Ontario wants to ban food waste from trash bags in five years

The province wants to implement a food waste disposal ban in 2022 to stop organic food waste from hitting landfills.

37 municipalities in Ontario offered curb-side compost pick-up in 2016

The city hasn't released the amount of kitchen waste sent to the landfill since the composting facility was closed in October. (Amanda Margison/CBC)

Ontario wants to ban food waste from being thrown in curbside trash bags by 2022.

Food and organic waste made up about a third of Ontario's total waste in 2014, according to a discussion paper prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. 

That same paper states that nearly 2.4 million tonnes of food and organic waste was sent to disposal at landfills in 2014.

To combat this the province announced a strategy for "a waste-free Ontario" that includes 15 action points to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. 

"Banning certain materials, such as food waste, beverage containers, corrugated cardboard and fluorescent bulbs and tubes, from disposal," is one of those action points. 

The discussion paper was released by the province in May for a 60 day public review that ended in July. 

"A draft Food and Organic Waste Framework is expected to be released for consultation in fall 2017 with implementation by spring 2018," said a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

Compulsory compost?

A ban could mean Ontarians would have to divert food waste from their trash, possibly with programs like curb-side compost pick-up.

Last year, 37 municipalities offered residential green bin programs voluntarily - covering roughly 70 per cent of Ontario's population, according to the discussion paper.

But the discussion paper notes those numbers may be misleading, adding that "the actual figure should be lower given multi-unit residential buildings are offered services in only 7 municipalities."

By banning food waste from disposal in landfills, Ontario could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 2.2 megatonnes, according to the discussion paper.