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9. What GTA Municipalities Can Do

The Ministry of Natural Resources is in the midst of a review of aggregate use in the Province. A Terms of Reference for this review is scheduled to be released some time in 2009[1].  While the provincial review proceeds, GTA municipalities can begin the process of reducing virgin aggregate use and practicing the 3Rs.

In particular, municipalities can begin filling the information void about aggregate use in the GTA by determining where they use aggregate, how much they use and what future demands will be. Municipalities can also begin investigating “best practices” in other jurisdictions and start applying these to their aggregate use policies.  As well, municipalities can immediately develop procurement policies that limit the use of “virgin” aggregate.  

Accordingly, we urge all GTA municipalities to adopt the following recommendations:

  1. Ensure that any new requests of proposals (RFPs) that include the use of aggregate require the successful bidder to demonstrate they will use the highest level of recycled content allowable under provincial standards.

  2. Provide detailed information to the public on aggregate use within the municipality that includes:
    • How much and what type of aggregate is used for various types of urban infrastructure (eg. roads, sidewalks, bridges, sewers, etc) within the municipality annually
    • How much of the aggregate used is “virgin”, how much is recycled and how much comes from alternative sources
    • Where the aggregate comes from, including specific pits and quarries, and the quantities from each source
    • Projected aggregate use over the next 25 years
  3. Investigate how other jurisdictions effectively reduce “virgin” aggregate use through the use of 3Rs and report out to the appropriate council committee with recommendations about how the municipality can adopt similar strategies.

  4. Urge the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to ensure the 3Rs are the cornerstone of any updated aggregate policy for the Province and that it investigates and implements the production of “sustainable” aggregate.

[1] The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario first asked for such a review in his 2002/2003 annual report.