Food is Food Blog

On the radio- Is a food and organic waste ban in Ontario a good idea?

I had the chance to be interviewed on London’s CBC radio and Toronto’s AM 640 and chat about the province’s planned food and organic waste ban. Certainly in my circles there is fairly wide support for this idea. (It is difficult to gauge if this support translates to the “real world”). If we want to elevate how we currently deal with food and organic waste we need to radically change what we are doing. Elsewhere on this web site you will find some ideas on the circular economy (see figure from provincial document) and food and organic waste. Moving our thinking, in terms of how we deal with our resources, upstream will force us to explicitly consider implementing strategies that actively prevent, for instance, food from becoming waste long before we are at the border between food and food waste.

MOECC circ

A ban sends a clear signal to the market place that landfilling, for these waste types, is no longer an allowable option. The stronger the ban the greater the upstream pressure to alter behaviours. For  instance if a ban means only that each municipality of a certain size needs to have a green bin program then we will not making very much progress reducing  food and organic waste. However, if a hard (and low) cap  is set, in terms of the per-cent (say 5%) of food waste allowed in inbound loads at a transfer station or landfill, it will put much greater pressure to work on reduction (e.g. directing surplus food to the food insecure).





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