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Advocacy Alert
Canadian Response to Chinese Waste Import Restrictions

FROM:Jesse Maxwell, Advocacy & eLearning Program Manager, SWANA

TO:SWANA Canadian Chapter Legislative Liaisons

DATE:January 10, 2018

SUBJECT:Canadian Response to Chinese Waste Import Restrictions

The new year brings with it the adoption of China’s restrictions on certain imported recyclables, and the effects of this change within Canada are becoming more apparent. This Advocacy Alert contains a round-up of Canada-specific items in response to the Chinese recycling restrictions.

SWANA on Calgary Eyeopener
On January 3, SWANA CEO & Executive Director David Biderman spoke on the CBC radio program Calgary Eyeopener about why China is restricting recyclables from abroad, and what impact this has had within both Calgary and Canada. This includes stockpiling of certain materials until new outlets can be found, and the need for better recycling practices at every level. David spoke with Sharon Howland at the City of Calgary prior to the interview to coordinate messaging.
Click here for the full recording.

Zero Waste Canada Releases Statement
Zero Waste Canada (ZWC), a British Columbia–based nonprofit organization focused on responsible resource management and policies, has issued a response to the Chinese restrictions. ZWC calls for a widespread and coordinated effort to achieve a higher collection and reuse of quality products and recyclate at source.
The full response from ZWC is available here.

SWANA endorses getting better quality recyclables at the curb, as well as more stringent processing of those recyclables resulting in better quality products in response to the new restrictions. The use of thermal treatment (waste-to-energy) is excluded by ZWC in its statement, but is supported under the hierarchy of options provided by SWANA in moving from solid waste management to resource management.

Now, more than ever, the Zero Waste Principles and Practices certification course, developed by SWANA and the California Resource Recovery Association, is beneficial to companies and municipalities throughout North America, and I encourage your Chapter to explore how this course may be of use to its members.

SWANA continues to monitor this important issue and provide guidance both domestically and abroad. This includes coordinating with the Canadian government, U.S. governmental officials, and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

Join us at
SWANApalooza 2018, in Denver, Colorado, March 5–7 for continued discussion of this evolving topic, including a keynote address on The China Effect. Please share the information in this Alert with the Chapter members as appropriate, and feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

Waste Industry Safety Stand Down on Water Rest Shade
an initiative of the National Waste & Recycling Association.

This week-long training and awareness effort is focused on the prevention of heat-related illnesses commonly suffered by solid waste workers.

The Safety Stand-Down on Water Rest Shade runs the week of May 16 - 20, 2016. We are asking our chapters to join SWANA’s commitment, in conjunction with NWRA and other leaders within the solid waste community, toward significantly improving safety for the waste and recycling industry by taking part in this effort.

Participation in the stand down means that one’s organization and/or chapter has joined with waste and recycling companies across the country to commit to:
  • Assess the risk associated with heat exposure
  • Develop a Heat Illness prevention plan that includes:
    • Understanding the health effects of heat
    • Processes to prevent heat exhaustion
    • How to respond to symptoms and illness
  • Review and, if needed, update your company’s policy for safely working in the heat
  • Let others know of your plans for the week
Get started!
A free Safety Stand Down on Water Rest Shade Toolkit can be downloaded here.

Get Involved!
Click here to register your participation in the Safety Stand Down

Get More!

For your all of your industry safety needs, visit the SWANA 'Safety Matters' Website.