Nova Scotia moves to allow thermal disposal of plastic, newsprint

Nova Scotia Environment Minister Margaret Miller leaves a meeting with her federal and provincial counterparts in Montreal on October 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Nova Scotia is moving to allow plastic, cardboard and newsprint to be used in waste-to-energy plants.

Environment Minister Margaret Miller says the move will give businesses an opportunity to “create something useful from waste destined for landfills.”

READ MORE: Retail reps disappointed with ‘lack of provincial leadership’ in N.B. on single-use plastics

The Environment Department says the changes to solid waste regulations are about “allowing new solutions” to reduce waste in landfills, and also clarify that the province considers energy recovery as waste diversion.

It says recyclable materials will still be banned from landfills, while waste-to-energy facilities will still need all of the required environmental assessment and industrial approvals.

In a news release, Miller says although the province still wants the public to continue to recycle and compost, it needs to ensure that it’s doing all it can to reduce its waste footprint.

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The department says a 2017 waste audit by Divert Nova Scotia found 43 per cent of garbage sent to landfills is banned material that could have been composted or recycled.

It says Nova Scotians send an average of 404 kilograms of waste per person to landfills each year, while the national average is 688 kilograms.

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