Nova Scotia

N.S. outlines waste reduction plan

The Dexter government has released its plan to reduce the amount of waste Nova Scotians send to landfills.

The Dexter government has released its plan to reduce the amount of waste Nova Scotians send to landfills.

The province considers itself a world leader in solid waste management and wants to maintain that position.

It's now outlined its priorities going forward as it works toward reducing waste by another 25 per cent by 2015.

Andrew Murphy, with the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, said one of the areas they'll be looking to expand on is programs where manufacturers of products help pay for their disposal.

Nova Scotians already pay an Advance Disposal Surcharge of up to $45 when they purchase electronics.

"It makes sense, I think, in our society that those that are producing those goods be responsible for them when they're end of life," said Murphy.

Murphy said it's too early to say what kinds of products might be targeted, but he said what he calls 'extended producer responsibility' has worked very well in the province.

The construction industry is also being put on notice that the province wants more construction and demolition waste diverted from landfills.

"What we'd like to do is work in partnership with the municipalities and all the other stakeholders so that we can find a way to reduce that type of waste," said Murphy. "We see that that's really one of the large opportunities to get further waste reduction in Nova Scotia."

Municipalities will also be required to renew their waste recovery programs under the plan.

The government says since 1995, the provincial waste disposal rate dropped from 743 kgs per person per year to 401 kgs. Materials recycled increased from 11,000 tonnes per year in 1992 to more than 50,000 tonnes in 2010. Organics composted increased from 3,000 tonnes in 1994 to more than 100,000 tonnes in 2010.

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