In a 2014 report on the state of waste management in Canada, current initiatives and innovative practices were presented alongside key challenges. These innovative practices include strategies for municipalities to reduce, divert or dispose of waste.
Municipal performance tracking
In Nova Scotia, the province regularly reviews the amount of waste disposed or diverted. Municipalities can apply for diversion credits, which are based on actual disposal volumes to result in a greater volume of waste diverted. Municipalities are required to report on their volumes and diversion rates.
Regional waste planning
Some provinces – including Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia – require waste plans at a regional level, so across municipal districts. This approach results in aggregate reporting and strategies for broader reach.
Regional landfill bans
Some regions ban the dumping of certain categories of waste (such as organics, yard waste, construction and demolition waste) in landfills. Along with appropriate diversion facilities and education, this approach can boost the diversion rates for waste that can be managed outside of the landfill.
Funding based on diversion rates
Diversion credits for specific categories of waste (most commonly construction and demolition waste) are another method to divert waste that has a diversion facility or option available.
Regional waste disposal
Municipalities can share services (and thus costs) with a regional approach to waste disposal. In addition, a regional approach improves the ability to offer alternative waste disposal services, such as recycling facilities.
An unwanted effect of landfill bans for types of waste (such as construction waste) is the movement of waste to another jurisdiction. A waste-shed approach attempts to manage all the waste created in a jurisdiction to prevent it from being moved or shipped to a neighbour. This requires a prohibition to moving waste outside the jurisdiction and enough local diversion programs and facilities. Halifax Regional Municipality uses this approach for construction and demolition waste.
Landfills or waste diversion programs can be monitored by a third party to confirm the volume of water and levy payments are accurate. This information can then be used for diversion credits, improving programs or evaluating existing processes.
Municipal performance ranking
Public ranking of all municipalities can improve access to disposal data. British Columbia ranks all municipalities and publishes the information online.