Last week, Council approved the next stage of the Long Term Waste Strategy. It was great to see some positive discussion about diversion - and a number of Councillors mentioned TEA's messages.
We're glad to see Council voted for two additional important evaluation criteria for developing the plan, but TEA has concerns about the scoring and weight given to evaluation categories.
Messages from TEA and the Community show up at Council
City Council reviewed a staff report discussed at a Public Works & Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) held on Sept. 22, one week earlier. TEA and other community members who spoke at the PWIC meeting clearly had an impact, as a number of Councillors referred to what community members said, and to TEA’s material. (See TEA's blog about that meeting here.)
Councillor Mary Margaret McMahon shared the story of the two representatives from 430 Mayfair on the Green who explained how their Scarborough condo is recycling and composting almost all of their waste. Councillor McMahon invited all Councillors to visit the building with her to see what is possible for Toronto high rise buildings.
Councillor Cho explained that TEA invited him to visit 430 Mayfair on the Green in August, and he was very impressed by what they're doing. He invited the Mayor to tour the building with him and wants to look at how to use their example to cut waste at Toronto Community Housing buildings.
TEA’s garbage infographic was used by Councillor Janet Davis to urge Council to remember that getting recyclables out of the garbage bag should be our top priority. Janet Davis also confirmed with staff that TEA’s analysis and conclusions are correct - that Toronto garbage bags contain more recyclables and compost than garbage.
Evaluating waste management options
Councillors voted to approve the staff recommended Vision, Guiding Principles, Evaluation Criteria and List of Options so that staff and consultants can begin evaluating different approaches to reducing, reusing, recycling and disposing of waste. Read the final minutes and find the staff report here.
Councillor Mike Layton proposed that two additional evaluation criteria, 1) Employment Opportunities and 2) Estimated Health Care Costs, be considered when looking at the Financial impacts or benefits of different waste management options for the Waste Strategy. It was great to see that a majority of Councillors supported this.
However, Councillor Layton also raised concerns (that TEA shares) about how the evaluation categories and criteria will be weighted. Currently, financial factors are weighted as equal to environmental and social factors. This is despite the fact that the public and Council have made it clear that environmental concerns should be the top priority for assessing waste options.
TEA will continue to monitor the development of the Long Term Waste Strategy and watch how the evaluation criteria are applied and at the sources of data used.
See how your Councillor voted
While a majority of Councillors supported Mike Layton's proposal to add two new criteria to ensure that local jobs and health costs are considered, some Councillors did not support it.
(Not sure who your councillor is? Check here.)
Against the Motion (11):
Tory, Campbell, Colle, Crawford, Di Giorgio, Grimes, Holyday, Karygiannis, Minnan-Wong, Nunziata, Robinson
For the Motion (26):
Ainslie, Augimeri, Bailão, Berardinetti, Burnside, Carroll, Cho, Cressy, Davis, De Baeremaeker, Di Ciano, Doucette, Filion, Fletcher, Fragedakis, Layton, Lee, Matlow, McConnell, McMahon, Mihevc, Palacio, Perks, Perruzza, Thompson, Wong-Tam
Carmichael Greb, Crisanti, Ford, Kelly, Mammoliti, Moeser, Pasternak, Shiner