Invited Session: Climate Change

Achieving Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Ontario Waste Sector (0.5 CEU)

Monday, September 25, 2017
14:00 – 14:30
Room 316

Moderator: Harvey W. Gershman, President and Co-Founder, Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.

In 2015, the Ontario government introduced a “Strategy for a Waste Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy.” The strategy has a vision for Ontario, Canada, where waste is seen as a resource that can be recovered, reused and reintegrated into the economy to achieve a circular economy. The strategy has two visionary goals: zero waste; zero GHG emissions from the waste sector. To support these goals, the Province passed two pieces of legislation in 2016: the Waste Free Ontario Act and the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act. Both have significant impacts on the waste management sector in Ontario and its approximately 12 million residents that present a considerable challenge moving forward and will require significant change to the sector. This presentation will examine how close Ontario is to achieving net zero emissions within its waste management system, including how emissions have changed over years as the sector has already made significant adjustments with positive benefits. Actions that could be taken by the sector to further reduce emissions will be identified, including increased landfill gas capture, energy from waste, waste to biofuels, anaerobic digestion and composting systems, and enhanced recycling, and which have the greatest possible impact on reducing GHG emissions.


Michael Cant, Principal, GHD, Canada

Michael Cant

Michael Cant is a Principal with GHD with more than 25 years of industry experience. His main focus has been assisting municipalities and private industry with the planning, approvals and design of waste management facilities. During his 25 year career, he has successfully completed the planning and approvals for composting facilities, recycling facilities landfills, transfer stations and energy from waste facilities. He was the project manager for the technical approvals on the Durham/York EFW facility. He also has conducted many feasibility studies on waste technologies, including business planning analysis. As part of a number of planning studies, he has undertaken greenhouse gas assessments of municipal waste systems showing how increases in diversion and use of alternative technologies can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He also has been an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto lecturing on waste management planning and approvals.