Solid Waste Master Plan

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The City is developing a new Solid Waste Master Plan, to be completed in 2022. The plan will guide how we manage solid waste over the next 30 years. As Ottawa grows and changes, we want to ensure our waste services evolve to meet new needs and challenges. This page will be your hub for updates and opportunities to provide feedback.

Nothing has been decided yet – your input counts!

Managing solid waste is a shared responsibility, and every resident has a part to play. That’s why, over the next two years, we need meaningful conversations with you to help ensure the new Solid Waste Master Plan works for everyone.

The next round of engagement is due to start in early 2021 but, in the meantime, please ask your questions through the tab below and you can also sign-up to receive information about consultation opportunities and updates about the plan (at the top of the page).

The City is developing a new Solid Waste Master Plan, to be completed in 2022. The plan will guide how we manage solid waste over the next 30 years. As Ottawa grows and changes, we want to ensure our waste services evolve to meet new needs and challenges. This page will be your hub for updates and opportunities to provide feedback.

Nothing has been decided yet – your input counts!

Managing solid waste is a shared responsibility, and every resident has a part to play. That’s why, over the next two years, we need meaningful conversations with you to help ensure the new Solid Waste Master Plan works for everyone.

The next round of engagement is due to start in early 2021 but, in the meantime, please ask your questions through the tab below and you can also sign-up to receive information about consultation opportunities and updates about the plan (at the top of the page).

  • Phase 2 Report is Live!

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    The report will be presented to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management on June 29, 2021. On July 7, 2021 it will seek Council’s approval on the Waste Plan’s proposed vision, guiding principles and goals. The report will also provide Council members with key information about the City’s future waste management needs. This includes a long list of options to meet those needs, and a technical evaluation tool to assess the options. Wrapping up the report is an overview of what’s next for the SWMP – for example a new engagement series, coming to you this fall.

    If you participated in last year’s public engagement activities and shared your thoughts about the City’s waste management practices, you may be particularly interested in the appended 'As We Heard It' report. The report summarizes the feedback from residents and various stakeholder groups received through surveys and online dialogue sessions, and indicates how it was used to influence the development of the Plan to date.

    Technical documents are provided in the language of production and are translated upon request.

  • Hello!

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    My name is Annie and I am very excited to be the newest member of the Solid Waste Master Plan team. I will be the human behind the Engage Ottawa posts and updates you'll see this summer and fall. There's going to be a lot of new content coming to the platform and I hope that you'll enjoy engaging on these next stages of the master plan. You can still reach out to us via email at wasteplan@ottawa.ca or by using the "Question" feature on our page.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

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    by Cathryne Lillian Milburn (City of Ottawa),
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    Find the answers to some of your frequently asked questions here.

    What is a Solid Waste Master Plan?

    A City’s Solid Waste Master Plan helps us anticipate and respond to future waste-management needs. It ensures the City operates a fiscally responsible, socially accepted and environmentally conscious waste-management system.

    Why do we need a Solid Waste Master Plan in Ottawa?

    Over the next 30 years, Ottawa’s population will grow by almost 50 percent, an increase of an estimated 400,000. Ottawa’s plan will ensure that waste is managed in the most sustainable way possible. It will give our residents and businesses the options and alternatives they need to make better waste-management choices.

    What will be in the Solid Waste Master Plan?

    The plan will outline approaches to increase both curbside and multi-residential waste diversion. It will cover a variety of waste-management policies and include strategies for:

    • waste prevention and reuse
    • regulation of the waste industry
    • resource recovery
    • residual management

    The plan will also consider the City’s role within the wider context of what’s happening provincially, federally and globally on such issues as:

    • the shift to a circular economy
    • individual producer responsibility for products and packaging
    • reliance on single-use plastics

  • Questions about the Solid Waste Plan

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    by Cathryne Lillian Milburn (City of Ottawa),
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    Do you have a question about the Solid Waste Plan? Ask them using our question and answer tool here.

  • Why is the Waste Plan needed and what are the key considerations?

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    by Cathryne Lillian Milburn (City of Ottawa),

    What is a Solid Waste Master Plan? Why is it needed in Ottawa? What are the key considerations for the Waste Plan? Read on to find out.

    Continue reading

  • What will be included and how will it be developed?

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    by Cathryne Lillian Milburn (City of Ottawa),

    The Solid Waste Master Plan (Waste Plan) will establish a planning framework and strategic direction for the management of waste from:


    • Curbside residential
    • Multi-residential
    • Parks and public spaces
    • City facilities
    • Partner programs and other non-City waste

    The Waste Plan will examine the limited life span of the Trail Waste Facility, how the City collects and processes waste and how it will continue to increase diversion rates. It will also look at broader policy issues like single-use plastics, alternative technologies, greenhouse gas emissions and circular economy programs like green procurement. Funding mechanisms and legislative tools and instruments will also be examined.

    Continue reading

  • New! How we have engaged so far

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    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.


  • New! Introducing the Stakeholder Sounding Board

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    There are a wide range of stakeholders interest in and potentially impacted by a future Waste Plan. As well as making every effort to reach and engage all residents and stakeholders, a Stakeholder Sounding Board (SSB) was established at the beginning of 2020. The SSB consists of individuals and organizations who represent a broad range of resident and stakeholder perspectives and interests, including differing demographics and housing types. The SSB also provides a forum for mutual learning and enhanced discourse on related topics and acts as a channel to further communicate engagement opportunities to the wider community.


    Who are the members?


    Waste Watch Ottawa

    Recycling Council of Ontario

    Envirocentre

    University of Ottawa

    Carleton University

    Algonquin College

    Ontario Waste Management Association

    Ottawa Community Housing (OCH)

    Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association (GOHBA)

    Social Planning Council of Ottawa

    Federation of Citizens’ Associations of Ottawa (FCA)

    Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization

    Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP, Ottawa Chapter 26)

    Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee (ESAC)

    Osgoode Ward Business Association

    Dunrobin Community Association

    National Capital Commission (NCC)

    Ottawa Coalition of BIAs

    CAFES (Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability)


    How has the SSB been engaged so far?


    In May 2020 the SSB was engaged to gain input on a vision for the Waste Plan. A two-hour workshop took place where members broke into smaller breakout discussions in order to better facilitate the conversations. Input from this meeting was used, alongside feedback heard over the course of all engagement activities from May to September, to help develop a vision statement for the Waste Plan.


    Three workshops were then held with the SSB in September 2020, the purpose of which was to:

    1. Help ensure we had incorporated feedback from all residents and stakeholders into the vision statement.
    2. Provide comments on guiding principles and goals for the Waste Plan which were, again, written based on feedback from all residents and stakeholders during engagement series 1.
    3. Gain feedback to inform the development of the evaluation tool, which will be used to assess the options for the Waste Plan using a triple bottom line approach (i.e., the environmental, social and financial considerations of each option).
  • Complete the survey!

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    We want to hear your thoughts and ideas about waste management in the city and what you would like to see in the future! Complete the 10-15 minute survey and help us make the Waste Plan!

    The survey closes on July 19th.

  • Phase 1 Report

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    by Cathryne Lillian Milburn (City of Ottawa),

    The City has completed the first phase of its Solid Waste Master Plan, a 30-year plan that will guide how it manages solid waste. This report provides an overview of waste management in Ottawa and explains what we have been doing in phase one. It also highlights emerging trends in waste management and explains the public engagement approach for the two remaining phases in the master planning process.

    Supporting documents one to five referenced at the end of the report are the ‘Technical Memorandums’ that are posted in the next newsfeed below. The link to supporting document six entitled ‘Stakeholders’ is provided in this newsfeed after the Phase 1 report.

    Phase 1 report

    Document 6 - Stakeholders