Part 1: Introduction
1. Purpose and Organization
(1) This guide is intended to assist regional districts in preparing or amending RSWMPs. It is also intended to provide guidance to the ministry's regional staff in providing direction to local governments as well as reviewing and approving the plan at various stages. In effect, the guide is a blueprint for reducing the generation of msw requiring disposal in each regional district, thereby helping the province to achieve its 50% reduction goal by the year 2000.
(2) The balance of Part 1 provides definitions of certain words and phrases which have specific meaning in the context of the guide, a more detailed interpretation of legislative requirements and authority, a discussion of planning roles and jurisdiction, and a brief description of available financial assistance programs.
(3) Part 2 contains the ministry's requirements for development and content of RSWMPs. The requirements in this part are both guidance for and a constraint on managers in their direction to regional districts. Plans prepared in accordance with these requirements should receive approval by the minister. This part of the guide has been signed under Section 5 of the Environmental Management Act by the Executive Director, Environmental Protection Department, as official ministry policy.
(4) Part 3 describes the recommended steps and procedures for the planning process from initiation to adoption and implementation of a plan or plan amendment.
(5) Part 4 of the Guide includes recommendations on the scope and detail of planning studies associated with the first two stages of plan preparation, and on the content of the plan itself. Plans prepared in accordance with these recommendations should satisfy the requirements in Part 2.
For the purpose of this guide,
"approved plan" means a plan approved under section 16 (8) of the act;
"Act" means the Environmental Management Act, S.B.C. 2003, c 53
"composting" means the controlled biological decomposition of municipal solid waste to a condition sufficiently stable for nuisance-free storage and for safe land application;
"disposal" means the introduction of waste into the environment for the purpose of final burial, destruction or placement for future recovery, and does not include reuse or recycling;
"hauler license" means a license issued by a regional district, under a bylaw adopted pursuant to an approved plan, to the owner or operator of a vehicle used to pick up, haul or deliver recyclable material or msw within or through the regional district, for the purpose of establishing operating and administrative requirements for the hauler;
"household hazardous product" means a substance and any product used to contain it which is explosive, corrosive, flammable, reactive and/or toxic and which originates from residential, commercial, or institutional sources in quantities which are exempted from the application of the Special Waste Regulation by Section 2(6) thereof;
"manage"means to handle, dispose of, transport, store, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, treat, process or destroy any substance;
"manager" means the Regional Waste Manager in the regional office of the Ministry of Environment in whose jurisdiction the plan area is located;
"municipality" means, for purposes of this guide, a municipality other than a regional district;
"official plan" includes official community plans and implementing bylaws adopted pursuant to the Municipal Act, and comprehensive development plans;
"open burning" means the combustion of any material or solid waste without:
(a) controlling combustion air to maintain adequate temperature for efficient combustion;
(b) containing the combustion reaction in an enclosed device to provide sufficient residence time and mixing for complete combustion; or
(c) controlling emissions of the gaseous combustion products.
"processing" means any activity necessary for preparing a component of the solid waste stream for reuse, recycling, recovery or residual management;
"public advisory committee" means the public solid waste advisory committee established pursuant to section 9;
"recovery" means reclaiming of recyclable components and/or energy from the post-collection solid waste stream by various methods including but not limited to manual or mechanical sorting, incineration, distillation, gasification or biological conversion other than composting;
"reduction" means decreasing the volume, weight or toxicity of municipal solid waste generated at source, and includes activities which result in more efficient reuse or recycling of primary products or materials, but does not include only compacting or otherwise densifying the waste;
"recycler license" means a license issued by a regional district, under a bylaw adopted pursuant to an approved plan, to the owner or operator of a site or facility involved in the management of recyclable material, for the purpose of establishing operating and administrative requirements for the site or facility;
"recyclable" refers to a product or substance, after it is no longer usable in its present form, that can be diverted from the solid waste stream through a widely available and economically viable collection, processing and marketing system, and used in the manufacture of a new product; note that "recyclable material" has a more specific definition in the act;
"recycling" means the collection, transportation and processing of products that are no longer useful in their present form and the subsequent use, including composting, of their material content in the manufacture of new products for which there is a market, and refers,
(a) when used in the context of the 3R hierarchy of reduce, reuse, and recycle, to products which are separated from the solid waste stream at source,
(b) and for all other purposes, to products separated from the waste stream at any point;
"regional district" means a jurisdiction created under Section 767 of the Municipal Act and includes the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District;
"regional director" means the regional director of the BC Environment regional office which is responsible for the plan area;
"plan" means a waste management plan for the management of recyclable material and MSW required under Section 16(2) of the act;
"residual management" means the disposal in accordance with the act of what remains in the solid waste stream following reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery activities;
"reuse" means at least one further use of a product in the same form but not necessarily for the same purpose;
"solid waste stream" means the aggregate of all municipal solid waste components and recyclable materials, and the process through which they move from generation to utilization or disposal;
"technical advisory committee" means the technical solid waste advisory committee established pursuant to section 10; and
"waste stream management license" means a license issued by a regional district, under a bylaw adopted pursuant to an approved plan, to the owner or operator of a site or facility involved in the management of municipal solid waste and incidental recyclable material, for the purpose of establishing operating and administrative requirements for the site, facility.
LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY FOR SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLANNING AND PLAN IMPLEMENTATION
3. Regional Districts
(1) The authority for regional districts to undertake solid waste management planning derives from section 16(2) of the act, which requires that every regional district, on or before December 31, 1995 or a date specified by the minister under section 16(4), submit for approval by the minister a waste management plan for the storage of recyclable material and management of MSW that is for the benefit of the total area of the regional district. The legislative amendment mentioned in sub-clause (4) will clarify that the scope of the plan is the "management of recyclable material and municipal solid waste".
(2) Section 16.1 of the act enables a regional district with an approved plan to specify operating requirements and set and collect fees from the owner or operator of a privately- or municipally-owned site or facility storing recyclable material or managing municipal solid waste. As a minimum, the plan will likely require that the amount and kind of material accepted and the tipping fee charged is in accordance with the goals and objectives of the plan.
(3) As a result of the 1993 amendment to the Municipal Act (MA), "the regulation, storage and management of municipal solid waste and recyclable material, including the regulation of facilities and commercial vehicles used in relation to these matters" was added as a new paragraph (1)(c.1) of section 788.
(4) Despite the wording of section 16.1 of the act and section 788(1)(c.1) of the MA, there remains some doubt about the authority for regional districts to implement approved plans by bylaw, and the authority for the bylaw to prohibit, license or differentiate is almost certainly lacking. The Ministries of Environment, Lands and Parks and Municipal Affairs propose that this situation be resolved through legislative changes sponsored by BC Environment at the first opportunity.
(5) In the interim period, regional districts that have an approved plan which calls for exercising full bylaw authority in implementing the plan, may apply for such authority to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs under section 790.01 of the Municipal Act.
By virtue of their omission from section 16(2) of the act, municipalities do not have authority to prepare solid waste management plans. Nevertheless, they are given authority under the Municipal Act to make bylaws dealing with waste collection, and are closer to most generators of solid waste than any other level of government. For several reasons, therefore, they should participate fully in the preparation of RSWMPs, and more importantly, play a vital role in the implementation of RSWMPs. In the ministry's opinion, Section 16(10) of the act enables a municipality as well as a regional district to use its bylaw authority to adopt bylaws implementing an RSWMP without requiring the assent of the electors.
5. The Ministry of Environment
(1) As part of the ministry's provincial mandate, the Vision Statement of the Environmental Protection Department is as follows:
"We will serve British Columbians by providing leadership to protect, restore and sustain the environment for present and future generations. Our goal is zero pollution.
We will work in partnership with others to prevent, minimize and control the release of substances and clean up existing contamination to realize our vision of a healthy, diverse environment."
(2) Within the department, the mission of the Solid Waste Unit of the Municipal Waste Reduction Branch is to develop and implement an effective 3R strategy to achieve a 50% reduction in the MSW stream by the year 2000, and to protect the environment by ensuring that municipal solid wastes are managed and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner. The principal legislative authority for carrying out this mandate is the Environmental Management Act.
6. Planning Roles and Cooperation
(1) While the preparation of solid waste management plans in British Columbia is the responsibility of regional districts, the purpose of this section is to outline an approach for a cooperative planning process that recognizes the role of the Ministry of Environment.
(2) The objective toward which the ministry is working with its MSW management strategy is that all MSW sites, facilities and programs, whether owned by the regional district, private firms or municipalities, operate in accordance with an approved plan. The plan itself may authorize the operation and/or administration of a site, facility or program by a municipality, other local government entity, company, group or person under bylaw, contract, licence or some other authorization.
(3) While the ministry provides overall direction and support for solid waste management planning, ministry staff at the regional level are responsible for ensuring compliance with plans, operational certificates, permits and regulations, and for providing assistance to local governments and the public throughout the waste management planning process.
(4) If both local and provincial planning are to be successful, it should be recognized that while both provincial agencies and regional districts have a clear responsibility to plan in certain areas, each is dependent on the other. Regional districts require provincial policy decisions on financial assistance, market development and incentives to support recycling, as well as legislative and regulatory support. The Province relies on local governments to prepare plans and administer and operate solid waste management programs and facilities that are instrumental in achieving the provincial goals. Given such interdependence, a cooperative approach to solid waste management planning is essential.
(5) The ministry prefers a cooperative solid waste management planning process which
emphasizes the 3Rs and the adoption of user-pay strategies wherever practical;
balances the interests of local governments with the interests of the Province to create and maintain a sustainable solid waste management system;
recognizes the jurisdictional authority both of provincial agencies and regional districts in the area of solid waste management;
recognizes that not only do the plans of each jurisdiction affect plans of the other, but that there are areas where the provincial agencies need regional district cooperation and vice versa;
provides opportunities for discussion and decision-making leading to development of regional solid waste management plans mutually acceptable to regional districts and provincial agencies, as well as leading to resolution of routine problems; and
- encourages two or more regional districts, or portions of regional districts, to prepare a single solid waste management plan and/or to participate in cooperative processing and marketing of recyclables.
7. Financial Assistance Programs
(1) As part of the Partnership with Local Government element of the provincial strategy, financial assistance is available to regional districts, municipalities and registered, non-profit community groups. This facilitates their participation in achieving the provincial goal of 50% reduction in the amount of MSW requiring disposal by the year 2000.
(2) The Applicant's Guide to Financial Assistance Programs provides greater detail and the most up-to-date information on each of the above programs, as well as application procedures. Copies of the Applicant's Guide and further information can be obtained by contacting the BC Government Publications Index.
(3) In addition to these programs, financial assistance may be available through the federal Environmental Partners Fund, administered by Environment Canada, Pacific and Yukon Region, #700, 1200 W. 73rd Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6P 6H9.
Part 2: Requirements for Regional Solid Waste Management Plans
The requirements contained in the following part have been developed and approved pursuant to the provisions of section 5 of the Environmental Management Act. They are to be utilized, in accordance with the policies and procedures of the ministry, by ministry staff in giving direction and advice to local governments in the preparation and implementation of regional solid waste management plans and recommending on the approval of such plans by the minister under section 24 of the Environmental Management Act.
Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks
January 27, 1995