New! How we have engaged so far

08 Dec 2020

Engagement Series 1

From May to September 2020, staff, Councillors, residents and stakeholders were engaged to get input on how waste is currently managed in Ottawa and what they would like to see in the future. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff modified the Waste Plan’s engagement process so that all in-person engagement tactics were replaced with virtual methods. To ensure these activities connected with as many residents and stakeholders as possible, staff carried out a range of tactics, including:

Virtual dialogue sessions with interested residents and stakeholders that included breakout sessions to allow small group discussions

Virtual focus groups to connect with specific stakeholders, particularly those within the City’s equity and inclusion lens

Virtual workshops with key stakeholders, such as the Stakeholder Sounding Board (more on this below)

Online surveys with both the public and internal staff

An Engage Ottawa platform that allowed for questions, ideas and participation in a forum

One-on-one telephone interviews with representatives of equity-seeking groups

A virtual dialogue session with residents and stakeholders with a focus on waste management at multi-residential properties

What questions did we ask?

Great discussions flowed from asking some high level, key questions, such as:

1. What are the strengths of the current waste system in Ottawa and how can we improve?

2. Imagine it’s 2052 and we’ve just completed our 30-year solid waste strategy. What does success look like to you?

3. What are the key considerations for this success?

What did we hear?

A comprehensive As We Heard Report will be released in early 2021 that will provide an in-depth look at the feedback we gathered from all engagement activities. Top line comments included:

1. Participants generally wanted the City to adopt very high waste diversion rates with many calling for a “zero waste” target.

2. Many participants believed that behavioral change will be required to meet higher diversion rates, and that the City needed to focus on education to encourage people to ‘take responsibility for their waste’.

3. Others called for more regulations and better enforcing of existing rules, such as issuing more fines, refusing to collect non-compliant waste, etc.

4. Many comments related to the need to make it easier for people to divert their waste.

5. Several participants believed that the City’s focus needed to be on waste reduction rather than diversion, and that the City should enact bans on single use plastics and encourage a circular economy and green procurement.

6. With respect to multi-residential buildings, several participants noted that processes needed to be in place to make it easier for residents to divert their waste, such as replacing garbage chutes with compost chutes.

7. Some participants noted that the City should investigate new technologies to use waste as a renewable energy. In this vein, there was mixed opinions about the environmental benefits of waste incineration.

How are we incorporating feedback?

Input is being used to:

Draft a vision, guiding principles and goals for the Waste Plan that will help us establish where we want to be in 30 years time and the outcomes needed in order to make the vision a reality.

Inform the development of a long list of draft options for the Waste Plan. These options will be recommended policies and programs that will seek to maximize how to avoid, reduce, reuse, and recycle waste and manage material that is left over.

Help develop an evaluation tool for assessing this long list of options using a triple bottom line approach (i.e., the environmental, social and financial considerations of each option).

What are the next steps?

Once options have been developed for the Waste Plan, they will be assessed using the triple bottom line evaluation tool. The resulting short list of options will be consulted on during the next engagement series, that will start in 2021.


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