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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Integrated Waste Management: Public Policy Challenges and Potential Solutions

Report by Michael Lister

As Canada’s economy and urban populations grow, waste from households and industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) sources have grown at a rate that too often outpaces municipal and provincial efforts to deal with it. With that in mind, Michael Lister’s report from the Public Policy Forum’s symposium on waste management begins with the conclusion that integrated waste management requires a national policy framework. According to the author, an integrated system would combine waste streams, waste collection, and disposal methods with the goals of environmental benefits, economic optimization, and societal acceptance.

To date, Lister explains how the work by provinces and municipalities to enact and enforce the waste management provisions of “re-use, reduce and recycle” has too often been undermined by various definitions of the terms, and a lack of coherence between actors. The lack of coherence undermines the possibility of combining various actors in a single integrated system, leading Lister to recommend a national initiative to provide clarity and ensure a common understanding among the stakeholders.

Lister’s report also recommends that provincial governments take a leadership role in waste management issues. He argues that rather than simply setting targets for diversion and monitoring how municipalities and business meet those targets, the provincial government should initiate energy from waste programs while also creating a solid plan for diversion and reduction of waste materials.

Lastly, the report concludes that the various stakeholders from all levels of government, academia, and ICI sectors should create a “National Waste Advisory Group.” According to the author, the advisory group would help clarify issues of diversion, and research and propose ideas to integrate the waste management system to minimize the environmental footprint of residential and ICI waste. He concludes that while waste management has been a policy issue for 30 years, moving forward with an integrated waste management policy offers the greatest benefits for Canadians.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Michael Lister;
Publisher: Public Policy Forum [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2007; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Recycling
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Hazardous Waste
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Population & Urban Sprawl
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Hazardous Waste / 2007
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Population & Urban Sprawl / 2007
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Recycling / 2007


Keywords / Tags:

environment; climate; waste management; reduce; reuse; recycle; diversion; land fills; tipping fees; integrated systems; ecological footprints;