Ontario’s garbage crisis has become more dire. With new legislation making it all but impossible to build new landfills, it is more likely the province will run out of waste disposal capacity by 2032.
Ontarians send almost 12 million tonnes of waste (or 70 per cent of the material we throw out) to landfills every year, despite efforts to improve waste diversion with our blue boxes and green bins.
About one-thirds of our garbage is trucked to landfills in the United States, a waste disposal option that increasingly is politically precarious, especially now that Ontario is shown to be unwilling to build new landfills.
Because it takes at least ten years to plan and construct a new landfill, our only domestic disposal option is the less than 120 million tonnes of landfill capacity left in Ontario.
Part of the problem is Ontarians are misled by some popular fallacies. One is that we can recycle our way out of this problem. While more recycling, composting, and waste diversion are core objectives of Ontario’s waste management strategy, those efforts will put merely a dent in the vast amounts of material we send to landfill.