Solid Waste Management Master Plan

Waste management is constantly changing – product packaging, end markets for recyclable materials, issues of food waste, environmental regulations and policies at both provincial and federal levels, and the development of new technologies are all evolving with time. In order to adapt to these changes and to improve environmental outcomes, the City is undertaking a review of the Solid Waste Management Master Plan (SWMMP).

The review will start in the fall of 2019 and is expected to be complete in late 2020. The updated SWMMP will provide strategic direction for the next 25 years and will include recommendations that build on Guelph’s leadership in waste minimization and diversion for a sustainable, service-focused and economically viable future.

Your input matters!

Public and stakeholder consultation will be an important and integral part of the SWMMP review. The project will be informed by community and stakeholder input throughout the process. In addition, a Public Advisory Committee will be formed, made up of community members, who will provide input throughout all key stages of the review. If you’re interested in participating as a member of the Public Advisory Committee, the City will be soliciting interest in September. Stay tuned!

Anticipated engagement activities include:

  • Workshops with various stakeholders;
  • Public surveys;
  • The formation of a Downtown Stakeholder Group;
  • Engagement labs;
  • Pop-up events; and
  • Project feedback, information and updates on the Have Your Say Guelph engagement platform, available when the project kicks off in September 2019.

Overall, the intention will be that all recommendations arising from the SWMMP will be reviewed and carefully evaluated prior to submission to City Council in the fall of 2020.

A number of important operational, strategic and service-level questions will be explored during the review process:

  • Where are we now in terms of program performance and waste diversion and where do we want to be in the future?
  • How should the City adapt to ongoing legislative changes to waste management, including the transition of full financial and operating responsibility for the Blue Box program to the producers of consumer paper and packaging, starting in 2023.
  • What approach, if any, should the City adopt to eliminate single-use plastics in Guelph?
  • What can the City do to improve and enhance waste reduction and diversion programs?
  • Does our current waste diversion target of 70% by 2021 still make sense?
  • Is it reasonable for the City to deliver waste collection to industrial, institutional and commercial (IC&I) properties?
  • Can we recover costs associated with delivering waste management services in a more equitable manner while still promoting waste diversion? Should the City consider user pay options?
  • Can we improve how waste management services are delivered to downtown businesses in a more effective and efficient way?

An exciting and new feature of the upcoming SWMMP is an opportunity to engage the University of Guelph’s Ideas Congress (ICON) program as an added research support team. The ICON program involves students undertaking directed research and reporting to supplement in-depth investigation of various issues, such as those listed above.

Want to stay informed?

Email, subject line SWMMP, to be added to our email distribution list where you’ll get the latest on the SWMMP review progress.