Other recommendations include new regional boards and K-12 education
A report on waste management in the province recommends higher penalties for littering, amalgamating waste management boards and new tipping fees throughout the province.
Since the initial release of the province’s waste management strategy, the report says, the amount of waste disposal sites in the province has dropped considerably: 72 per cent of those sites have closed, while 85 per cent of incinerators have closed.
Littering continues to be a major problem in the province. The report says a litter review on the province’s highways in 2016 found 92 million pieces of litter on provincial highways — with 66 million cigarettes among the total.
To crackdown on dumping, the report recommends adding cameras and video, increasing fines, and for regional service boards to put money aside for annual cleanups, and to beef up enforcement to crack down on indiscriminate dumping of waste throughout the province. As well, the report recommends adding waste management to the K-12 school curriculum.
The report says the Multi-Material Stewardship Board (MMSB) should be expanded to lead the entire province’s waste management strategy and chair a provincial waste management committee over a series of five-year plans.
Currently, there are eight separate regions with eight different committees, with eight different rule sets. Advisory committees should be established throughout the province to support the plan, the reports says.
One region would cover the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista peninsulas, with the second region covering the rest of the province. Under the new regions, the tipping fee would be $167 per metric tonne in the eastern region, with a $188 annual household fee. The western region would see a $65-per-tonne tipping fee and $183 annual household fee.
The report recommends increasing the deposit on non-alcoholic beverage containers from eight cents per bottle to ten cents, and increasing levies on passenger tires to $4.50 for vehicles under 17 feet and up to $13.50 for vehicles over 17 feet. The report says levies need to be paid on all tires entering the province on imported vehicles, with the fees collected going to the MMSB.
As it stands, there is no provincial strategy for organic waste, so the report recommends such a strategy be created.
The report did not reach any consensus on how to handle waste disposal for residents on unserviced roads in unincorporated areas. The current policy, finalized in October 2019, says the eastern regional service board would not provide any service to such areas, but will allow residents in the area to opt in to garbage collection service. If 70 per cent of residents in such an area opt in to garbage collection and associated fees, then the service board could provide the service. As for whether the new policy should apply to newly formed waste management bodies, the report only recommends further consultation.