Guide to the Preparation of Regional Solid Waste Management Plans by Regional Districts
Part 2: Requirements for Regional Solid Waste Management Plans
The requirements contained in the following part have been developed and approved pursuant to the provisions of section 5 of the Environmental Management Act. They are to be utilized, in accordance with the policies and procedures of the ministry, by ministry staff in giving direction and advice to local governments in the preparation and implementation of regional solid waste management plans and recommending on the approval of such plans by the minister under section 24 of the Environmental Management Act.
Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks
January 27, 1995
PUBLIC CONSULTATION PROCESS AND ADVISORY COMMITTEES
8. The Public Review and Consultation Process
(1) The regional district should submit its design for the public review and consultation process (PRCP) required under Sections 27 (1) and (2) of the Act, including terms of reference for the public advisory committee described in section 9 and the technical advisory committee described in section 10, for review by the manager as soon as practical after initiating the solid waste management planning process.
(2) After reviewing the proposed design of the PRCP, the manager may recommend any changes that are necessary to ensure that the design is in accordance with the following principles of an adequate public review and consultation process:
(a) public involvement begins as early in the planning process as possible and continues through to the implementation and monitoring of the plan;
(b) the public is given the opportunity by the regional district to be involved in designing the public review and consultation process;
(c) as wide a range of interests as possible is involved;
(d) pertinent information is openly exchanged between the public and the regional district and between advisory committees;
(e) public responses are given open consideration by the regional district and, where appropriate, are addressed in the planning process, and the decision on the response is conveyed to the person who submitted the response; and
(f) proceedings and results of activities which are part of the public review and consultation process are properly documented and available for public scrutiny.
(3) Following receipt of any recommendations from the manager under (2) and preparation of the final design by the regional district, a copy of the final design of the PRCP should be submitted to the manager.
(4) Except as noted in (5), a regional district which wishes to amend a PRCP submitted to the manager under (3) should
(a) submit the proposed amendment to the public advisory committee for review and recommendation, including a recommendation regarding who should be notified of the proposed amendment;
(b) prepare a report containing the minutes of the public advisory committee meeting at which its proposed amendment was reviewed and documentation of its efforts to notify persons affected by the proposed amendment and any responses received, and
(c) submit the report to the manager for review.
(5) Where the manager is of the opinion that a minor amendment proposed to a PRCP will not result in limiting or otherwise negatively altering public access to the process with respect to the principles specified in (2), the regional district may submit the proposed amendment only to the public advisory committee for review and recommendation, and submit a copy of the amended process design, together with the report from the public advisory committee, to the manager.
(6) After reviewing the proposed amendment to the PRCP, the manager may recommend any changes that are necessary to ensure that the amended process will be in accordance with the principles specified in subsection (2).
(7) Following receipt of any recommendations from the manager under (6) and preparation of the final design by the regional district, a copy of the amended PRCP should be submitted to the manager.
(8) The regional district should keep a record of its efforts to ensure adequate public review and consultation during the planning process, including a record of
(a) the opportunities for public involvement, in terms of date, time and location;
(b) any notice, questionnaire or other document made available to the public;
(c) the comments and recommendations received from the general public and the public advisory committee; and
(d) the regional district's analysis of those comments and recommendations and any action taken to address those comments and recommendations.
9. Public Advisory Committee
(1) A public advisory committee should be established as early in the planning process as possible, certainly before the design of the PRCP is completed.
(2) In order to ensure that the public advisory committee primarily reflects community interests, the regional district should seek and invite representation on the public advisory committee from each of the following sectors or groups which exist in the regional community:
(a) local environmental groups and recycling organizations,
(b) residents of electoral areas and municipalities in the regional district,
(c) local business groups and ratepayers associations,
(d) unions and consumer groups,
(e) large commercial and institutional solid waste generators,
(f) operators or owners of private solid waste facilities,
(g) local school districts, and
(h) the technical advisory committee
10. Technical Advisory Committee
(1) A technical advisory committee should be established concurrently with establishment of the public advisory committee.
(2) In order to ensure that the technical advisory committee primarily reflects government interests, the regional district should seek and invite representation on the technical advisory committee from the following agencies and organizations:
(a) engineering and/or planning departments of the regional district's member municipalities;
(b) First Nations within or adjacent to the plan area;
(c) provincial and federal ministries or agencies who have indicated to the regional district that their interests or mandate will be affected by or will affect the planning process;
(d) organizations with experience in the collection, sorting, processing, transportation or marketing of recyclables, and
(e) the public advisory committee, including at least one non-governmental representative from that committee.
11. Provision for a Single Advisory Committee
(1) With the approval of the manager, a single advisory committee may be established to fulfil the role of the public and the technical advisory committees, where a single committee better reflects the demographic or geographic nature of the regional district than dual committees.
(2) Prior to approving the establishment of a single committee, the manager should be satisfied that a single committee is an appropriate response to the situation in the regional district, that reasonable efforts have been made to seek and invite representation from all stakeholder groups identified in subsection (2) of sections 9 and 10, and that a balance between technical and non-technical members has been achieved.
12. Role and Relative Importance of Advisory Committees
(1) The regional district should provide a committee established under section 9,10 or 11 with terms of reference and a mandate to advise the regional district on matters pertaining to MSW management planning at all stages of the planning process, including but not limited to the development of environmental guiding principles, terms of reference for any planning studies, the design and implementation of the PRCP identified in Section 8, review of stage reports and the plan and terms of reference for the plan monitoring advisory committee established pursuant to section 34.
(2) The regional district should establish a reporting structure for each advisory committee that ensures its reports and recommendations are given open consideration by the regional district, except where confidential material is involved.
13. Role of the Manager
The regional director should invite the manager or designate to be a member of every committee established under section 9, 10 or 11.
14. Representation from Regional District
A regional district may appoint an employee of the regional district to a committee established under section 9, 10 or 11, and there should be no more than one director of the regional district on an advisory committee to provide liaison with the regional board.
The chairperson of a committee established under section 9, 10 or 11 should be elected by the members of the committee.
16. Environmental Guiding Principles and Regional Objectives
(1) Environmental guiding principles such as those in (2) should be adopted following completion of the PRCP design. These principles should be specified in the plan, underlie all plan policies and strategies and act as a guide and common base for making day-to-day decisions by public servants and others involved in implementation or amendment of the plan.
(2) The ministry believes that the following principles, derived from other sections of this guide as well as other ministry documents, provide the minimum set of principles which will generate the policies and strategies the ministry expects to see in regional solid waste management plans:
The consumption of material and energy resources is set at a level which is ecologically sustainable;
The regional solid waste stream is reduced to the greatest extent possible, in accordance with the hierarchy of reduce, reuse, and recycle, and consistent with local resources and the nature of the regional solid waste stream.
The goal of environmental policy is zero pollution and the strategies for achieving that goal are in accordance with the precautionary principle.
Individuals and firms are enabled to make environmentally sound choices about consumption of resources and generation of waste through provision of appropriate information, including user-pay and market-based incentives wherever possible.
Reduction policies and strategies are developed through public consultation and are socially acceptable and cost-effective, based on full accounting of costs and benefits, both monetary and non-monetary.
(3) Regional districts may add other principles and change the wording of the above principles in a manner which preserves their intent, but a list similar to the above should be included in the Stage 1 Report reviewed by the public, and in the eventual plan.
(4) A statement of regional objectives identified during the planning process should be specified in the plan and reflected in the specific policies or strategies of the plan.
PLAN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
17. Stage 1: Analysis of Existing System
For the purpose of developing solid waste management strategies under section 18, a Stage 1 Report should be prepared, including:
(a) a description of the components and analysis of the existing MSW management system, including social, environmental and economic impacts;
(b) the estimated percentage of the regional solid waste stream which was managed through reuse, recycling, recovery and residual management, as of December 31, 1990 as the base year and for subsequent years, and
(c) information gaps to be addressed and management options to be evaluated in detail in the development of MSW management strategies in Stage 2.
18. Stage 2: Development of Strategies
For the purpose of developing the final contents of the plan, a Stage 2 Report should be prepared, containing the following elements:
(a) a detailed analysis of selected municipal solid waste management options, including those identified in the report prepared under section 17;
(b) a set of preferred options and recommended management strategies in accordance with sections 20, 21 and 22;
(c) the justification for or against utilization of existing program, sites and facilities;
(d) the social, environmental and economic impacts of the recommended strategies;
(e) operating requirements in sufficient detail to meet the needs of an operational certificate for sites identified by the manager;
(f) an estimate of the total capital and operating cost for all sites, facilities and programs;
(g) estimation of the true disposal cost for each component of the waste stream, based on the actual contribution of the cost of that component to total waste stream disposal costs;
(h) cost recovery and financing mechanisms for all sites, facilities and educational programs;
(i) the opportunities for cooperation with other regional districts in the collection, processing and marketing of recyclable material and the management of municipal solid waste;
(j) implementation measures such as bylaws, permits and licenses which will be necessary to achieve desired operational and administrative control over sites, facilities, and waste transporters, and
(k) impediments to implementation of strategies which must be overcome.
19. Stage Report Review
Following preparation of each of the reports described in section 17 and 18, the regional district should
(a) submit the report to the advisory committees for review;
(b) submit the report and any comments resulting from the review under (a) to the manager for review;
(c) submit the stage report , including any amendments resulting from the review under (a) and (b), for public review in accordance with the public review and consultation process submitted to the manager under section 8(3);
(d) submit a final copy of the stage report to the manager, together with a report containing the information specified in section 8(8) and any other information required by the manager; and
(e) proceed to the next stage only after receiving written authorization to do so from the manager.
DEVELOPMENT OF STRATEGIES
20. Strategies for Waste Stream Components
(1) Strategies should be developed for management of the components of the existing municipal solid waste stream, according to type, class or source as identified in Appendix 1, in accordance with the sequential hierarchy of reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery or residual management.
(2) Without limiting the generality of (1), strategies addressing the following issues or objectives, where applicable, should be developed for inclusion in the plan:
(a) management of recyclable materials as defined in the act and for any of the following materials which are part of the regional solid waste stream:
household hazardous products, including pesticide and herbicide containers;
construction, demolition and land clearing debris;
biosolids, including sewage sludge and septage, and
incinerator bottom ash and fly ash.
(b) minimizing conflicts with wildlife and domestic animals at landfill sites and transfer stations;
(c) eliminating the open burning of municipal solid waste;
(d) minimizing the uncontrolled discharge of gases from landfills;
(f) providing reasonable access to recycling opportunities and disposal facilities throughout the plan area;
(g) identifying the location of closed landfill sites and developing any remedial closure plans for such sites required by the manager;
(h) replacement of disposal facilities whose capacity will be reached during the term of the plan; and
(i) litter control and management, particularly in conjunction with user pay strategies.
(3) Decisions on which waste stream components are to be diverted from the waste stream should be based on variable disposal costs related to the actual impact of the component on total disposal costs.
21. Operating Strategies and Specifications
Operating strategies and specifications addressing the following issues should be developed for inclusion in the plan:
(a) the location or criteria for determining the location of disposal sites and transfer stations;
(b) operating requirements that will be recommended to the manager for inclusion in operational certificates;
(c) operating requirements and fee structures to be included in any proposed waste stream management, recycler and/or hauler licenses;
(d) administration and operation of all programs, sites and facilities involving the management of recyclable material and municipal solid waste, including:
criteria for selection of technology to be employed for storage, collection, processing, and disposal of municipal solid waste and recyclable materials; and
the utilization of existing programs, facilities and sites;
(e) marketing of recyclable products diverted from the solid waste stream;
(f) procedures for:
the identification, weighing and reporting of all material brought to recycling and disposal facilities, including acceptable alternative procedures, if necessary, for small or remote facilities,
the calculation of the rate of generation of municipal solid waste for the plan area in kilograms per person per day; and
(g) upgrading of existing disposal sites in accordance with direction from the manager.
22. Financial Strategies
(1) Financial strategies and specifications addressing the following issues should be developed for inclusion in the plan:
(a) financing the total capital and operating cost for all sites, facilities and programs to be included in the plan, including cost recovery mechanisms and the formula for allocating costs within the member municipalities and electoral areas of the regional district;
(b) criteria for risk assessment to determine the amount of security required to be posted by the owner of a site or facility storing or managing recyclable material or municipal solid waste, for the purpose of assisting the development of the operational certificate or license for the site or facility.
(2) In the development of financial and other strategies to be included in the plan,
(a) strategies involving the cost for sites or facilities should be based on the true cost of such sites or facilities, including closure and post-closure costs;
(b) user-pay systems to encourage the reduction, reuse and recycling of material which would otherwise be disposed of at a waste disposal site or facility should be implemented to the highest level practical; and
(c) the cost of reduction and recycling programs should be reduced as much as possible through cooperation with other regional districts in sharing equipment and facilities and development of educational materials.
23. Promotion and Education Programs
The plan should specify the promotion and education programs that will be implemented to support the management strategies developed under sections 20, 21 and 22.
24. Cooperation with Member Municipalities and First Nations
Every regional district should
(a) consult with its member municipalities and with any First Nations located within or adjacent to the plan area in the development of strategies to be included in the plan,
(b) negotiate the measures for which those municipalities and First Nations will be responsible in the implementation of the plan,
and document its efforts in this regard.
25. Consultation with Adjacent Regional Districts
Every regional district should consult with an adjacent regional district in the development of any strategies which might affect the adjacent regional district, and document its efforts in this regard.
26. Time Frame
(1) Every regional district should, in developing its strategies under section 20, 21 and 22, consider the municipal solid waste management needs of the regional district for a period of at least 10 years from the date of plan implementation.
(2) Where a major disposal site or processing facility recognized in the plan has a life span or amortization period which extends beyond the 10 year period, the regional district should consider that further time period in developing its strategies.
27. Compliance with Environmental Guiding Principles
Each element of every strategy developed under sections 20, 21 and 22 should be in accordance with at least one environmental principle adopted pursuant to section 16.
28. Plan Development Dispute Resolution Procedure
(1) For disputes involving any aspect of the plan development or amendment process, including the content of a stage report or draft plan, the dispute resolution procedure described in this section is available for disputes between the regional district and one or more of its member municipalities or a First Nation, where the parties themselves have made all reasonable efforts to resolve the dispute within the planning process.
(2) Disputes described in (1) may be referred by either party to the regional director for mediation, through an application containing documentation of the dispute and efforts to resolve it through the planning process.
(3) Where a municipality or First Nation has received a request from a regional district for the letter referred to in section 33(c)(ii) and intends to proceed under subsection (2), the municipality or First Nation should give notice of such action to the regional district within 30 days of receiving the request and provide documentation of the notice in its application under (2).
(4) The person referring a dispute for resolution under subsection (2) should send a copy of the referral application to the other party or parties to the dispute.
(5) Where the regional director believes that a dispute cannot be resolved through the mediation process described in (2), the regional director will submit a report on the dispute to the minister, including a recommendation on how the dispute should be resolved.
6) Where all parties to a dispute concur on the need for further mediation and on how the mediation costs will be shared, the minister may appoint a mediator at the expense of the parties to resolve the dispute, or in the event the dispute cannot be resolved, to submit a report to the minister and to the parties within 6 weeks after completion of the mediation.
(7) The minister, after receiving the report referred to in (5) or after receiving the report referred to in (6), may make an order which is binding on the parties involved in the dispute.
(8) Prior to making an order under (7), the minister may consult with the appropriate persons in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, in the case of a dispute involving a municipality, or in the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, in the case of a dispute involving a First Nation.
FINAL CONTENT OF PLANS
29. Elements of the Plan
The plan should contain the following elements:
(a) the environmental guiding principles established under section 16;
(b) the regional plan objectives identified during the planning process;
(c) the MSW management strategies developed under sections 20, 21 and 22;
(d) a statement of the plan's MSW reduction target(s) and the expected contribution of reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery to the achievement of the target(s);
(e) a description of the promotion and education programs which will be established to support the plan strategies;
(f) a statement of the measures the regional district will take to mitigate or ameliorate any negative environmental, social or economic impacts of the plan;
(g) a description of the measures that member municipalities and First Nations within the plan area have agreed to undertake to implement the plan;
(h) a description of the participation with any other regional district(s) in the sharing of programs and facilities;
(i) a statement of the total capital and operating costs for plan implementation, depicted as the monthly cost to home owners and firms as well as the gross cost;
(j) procedures and criteria for monitoring the effectiveness of the MSW management strategies and policies in the plan, including the manner in which evaluation of plan effectiveness will be carried out pursuant to section 36, and
(k) a description of the plan implementation dispute resolution procedure to be established pursuant to section 32.
In addition to the elements described in section 29, the plan should contain a timetable for:
(a) initiating and, where applicable, completing programs and strategies; and
(b) achieving the reduction target(s) specified in section 29(d).
In addition to the elements described in section 29 and 30, the plan should
(a) identify solid waste reduction objectives and strategies which the regional district considers critical to the success of the plan, and
(b) specify actions or a procedure to be followed in the event that the regional district is unable to meet a critical objective or unable to implement a critical strategy.
32. Plan Implementation Dispute Resolution Procedure
(1) Every regional district should establish its own dispute resolution procedure for dealing with disputes arising during implementation of the plan.
(2) The procedure should be limited to disputes involving
(a) an administrative decision made by the regional district in the issuance of a license,
(b) interpretation of a statement or provision in the plan or
(c) any other matter not related to a proposed change to the actual wording of the plan or an operational certificate.
33. Plan Approval by Minister
(1) Following approval of the plan in the manner chosen by the regional district, the regional district should submit the plan along with its request for approval of the plan to the Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks and Minister Responsible for Human Rights and Multiculturalism, and should include the following documents with its letter of request:
(a) documentation of the regional district's approval of the plan;
(b) a report on the regional district's public review and consultation process, including
the final design of the public review and consultation process, and a description of any amendments resulting from the process initiated under section 8(4);
a description, in the format of the report described in section 8(8), of how that design was implemented in all stages of plan development; and
a description of the committee and procedures established pursuant to section 34.
(c) a report on the regional district's consultation and negotiation process with each of its member municipalities and with First Nations within the plan area, including
a report similar in structure to the report described in section 8(8); and
a letter or equivalent documentation from each member municipality, and any letter received from a First Nation, containing its position on the plan and its commitment to carrying out specific measures or responsibilities in implementing the plan.
(2) Immediately following its submission of a request for plan approval under (1), the regional district should deliver to the manager a copy of the package submitted under (1) together with the number of copies of the plan specified by the manager.
PLAN IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING, EVALUATION AND AMENDMENT
34. Plan Implementation
Following receipt of the minister's approval in writing of the plan and final adoption of the plan by the regional district, the regional district should begin or continue discussions with the manager regarding finalization of the operational certificates and their relationship with any waste stream management licenses, if applicable.
35. Plan Monitoring Advisory Committee
(1) Prior to submitting its plan to the minister for approval, every regional district should establish a plan monitoring advisory committee whose members reflect
(a) the geography, demography, and political organization of the plan area;
(b) a balance between technical and non-technical interests, and
(c) continuity with the public advisory committee, if possible through inclusion of members of that committee who have experience gained in development of the plan.
(2) The regional district should provide terms of reference for the plan monitoring advisory committee, including:
(a) a mandate to advise the regional district on all matters involving monitoring the implementation of the plan and evaluating its effectiveness; and
(b) a structure and procedures similar to that of the plan development advisory committees as specified in sections 9 and 10.
(3) The regional district should submit its proposed terms of reference for the plan monitoring advisory committee for review by the public advisory committee and the technical advisory committee.
(4) The regional district should submit the proposed terms of reference, including any changes resulting from the review under subsection (3), to the manager for review.
(5) After reviewing the proposed terms of reference, the manager may recommend any changes that are necessary to ensure that the terms of reference are in accordance with the principles of an adequate public review and consultation process specified in section 8(2).
(6) Following receipt of any recommendations from the manager under (5), the regional district should submit a copy of the final terms of reference to the manager.
(7) The manager may approve an alternative mechanism requested by a regional district for involving the public in monitoring plan implementation and evaluating plan effectiveness, provided the manager is satisfied that the alternative mechanism will achieve the objectives of public involvement as well as or better than an advisory committee.
36. Plan Evaluation
(1) The regional district shall submit a report to the manager, on or before March 31 of each year, on the disposal of municipal solid waste in the regional district during the previous calendar year, and include in that report
(a) the regional generation rate of MSW calculated pursuant to section 21(f)(ii) and the data used to determine the rate;
(b) a description of the total reduction achieved compared to the original municipal solid waste reduction targets; and
(c) any other information requested by the manager.
(2) A review of plan effectiveness should be completed by the end of each five year period following approval of the plan by the minister. Within three months of the end of that period, the regional district should submit a report to the manager which should include
(a) a description and analysis of any changes in the composition of the regional solid waste stream;
(b) a description of the total reduction achieved compared to the original municipal solid waste reduction targets, including an analysis of any changes from the expected individual contributions of reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery activities;
(c) documentation of the review of the report and any other review of the effectiveness of the plan by the plan monitoring advisory committee; and
(d) a description of any actions that will be or have been initiated in response to the review.
37. Plan Amendment Procedure
(1) A regional district that proposes to amend an approved plan shall notify the manager in writing of the proposed amendment and the reasons for the amendment.
(2) A major amendment is an amendment which involves
(a) a change in the boundary of the plan which would significantly change the amount of solid waste to be managed under the plan or significantly change the population of the plan area,
(b) the addition, deletion or revision of policies or strategies which in the opinion of the manager will adversely affect adjacent regional districts,
(c) the opening or changing the location of a site or facility for the disposal of municipal solid waste or
(d) a significant horizontal expansion of a disposal site.
(3) The manager may designate any other proposed amendment to a plan as a major amendment if the amendment involves
(a) changes to a requirement of an operational certificate attached to the plan where the requirement was specified in the plan itself;
(b) the closing of a site or facility for the disposal of municipal solid waste or the opening, closing or changing the use of a site or facility for the storage or processing of recyclable material or the temporary storage of municipal solid waste;
(c) the vertical expansion of a disposal site, or
(d) any other change that, in the opinion of the manager, would have a significant social, environmental or economic impact which was not anticipated and addressed in the plan.
(4) With respect to a major amendment, every regional district should comply with sections 8, 9, and 10 and the relevant provisions of Part 3.
(5) With respect to an amendment other than a major amendment, every regional district should comply with those provisions which are specified by the manager.
38. Plans Initiated Before Adoption of These Requirements
(1) Where a regional district has begun the development or amendment of a solid waste management plan prior to the approval of this part but has not received the minister's approval of its plan, the regional district may apply in writing to the manager,
(a) with respect to the public review and consultation process, for an exemption from, or a modification to any of the requirements in sections 8, 9 and 10, by providing the manager with a report on the public review and consultation process to date, including formation of advisory committees, the information specified in section 8(8) and the justification for the exemption; or
(b) with respect to the requirement for interim reports under section 19, for approval to begin preparing the final form of the plan despite having submitted to the manager only one report of the regional district's municipal solid waste management planning efforts to date.
(a) with respect to an application under (1)(a), exempt the regional district from, or make a modification to any of the provisions in section 8, 9 and 10, if the manager is satisfied that there has been adequate public review and consultation and that the exemption or modification is otherwise in the public interest; or
(b) with respect to an application under (1)(b), permit the regional district to proceed with preparation of the final form of the plan if the manager is satisfied that there is sufficient information available to enable the manager to make a recommendation on approval of the plan to the minister.