ZERO WASTE CANADA OFFERS CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS FOR BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES 

 

BUSINESS

ZERO WASTE CANADA offers a valid comprehensive verification of Zero Waste achievements for business facilities.

The Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) has a Recognition Program for Zero Waste Businesses for all wastes  (referred to as “materials” below).  This provides a framework for Zero Waste Canada ( ZWIA approved national organization) to recognize businesses that are operating in their Canada in keeping with the ZWIA Definition of Zero Waste and ZWIA Zero Waste Business Principles. This Recognition Program is designed to recognize businesses that have a Zero Waste goal and have reduced their waste to landfill, incineration or the environment by 90% or more.

Minimum Requirements to be a Zero Waste Business

  1. Adopted ZWIA goal for Zero Waste to landfill, incineration or the environment
  2. Adopted corporate policy of Zero Waste that uses ZWIA definition of Zero Waste as summarized here:
    1. All discarded materials are resources
    2. Resources should not be burned or buried
    3. Goal is Zero Air, Water and Land Emissions

 

Zero Waste Businesses save money, are more efficient, manage risk, reduce litter and pollution, cut greenhouse gases, reinvest resources locally, and create jobs and more value for their business and the community.

Eligible “Businesses”

  1. Institutions (including schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons and other government facilities)
  2. Commercial
  3. Industrial (including manufacturing)
  4. Venues and Events
  5. Non-governmental organizations and Social Enterprises

COMMUNITY

The Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) has a Recognition Program for Zero Waste Communities.  This provides a framework for Zero Waste Canada ( ZWIA approved National Affiliate) to recognize communities that are operating in Canada in keeping with the ZWIA Definition of Zero Waste and ZWIA Global Zero Waste Community Principles. This Recognition Program is designed to recognize communities that have a Zero Waste goal and are working towards or have reduced their waste to landfill, incineration and the environment by 90% or more.

Minimum Requirements to be Recognized by ZWIA as a Zero Waste Community

 

  1. Adopted goal of Zero Waste that uses ZWIA definition of Zero Waste as summarized here:
    1. All discarded materials are resources
    2. Resources should not be burned or buried
    3. Goal is Zero Air, Water and Land Emissions
  2. Working towards or achieved 90% or more diversion of all discarded resources from landfills, incinerators and the environment as defined in ZWIA Global Principles for Zero Waste Communities.
  3. Meet all national, state/provincial and local solid waste and recycling laws and regulations.
    1. Submit summary of their Zero Waste initiatives that can be published on ZWIA and National Affiliate websites and indicate the official title of their agency.
    2. Submit data annually to National Affiliate and demonstrate progress in implementing Zero Waste Plan or Strategy. A full year of data will be provided for such annual renewals.  Data submitted will be public and published on the National Affiliate’s website.

Categories of Recognition

  1.       Communities Working Towards Zero Waste

To be recognized as a community working towards Zero Waste, the community must:

  • Adopt a commitment to implement residential collection programs for recyclables and organics (including food scraps) by a given date
  • Consider all discards generated in the community whether or not they are directly controlled by the community (such as discards generated in the institutional, commercial and industrial sectors).
  • Communities should exercise control over those sectors they are directly responsible for and influence those sectors that they are not directly responsible for.
  • Advocate for redesign of problem materials that are not recyclable or compostable. Consider local actions/campaigns to encourage redesigns.
  • Report progress annually toward Zero Waste Plan milestones.
    • Implement a pay-as-you-throw rate structure or other financial incentives for generators (if allowed by state/provincial or national regulations) to encourage them to waste less and recycle more.
    • Establish a Zero Waste Advisory Board or multi-stakeholder process (involving residents, businesses, staff or elected officials, Zero Waste experts, and non-governmental organizations) to participate in the development and implementation of a Zero Waste Plan or Strategy, assess critical steps, define workarounds or re-tabling of deadlines and development of similar key policy, program and facility implementation decisions.
    • Conduct comprehensive composition studies of discarded materials at least every 10 years in order to: analyze the progress of the Zero Waste Plan, assess what is left in discarded materials, define strategies and campaigns to achieve further improvements, provide feedback to manufacturers and work with them to redesign materials, products and packaging that are hardly or not reusable, recyclable, or compostable.   Comparable data or commodity and service opportunity analyses can be used to meet this requirement. To monitor progress, recommend do more informal annual assessments of residual materials.
    • Oppose any kind of incineration (technologies that operate above 212oF. or 100oC.), both those already operating (“legacy incinerators”) and those in planning or development in their jurisdiction or region. Communities with existing incinerators must commit in writing to phase out all burning in next contract with service providers or when alternative facilities are available.
    • Define quantitative targets for the mid-term (within 10 years) and long-term (within 20 years). These could include a residual waste reduction target (e.g. “less than 50 kgs per person by 2020) or a reduction by a further amount within 10 years (e.g. “reduce by 80% remaining discards”), or adoption of “darn close to Zero”.

These actions should be included in either a formal Zero Waste resolution and/or a Zero Waste Plan or Strategy signed by the person with jurisdictional authority (Mayor, Manager, Council, District, or otherwise, depending on the local regulatory framework and defined responsibilities for the parties locally).

  1. Zero Waste Best Practice Communities

 

These are communities that follow the guidelines for communities working towards Zero Waste and that demonstrate best practices and actual achievements on the road to Zero Waste. There are 4 levels of recognition for communities that achieve different levels of diversion of all discarded materials for those sectors within their direct control:

  1. Achieved 50% diversion from landfills, incinerators and the environment
  2. Achieved 70%% diversion from landfills, incinerators and the environment
  3. Achieved 90% diversion from landfills, incinerators and the environment
  4. No Burn & Diverted 90% from landfills and the environment

 

For transparency, all communities must indicate in public pronouncements regarding their Zero Waste recognition what their current levels of diversion are, and what percentage of remaining discarded materials go to landfills or incinerators.  These should be summarized as in the following example:

 

®  ______________Zero Waste Community Diverts50%:Landfill40%; Burns10% = 50% current diversion rate: 40% going to landfill and 10% burned).

 

Zero Waste Best Practice Communities must commit in writing to continuous improvement to reduce the remaining residue that goes to landfills or incinerators and to address other Global Zero Waste Community Principles over time such as:

  1. Adopt ZWIA Zero Waste definition
  2. Establish goals and timeline
  3. Engage the whole community
  4. Manage Resources not Waste
  5. Program Funding
  6. Education & Outreach
  7. Zero Waste Assessments
  8. Residual Separation/Research Facilities
    1. End Subsidies for Wasting
    2. Zero Waste Businesses
    3. New Rules and Incentives
    4. Extended Producer Responsibility
    5. Zero Waste Procurement
    6. Zero Waste Infrastructure

 

 

 

 

Until all materials are diverted, use of upgraded landfills that meet European Union Landfill Directive or equivalent is preferable to any form of incineration. Communities are not eligible to be recognized as Zero Waste Communities by ZWIA or its National Affiliates if they are participating in expanding or developing a new incinerator for 10% or more of their discarded materials.