009/03/28
3 x 23 kg. containers (MAX). Extra containers get an “oops” tag and are left at the curb.


2009/03/30-
2010/04/03
2 x 23 kg. containers (MAX); one must be a clear bag for non-recyclables and non-organics ONLY (if it contains anything else it will be tagged and left behind). Extra containers get an “oops” tag and are left at the curb.


2010/04/05- 1 x 23 kg. container ONLY. Extra containers will be left behind.


Exemptions Special consideration for households with more than three children under five years old to allow for diapers.

Special consideration for residents with medical conditions.

3 x 3-container days (following Victoria Day, Thanksgiving and New Year’s).


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Links:
2007/11/17 – FMBS: Proposed Hamilton Garbage Limit
2007/11/17 – Spectator: What did we just do?