Province proposing changes to reduce food waste

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Jane

The Ontario government is seeking public input on its proposal to reduce the amount of food and organic waste going to landfills.

Proposed amendments to the Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement would clarify and expand the types of materials that should be collected by municipalities in green bins and encourage innovation in the processing of compostable products.

Jeff Yurek is the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

“Consumers and businesses want to cut down on the amount of waste they create by composting food and other organic materials, but with programs and services varying from community to community, there is a lot of inconsistency and confusion about how to do this,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Our proposal provides greater clarity and encourages innovative compostable products and packaging, so we can help businesses and the public make better decisions about packaging and food waste in order to keep it out of our landfills.”

The Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement provides direction to municipalities, industrial and commercial businesses, and institutions on reducing and diverting food and organic waste.

Proposed changes to the policy statement would:
-Clarify and expand the types of materials that may be collected in municipal green bins and other collection systems, including certain compostable products and packaging such as certified- compostable coffee pods.
-Support consumers and businesses in making better decisions about packaging and food waste and spur innovation in the management and processing of compostable products, for example, through technology updates, research, and piloting.
-Reduce waste from going to landfill.

The province will also work with municipalities, businesses and institutions to identify ways they can improve the tracking and reporting of their efforts to meet waste reduction and diversion targets.

Proposed changes to the Organic Waste Policy Statement were informed by the Compostable Products Technical Working Group, made up of experts from municipalities, industry and the waste management sector.

The public can provide their feedback on amendments to the Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement, which is open for public comment on the Environmental Registry until November 11.