•"There is an ever increasing amount of waste produced around the globe and no new solutions created to manage it"
In Canada, the majority of waste is transported directly to the landfills.
The current processes for the reduction of solid and liquid wastes are causing negative environmental, economic and sociological impacts for our future generations. In Canada, the majority of waste is transported directly to the landfills. Some segregation efforts have been implemented to help reduce the size of our landfills however; there has not been a significant enough reduction to eliminate the potential for long-term hazards.
25 million tons
According to Statistics Canada, almost 25 million tones of non-hazardous waste were disposed in Canada in 2010, with Alberta comprising over 16 percent. In 2010, Alberta was the province with the highest per capita disposal rate at 1,052 kg per person. The costs to the local governments within Canada associated with the disposal/processing facilities, collection and transportation of waste materials and tipping fees are staggering at over $2.1 billion per annum.
Reduce waste and protect health
The waste industry has become a commercial, money making venture. Large corporations now run all aspects of the market including landfills, incinerators and recycling facilities. The corporate need to make a profit outweighs the community’s need to reduce waste and protect health and the environment from potentially destructive waste management practices.
Government implemented zero-waste initiatives have resulted in short-sighted quick-fix solutions to divert waste instead of devoting much needed resources to developing sustainable programs and technologies to recycle/repurpose. This, coupled with a serious lack of enforcement of environmental regulations at solid waste facilities by federal and provincial officials, is resulting in a dependence upon massive expansions to landfills or utilizing dying technologies with significant or unproven negative environmental impact to divert waste in order to maintain profits.
WASTE INDUSTRY CHALLENGES
With rapid economic and population growth in developing countries comes the ever-increasing volumes of liquid and solid waste. Within the next 15 years, global production of municipal solid waste is expected to double and developing nations annual spend increasing from the current $46 billion USD to over $150 billion USD by 2025. The negative economic, environmental, health and social impacts of continuing to rely on the dominant processing modes (landfilling and incineration) are staggering.
Federal and provincial governments, municipalities and communities are faced with the task of managing this burden with access to severely limited funding and resources. The private sector has yet to prove the genuine economic opportunities available within the waste industry and struggles to access funding.