You are on page 1of 12

Available online at www.sciencedirect.

com

Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421


www.elsevier.com/locate/jclepro

A new model for solid waste management: an analysis of the


Nova Scotia MSW strategy
Travis Wagner a,*, Paul Arnold b
a
Department of Environmental Science, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME 04038, USA
b
Faculty of Engineering, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6, Canada
Available online 16 October 2006

Abstract

In 1989 Canada established a national goal; divert 50 percent of the nations municipal solid waste from disposal by 2000. The province of
Nova Scotia was the first and only province to achieve this goal. In the early 1990s, Nova Scotia relied on substandard land-based disposal,
incineration, and open burning. Pollution prevention was minimal. In 1995, Nova Scotia adopted a comprehensive, province-wide strategy based
on pollution prevention to fundamentally change its historical approach and to achieve the diversion goal. The strategy has been effective, has
achieved substantial environmental benefits, and program costs are comparable to other North American systems. This paper examines and an-
alyzes the strategy and its current construct to assess whether the Nova Scotia strategy is a model program worthy of consideration at national
and other sub-national levels.
2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Solid waste policy; Source reduction; Pollution prevention; Landfill; Recycling; Waste management

1. Introduction Other countries, notably in Western Europe, have been suc-


cessful in shifting from a disposal-based model to a pollution
A persistent challenge in modern society is the safe man- prevention-based model and have become leaders in diverting
agement of municipal solid waste (MSW). Society tradition- MSW from disposal. In contrast, North America lags far
ally has defined safe management as the isolation of behind. While a few large North American cities (e.g., San
MSW from human receptors, primarily in landfills. As noted Francisco and Seattle) and many smaller cities have achieved
garbologist William Rathje succinctly states, Not surpris- similar diversion rates as Western Europe, success has eluded
ingly, a human beings first inclination is always to dump national and sub-national governments. There are multiple
[1]. While this disposal-based model can temporarily solve factors that help explain the difference. North America has
the safe management challenge, in the long term, it presents substantially more undeveloped land available, which can
two problems. First, landfills are merely permanent storage make land disposal comparatively less expensive [2]. Al-
units for MSW and will eventually release constituents into the though there are local political challenges to siting, land dis-
environment with potentially negative effects. Second, be- posal remains a relatively inexpensive centerpiece of North
cause of the short-term economic advantages of landfilling, American MSW management. Fuel costs also are significantly
a large portion of landfilled waste contains recoverable mate- lower in North America, which undermine resource recovery
rials that are lost. In short, the disposal of otherwise valuable emphasis. Finally, North America historically views MSW as
materials is counterintuitive to the goals of sustainability. a local responsibility (a bottom up approach) promoting
the product discard management paradigm that places the
burden on local governments and not producers [3]. Collec-
* Corresponding author. Tel.: 1 207 228 8450; fax: 1 207 780 5251. tively, available land, lower energy costs, local responsibility,
E-mail address: twagner@usm.maine.edu (T. Wagner). and the focus on managing discards promote short-term,

0959-6526/$ - see front matter 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2006.08.016
T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421 411

economically-efficient centered decision making in North adopting a national goal of 50 percent diversion of solid waste
America, which tends to favor disposal over pollution preven- from disposal by 2000 [8]. In parallel with the national focus,
tion. As concern over global climate change increases energy Nova Scotia also was focusing on garbage and in particular,
costs continue to rise, resources become scarcer, and land use landfills. In 1989, the local media was reporting on the envi-
conflicts increase, the North American paradigm must change. ronmental problems from Nova Scotias largest landfill, the
Working under the premise that the North American para- Highway 101 Landfill, 25 kilometers from Halifax, the prov-
digm of MSW management must change, an important question inces capital [9]. The landfill, in operation since 1976, used
is whether a relevant pollution prevention-based model a clay liner for most of its life and an associated leachate treat-
currently exists. One such model has been developed and ment system that was upstream of the effluents release through
is currently implemented in North America e the Canadian a wetland and ultimately to the Sackville River. It was an open
province of Nova Scotia. This predominately rural North Amer- hole in the ground, with very few environmental control fea-
ican province has adopted an aggressive, integrated MSW strat- tures, filled with garbage, even old school buses and telephone
egy based on the hierarchical approach of pollution prevention, poles [10]. Given the inadequacy of environmental controls,
has mandated recycling to minimize disposal and maximize the among other problems, the media began focusing on the
capture and recovery of resources, and has a province-wide or- discharge of landfill leachate into the nearby Sackville River
ganics recovery system. Before 1990, Nova Scotias disposal [11]. As a new replacement landfill was being considered, po-
rate was on par with other Canadian provinces and U.S. states. tential host communities were bracing for a major siting war.
In 1995 Nova Scotia began to implement its new MSW strategy. MSW management issues, symbolized by decrepit land-
In just five years, the province diverted 50 percent of its MSW fills, open burning, and beleaguered host communities, rose
from disposal compared to 1989 rates.1 The province has on the national agenda and subsequently on the provincial
received international attention and acclaim because of its and local agendas. As the Highway 101 Landfill problem be-
success in significantly decreasing MSW disposal while came a focus of the Halifax media, the problem became
achieving associated environmental and economic benefits [4]. a prominent feature province-wide. This in turn increased
The purpose of this study is to examine and analyze Nova local attention on landfill problems throughout the province
Scotias strategy and its current framework to assess whether establishing landfills as a province-wide issue. In 1994, two
this strategy is a model program worthy of consideration at na- culminating actions within the Halifax Regional Municipality3
tional and other sub-national levels within the North American (HRM) galvanized public sentiment and cemented support for
paradigm. Assessment and analysis of Nova Scotias strategy is a new direction: the rejection of HRMs proposed replacement
a crucial step in determining the adoptability of the strategy in landfill and rejection of HRMs proposed waste-to-energy in-
whole or in part by other national and sub-national governments. cinerator. Reliance on landfilling or incineration as the pri-
mary means of waste management was for all intents and
purposes rejected necessitating a new strategy. As the media
2. Background of the Nova Scotia MSW problem focus elucidated the many problems of relying on a dis-
posal-based strategy in HRM, throughout the province, the
Historically, Nova Scotias approach to MSW management public became increasingly supportive of a dramatic shift to-
was comparatively antiquated. In the early 1970s, there were ward a pollution prevention-based strategy, which was then
more than 100 active dumps for a population of approximately being considered by the Nova Scotia Department of the Envi-
800,000.2 Many of these dumps practiced open burning with ronment (NSEL).4
no air pollution control and most lacked liners, increasing
the potential for groundwater and surface water contamination
[5]. By 1989, many dumps had been closed, but the provinces 3. Evolution of the Nova Scotia MSW strategy
waste management practices were still poor. In 1989 there
were 12 incinerators (i.e., engineered units, and teepee and The 1989 CCMEs diversion goal of 50 percent coupled
silo burners), 11 open-burn sites, 14 open dumps, and 26 land- with HRMs disposal crisis and the province-wide landfill cri-
fills [5]. In 1989, only five percent of the province had sis created the demand for a reversal in MSW strategy. In
curbside recycling and there was no curbside pick-up for 1989, Nova Scotia disposed of 641,375 tonnes of solid waste.
organics [6]. To achieve the national goal, Nova Scotia would have to divert
In late 1988 and throughout 1989, Canadian media focused 320,687 tonnes from disposal facilities within ten years [6].
on solid waste as a major problem e driven by a garbage crisis
3
in Toronto and the medical waste beach wash-ups in the U.S. On April 1, 1996, the municipal units for the cities of Halifax and Dart-
[7]. By 1989, this national media attention lead to the Cana- mouth, the town of Bedford, and the county of Halifax merged to form Halifax
Regional Municipality (HRM) e containing the provincial capital and largest
dian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) city, with approximately 40 percent of Nova Scotias population, and the prov-
inces media and economic center.
1 4
Nova Scotia originally used the diversion rate to measure progress but is In 2001, the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment (NSDOE)
replacing this metric with the disposal rate because of the inability to accu- merged with the Nova Scotia Department of Labour (NSDOL) to form the
rately measure and fully account for source reduction with the diversion rate. Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour (NSEL). To reduce con-
2
Based on Statistics Canada census figures, the population of Nova Scotia fusion, the department is referred to as NSEL (its present form) throughout this
in 1970 was 784,000 and 821,000 in 1975. paper.
412 T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421

(The 1989 annual per capita disposal rate in Nova Scotia was NSEL held seven public meetings to solicit input from
747 kg per person requiring a diversion of 363 kg per person stakeholders, including the public, non-government organiza-
per year.) The landfill crisis facing HRM and Nova Scotia tions, the private sector, and municipal governments, which re-
aroused intense media attention, stoked public demand, and sulted in a public consultation report released in March 1995
provided political impetus for significant change, but there [12]. Based on the results of the public consultation, Nova
was one major barrier e Nova Scotia lacked a provincial strat- Scotias Solid Waste-Resource Management Strategy, promul-
egy to achieve the diversion goal. Between 1990 and 1993 var- gated on October 27, 1995, was composed of four primary
ious policies, guidelines, standards, and initiatives were goals. First, achieve 50 percent disposal diversion by Decem-
adopted to help achieve the 50-percent diversion goal. Al- ber 31, 2000. Second, implement new, more stringent disposal
though the efforts undertaken were non-controversial, they standards by December 31, 2005. Third, achieve greater re-
also were relatively ineffective in achieving the dramatic re- gional cooperation to reduce costs. Fourth, recognize solid
sults necessary. There was no cohesive, consistent, or inte- waste as a valuable resource thereby increasing economic
grated provincial approach [12]. Without a province-wide opportunities [14].
strategy, only incremental, haphazard efforts on an as- In February 1996, NSEL promulgated the Solid Waste-
needed-basis could be expected at the municipal and regional Resource Management Regulations, which implemented the
levels. The 50 percent goal could be achieved only through Environment Act. Among other requirements, the regulations
a new top-down strategy based on province-wide regulatory established landfill bans, created the beverage deposit/refund
mandates, implementation through regionalization, and fairer system, created a system of material collection depots, tight-
apportionment of economic costs [12]. This reversal in ap- ened incinerator emissions and landfill design requirements,
proach would be a hard sell. A key element of the new model created MSW management regions, and created the Resource
was, therefore, to reframe waste as possessing a positive eco- Recovery Fund Board (RRFB) Nova Scotia.5 As a result of the
nomic potential rather than a negative residual liability. Environment Act, which committed the province to the 50 per-
In 1993 the NSEL initiated the process to develop an cent disposal diversion goal, the strategy, which provided
integrated provincial MSW strategy. NSEL commissioned a plan on how to achieve the diversion goal, and the regula-
a series of MSW studies to be completed by 1994 to include tions, which implemented the strategy and the law, the Nova
seven regional engineering studies to assess current waste Scotia MSW strategy finally came to be in 1996.
management practices in the regions and an assessment of
alternatives. Essentially, these studies looked at the entire
4. The Nova Scotia MSW strategy
province and reported the financial and infrastructure
requirements needed to meet the 50-percent diversion goal
Through the preceding events and initiatives, the Nova
[13]. The results of these studies indicated that certain effi-
Scotia MSW strategy evolved into its current form as
ciencies and economies of scale could be realized through
depicted in Fig. 1. As shown, its major foundational compo-
collaborative efforts at a regional or inter-municipal level
nents, in no specific order, are planning and implementation,
[14]. Another commissioned study identified a full range
restricting disposal, system funding, increasing the recovery
of opportunities for recyclable materials with a special focus
of recoverable materials, and increasing the use of diverted
on improving long-term economic viability and sustainability
materials.
of municipal recycling programs and the recycling industry
in Nova Scotia [15].
In July 1994, NSEL released a discussion paper on MSW 4.1. Planning/implementation
management to serve as a framework for generating public di-
alogue [16]. The discussion paper was based on three goals for The planning and implementation aspect of the strategy is
resource recovery and MSW management: 50 percent diver- a cooperative effort between NSEL, RRFB Nova Scotia, the
sion by 2000, improved environmental performance at waste seven solid waste management regions, and municipalities.
disposal facilities, and regional cooperation to minimize costs. The implementation framework of the MSW strategy is shown
In January 1995, the Nova Scotia Legislature adopted an Act in Fig. 2. Although legislated by the NSEL with support from
to Reform the Environmental Laws of the Province and to En- the RRFB Nova Scotia, implementation is primarily by the
courage and Promote the Protection, Enhancement and Pru- seven regions and 55 municipalities. The NSEL also has direct
dent Use of the Environment. The act, commonly referred regulatory authority over the municipalities and regulatory
to as The Environment Act, adopted the 50-percent diversion
goal and required the Minister of the Environment to estab-
lish a solid-waste-resource management strategy for the Prov-
5
ince. The act also authorized and/or mandated that RRFB Nova Scotia, a non-profit organization created in 1996, is managed
regulations be promulgated, to, among other things, ban the by a board of directors with representatives from the private sector and govern-
disposal of certain materials, levy environmental fees, create ment and is responsible for implementing and administering the provinces
beverage container deposit/refund program, the diversion education program,
material recovery depots, manage beverage containers, and es- the tire and paint recycling programs, the industry stewardship program, and
tablish waste-separation standards and related management the value-added manufacturing program (to foster the establishment of new
facilities. industries that use materials diverted from disposal).
T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421 413

PLANNING/ RESTRICT SYSTEM INCREASE INCREASE


IMPLEMENTATION DISPOSAL FUNDING RECOVERY USE

Nova Scotia Ban on Open Municipal Municipal 3- Value-Added


Department of Burning Property Taxes Stream Manufacturing
Environment and Collection
Labour System

Half-Back Provincial Drop-


Solid Waste Deposit-Refund off System for
Management Program Recoverables
Regions Organic and
Recoverable
Materials
Disposal Ban Environmental Product
Regional Waste
Management Fees on Select Stewardship
Plans Materials Programs

Strengthen
Incinerator
Emissions & Municipal MSW Provincial Industrial Waste
Regional Landfill Design Program Education Exchange
Chairs & Operation Funding Based Program
Committee on Diversion

Fig. 1. Conceptual Model of Nova Scotias MSW Management Strategy. (This model was developed by the authors based on interviews, documents, and consul-
tation with NSEL, municipal, and regional solid waste professionals).

control over various aspects of the industrial, commercial, and the regions themselves were not vested with any explicit legal
institutional (ICI) sectors.6 Participation through diversion is authority by the province with regards to MSW, but were used
one of the most crucial elements of the Nova Scotia strategy to plan and implement the strategy primarily though funding.
and is mandatory for households and the ICI sectors The intent of creating regions was not to establish a new and
(Fig. 2). Descriptions of the major foundational components additional level of government, but to foster regional coopera-
of the strategy follow. tion among municipalities [13]. Basically, on an individual ba-
In this strategy, the regions play a pivotal role. In 1995, sis, small cities and towns could not afford to construct new
seven solid waste management regions were created and delin- modern landfills, centralized composting facilities, and central-
eated based on the provincially-sponsored engineering studies, ized material recovery facilities (MRFs) to comply with the
which looked at such things as regional demographics and forthcoming more stringent requirements. Thus, cooperation
waste management needs and capacity. Although some of the made economic sense. Beyond the preparation of the regional
provinces 55 municipalities had cooperated in the past, some MSW plan, other factors influenced the functionality of the re-
municipalities that were grouped together for the MSW strat- gions including geography, economics, and personalities [13].
egy previously had not shared interests. The only provincial For example, one region, the Valley Waste Region, serves as
regulatory requirement imposed on the regions was that each the legal authority for the region, which was specifically
region prepares a written regional MSW plan, which was granted by its member municipalities. In contrast, Region 6,
funded by the province, to create municipal/regional systems which encompasses the south shore area of Nova Scotia, serves
to implement the strategy. Because each municipality had to a more passive role, primarily that of a consultant to the munic-
comply with the law, they could choose a system that was ipalities [13]. The regions have evolved naturally because of
cooperative or they could adopt their own system. Interestingly, the economies of scale [17]. Finally, RRFB Nova Scotia fund-
ing for the municipalities is funneled through the regions e
6 a factor not to be underestimated in fostering regional
Regarding direct regulatory control, there is a general prohibition on litter-
ing, which refers to not using proper collection containers, applicable to all
cooperation.
sectors in the province. Businesses that sell food or beverages in cartons, con- One outcome of this regionalization is that the regions
tainers, foils, or paper must provide collection containers for these items and themselves cooperate with each other through the Regional
their packaging. In addition, retailers and manufacturers of certain products Chairs Committee, composed of the chairperson from each
(e.g., tires, paint, and beverage containers) must comply with specified region. Creation of the committee came about because the
NSEL regulations. Regarding indirect regulatory control, NSELs disposal
ban and permit controls on composting facilities, MSW and construction
province kept revisiting the same problems on a region-by-
and demolition disposal facilities control waste and materials being received, region basis. A suggestion was made that instead of addressing
which requires ICI compliance. problems on a case-by-case basis, a mechanism to address
414 T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421

NSEL
Regulates Regulates
Created Created Through Bans Through Bans

Resource 7 Solid Waste 55 Industrial, Commercial,


Recovery Management Municipalities & Institutional Sector
Cooperation Cooperation
Fund Board Cooperation Regions
Must Must Must
Manage Provide Utilize
Regional
Deposit/refund Chairs Composting Composting
system Committee Recycling Recycling
Education Disposal Disposal
Fund municipal MSW
programs Regional MSW
Support value-added Coordinators
manufacturing Residents ICI
Must Must
Develop new
Participate Participate
stewardship
agreements
Tire recycling
Paint recycling

Fig. 2. Implementation Structure of the Nova Scotia MSW Management Strategy. (Implementation occurs under Section 102 of the Nova Scotia Environment Act,
S.N.S. 1994e95, c. 1, O.I.C. 96e79 (February 6, 1996) N.S. Reg. 25/96 as amended up to O.I.C. 2002e94 (March 1, 2002) N.S. Reg. 24/2002. This model was
developed by the authors based on interviews, documents, and consultation with NSEL).

regional problems on a provincial basis would be more pro- practice in the U.S.7 Instead, Nova Scotia established a two-
ductive. The Regional Chairs Committee serves as an advisory tier system for landfills: all pre-existing landfills that did not
planning committee that presents regional problems in a more meet the new criteria were deemed first generation landfills
coherent voice by providing feedback on how programs are while those satisfying the new criteria were considered second
working and potential new policies, in addition to serving as generation landfills. (First generation landfills are those with-
an advocate for the regions [18]. RRFB Nova Scotia supported out environmental controls, such as liners, leachate and gas
the regional chairs concept and now funds the committee, collection and removal systems, run-on/run-off control,
which meets 10 times per year. RRFB Nova Scotia also funds or groundwater monitoring. In contrast, second generation
the provincial Solid Waste-Resource Management Office of landfills must have these basic engineering controls and be de-
the NSEL, the office responsible for the strategy. signed to manage landfill-gas and leachate.) All sub-standard,
first generation landfills were required to close by January 1,
4.2. Restrict disposal 2006, resulting in the closure of 14 landfills. (Interestingly,
although all these landfills stopped accepting MSW, 12 opened
One of the most crucial components to the success of Nova new construction and demolition debris cells, which have less
Scotias MSW strategy is disposal restriction e essentially stringent requirements than MSW landfills [19].) As a result of
a mechanism to mandate recovery of materials rather than re- the strengthened landfill criteria, in August 2006, only seven
lying on voluntary participation. Prior to 1989, there were an engineered landfills (so called second generation landfills)
estimated 100 land-based disposal units including open dumps were operating.
and engineered landfills. By 1989 many of the dumps had In 1996, the province also promulgated stricter emissions
closed although as late as 1996, 20 open burning sites still ex- standards for MSW incinerators. As of 1996, there was only
isted [5]. The first step in disposal restriction was for the prov- one engineered incinerator located in Sydney (Cape Breton),
ince to ban open burning of MSW on April 1, 1996, which Nova Scotia. Based on subsequent stack tests in 2004 and
included uncontrolled burning in teepee, pit, and silo burners. 2005, the incinerator significantly exceeded the allowable
Nova Scotia also embraced the traditional approach of emission standards for dioxins and furans [20]. In December
strengthening the design and operational requirements of 2005, the provinces last remaining MSW incinerator closed
MSW landfills to reduce environmental impacts. An intended even though $9.5 million in capital debt remained [20].8
consequence was to increase landfill tipping fees thereby
reducing the economic advantage of disposal over material re- 7
A grandfather clause is a provision in a law or regulation that exempts cer-
covery. Nova Scotia published its stricter design and operating tain pre-existing facilities, persons, or conditions from the scope of a new law,
standards for landfills in October 1997. However, Nova Scotia regulation, or requirement.
8
did not grandfather existing landfills as is a common All monetary figures in this paper are expressed as Canadian dollars.
T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421 415

One of the strongest financial incentives to divert waste is 50-percent diversion rate [13]. Although in theory this ap-
increased tipping fees. For example, before 1989, there was proach appeared reasonable, in reality it has not worked, due
no tipping fee in HRM; however, the tipping fee steadily in part to what the NSEL calls the lack of a contribution ef-
increased to $115/tonne by 2001 [21]. Tipping fees also in- fect that produces a result greater than the sum of the individ-
creased moderately in other regions of the province, averaging ual parts. That is, the more wastestreams that are recovered,
$50/tonne [17] however, since the new landfill requirements the higher the participation in individual streams. (The empir-
became effective on the first of January 2006, tipping fees out- ical evidence supporting this phenomenon is weak. A few lim-
side of HRM now average $80/tonne [22]. In addition to the ited studies suggest that a contribution effect may occur
increased tipping fees, because there are far fewer landfills, [26,27].) For example, the inclusion of organics separation
transportation costs associated with the transfer of waste to and recovery with recyclables in a MSW program will in-
more centralized second-generation landfills will continue to crease the participation in recyclables recovery. Moreover,
increase. These increased costs will further economically jus- when backyard composting is compared with centralized com-
tify diversion practices and increase the material recovery posting, fewer materials are composted as residents generally
rate [17]. should not compost fish, meat, and dairy wastes in their
Arguably the more efficacious approach to increasing mate- backyard.
rial recovery was through command-and-control: the provin-
ces disposal bans. Nova Scotia banned the disposal of 4.3. Funding
a litany of recyclable materials from residential and ICI sour-
ces and remains the only Canadian province to ban composta- The primary funding sources for the Nova Scotia MSW
ble organic material from landfill disposal [23]. On April 1, strategy are municipal property taxes and tipping fees. A sup-
1996, bans went into effect for redeemable beverage con- plemental funding source is provided through RRFB Nova
tainers, corrugated cardboard, newsprint, used tires, automo- Scotias beverage container deposit system. This system in-
tive lead-acid batteries, and leaf and yard waste. Waste paint cludes a two-tiered differential deposit and refund rate based
and ethylene glycol (automotive antifreeze) were banned on on container size and use. In Nova Scotia, this system is some-
April 1, 1997. Steel/tin food containers, glass food containers, times referred to as a half-back program. Excluding domes-
No. 2 HDPE non-hazardous containers, and stretch pallet wrap tic beer bottles (which return 100 percent of the 10-cent
for businesses were banned on September 1, 1998. Finally, on deposit), consumers pay 10 cents on non-dairy beverage con-
November 30, 1998, compostable organic material (food tainers of 500 mL and below and receive 5 cents back when
waste, yard waste, soiled and non-recyclable paper) was the containers are returned to any of the 83 independently
banned. The NSEL believes that the 50-percent diversion run ENVIRO-DEPOTs throughout the province. (Alcoholic
goal could not have been met without the ban on compostable beverages in bottles above 500 mL have a deposit of 20 cents
organic materials from landfill disposal [17]. with 10 cents returned.) Of the 5 cents that remains from the
Banning recoverables, especially organics, is a relatively 10-cent deposit, a handling fee of 3.56 cents per container is
easy policy to adopt. However, implementation requires a paid to the ENVIRO-DEPOT. (This fee will increase to
behavioral change over time that necessitates significant 3.63 cents on April 1, 2007 [28].) The remaining 1.44 cents
resources by the regions and municipalities. Moreover, the is used to fund municipal MSW programs, the four regional
more difficult task is to manage the substantial increase in material processing centers, transportation of diverted mate-
supply of food and yard wastes at the residential level, and rials, and administration of the fund (the 20-cent deposit dou-
biosolids, food wastes, and food processing wastes at the com- ble these returns). In addition, 10 percent of RRFB Nova
mercial level. The market price for composted organics tends Scotias net revenue funds NSELs Solid Waste-Resource
to be lower than the cost of collecting, hauling, and processing Management office to assist with enforcement, policy, legisla-
the waste, market forces cannot solely be relied upon to create tion, and staffing.
the infrastructure for processing organics e public funding is Interestingly, the province had a limited beverage deposit/
essential. Given that the province created a large supply of refund system before adoption of the strategy for beer and
organics necessitating composting, centralized composting liquor bottles only that was administered through the tightly
facilities needed to charge a tipping fee of between $30 and controlled Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation. However, the
$77 per tonne to fund development of infrastructure and sub- beer and liquor system did not charge a fee at the point of pur-
sequent operation [24]. chase; the deposit was incorporated into the list price dimin-
The original vision of the provincial strategy included ac- ishing the cognitive impact of the deposit/refund concept
cess to curbside collection of organic material for all residents [17]. Thus, for all intents and purposes, Nova Scotia created
of the province; however, Nova Scotia is very rural in many a new deposit/refund system. Moreover, as proposed, the
areas. As a result, NSEL was convinced by a few rural juris- Nova Scotia strategy could easily have been interpreted as
dictions that curbside collection was not necessary, provided a tax, rather than a true refund program because of the half-
that there was an extensive backyard composting program back concept. There was a lingering political charge that the
for all these residents [25]. According to provincial officials, half-back system was, in fact, a hidden tax [29]. The NSELs
the rural exemption probably should not have been granted argument was that the half-back system was not a tax, per se,
because many of these areas have failed to achieve the but basically an environmental users fee; the more materials
416 T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421

consumed and the more waste produced, the more you pay. 4.4. Increase capture of recoverable materials
Regarding the tax perspective of the deposit/refund system,
there were few complaints about the half-back system. Instru- As organic and recoverable materials were banned from
mental in this acceptance was the knowledge that money was disposal, a system had to be developed to capture these mate-
returned to the municipalities to help offset waste management rials. What evolved was a four-pronged approach: (1) the es-
costs rather than being directed into the Provinces general tablishment of a municipal three-stream (garbage, organics,
fund [6]. Also instrumental in accepting the funding system and recyclables) curbside collection system; (2) the establish-
was that the fund was administered by RRFB Nova Scotia, ment of a provincial system of material drop-off centers; (3)
an arms length, not-for-profit corporation. It is mandated to the development of industry stewardship agreements to foster
fund solid waste management regions with a minimum of 50 product-specific material capture and recovery; and (4) the
percent of net revenues from the beverage deposit/refund creation of a provincial education program to improve source
system to assist with waste management and educational separation.
awareness programs. Municipalities receive funds based on (1) Establishing a residential curbside collection system for
material recovery accomplishments as measured by NSEL- three streams involved the expansion of an existing system.
determined disposal rates. This is an explicit reward system: Most Nova Scotians were already served with municipal gar-
the more waste diverted, the higher the funding. Although it bage pickup, thus, the experience, system, and infrastructure
is important to note that the funds the RRFB Nova Scotia pro- existed [13]. As of 2004, the modified collection infrastructure
vides are relatively minor compared with the cost of the pro- provided residents and municipalities, representing 99 percent
grams, to some municipalities the funding can be significant of the population, with access to weekly curbside recycling
as it represents from 7 to 15 percent of their annual budget [32]. In addition, 76 percent of the population live in munici-
[30] and demonstrates that the province is committed in help- palities that offer curbside collection of residential organics,
ing garner public and municipal support [31]. For example, in and 53 of 55 municipalities offer centralized composting to
fiscal year 2005, the RRFB Nova Scotia returned $8.2 million their business sector [32]. Using private collection contracts,
(representing 72 percent of net revenues) to Nova Scotias 55 the average annual collection cost of two streams (waste and
municipalities in diversion credits (funding is based on the recyclable materials) per collection point is $50 per household
previous years per capita waste disposal rate) to fund local per year. The average cost to collect three streams (waste,
recycling and composting programs and $1.46 million to recyclable materials, and compost) in 2002 was $56 per house-
education and public awareness programs [28]. hold per year [33]. The average cost to compost organic mate-
Another source of regional supplemental funding is through rials at central composting facilities (including operating and
levying environmental fees on certain items, including tires, amortized capital costs) in 2002 was $80 per tonne, which
paint, and milk cartons. Generally, these fees are self-imposed did not include revenue generated from sales of composted
by the industry, which have been established through steward- materials. Organics pickup is generally biweekly, which
ship agreements, discussed below. Used tires, the nemesis of makes it more cost-effective but has caused some problems
MSW managers worldwide, are banned from disposal in with flies, maggots, and odors in warmer months. Exceptions
Nova Scotia landfills. To foster collection, and to reduce ille- to the bi-weekly collection include the towns of Barrington,
gal disposal, Nova Scotia tire retailers levy a one-time envi- Clarkes Harbour, and Lockeport, and the urban regions of
ronmental fee of $3 per passenger tire and $9 per truck tire HRM during July and August e all of which implement
at the point of sale with used tires returnable free of charge weekly collection. Waste collection in the ICI sector varies
to any of the provinces 900 tire retailers [28]. These fees throughout the province, with municipally sponsored collec-
are remitted to the RRFB Nova Scotia to support area tire re- tion in some areas and contracted private haulers in other
cycling programs. Since 1997, 6.1 million used tires have been areas.
collected [28]. In 2005, 805,000 tires were collected represent- (2) ENVIRO-DEPOTs were created to provide a provin-
ing a 72.4 percent recovery rate and $3.2 million collected by cial system of material drop-off centers; they are licensed
the RRFB Nova Scotia [28]. An additional fee-based program businesses run by independent contractors. There are currently
is the Nova Scotia Paint Recycling Program launched in the 83 ENVIRO-DEPOTs in Nova Scotia and 87 percent of
June 2002. Nova Scotia households are within 20 kilometers of an
Although, the paint recycling program is administered by ENVIRO-DEPOT [34]. They are basically patterned after
RRFB Nova Scotia, program costs are charged to Product the franchise concept in which each ENVIRO-DEPOT is
Care, an organization supported by the paint industry. With provided a service territory [35]. Beverage containers are col-
2.28 million containers of paint purchased in Nova Scotia in lected, counted, and accumulated in canvas bags or plastic tubs
2005, 302,000 liters of leftover oil and latex paint were col- provided by RRFB Nova Scotia. Trucks remove filled bags/
lected at ENVIRO-DEPOTs for a return rate of 11.5 percent tubs from the ENVIRO-DEPOTs and take them to one of
[28]. RRFB Nova Scotia pays the depots and handles the four central processing facilities operated by, or for, the
collection of returned paint; shipment to the Paint Recycling RRFB Nova Scotia. Each canvas bag/tub has a bar code, which
Company in Springhill, Nova Scotia; and helps fund the is read, tracked, and recorded for handling fee payment. Depot
company to remanufacture the collected paint into a saleable funding is through a fixed handling fee collected for each de-
product [30]. posit on recyclable beverage containers. In fiscal year 2005,
T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421 417

ENVIRO-DEPOTs received $8.2 million in handling fees of the seven solid waste management regions. These contracts
from the RRFB Nova Scotia [28]. Most rural ENVIRO- are written to ensure that the regions deliver a specified num-
DEPOTs collect additional recyclable materials with market ber of presentations to schools, community groups, businesses,
value including corrugated cardboard, metal, and paper and and institutions; work with groups to green events, schools,
most have other allied operations such as scrap yards or thrift and IC&I sector organizations; set up static displays at
or corner stores [30]. Urban depots can be restricted in their malls, festivals and events; conduct waste audits at businesses
ability to collect additional materials because of insurance or institutions; and coordinate community clean-up events
coverage and limited footprints restricting storage capacity [30]. In addition to the education contracts, RRFB Nova Scotia
[35]. Nevertheless, urban depots tend to handle substantially administers an advertising assistance program, enhances
larger numbers of beverage containers making the business municipal education programs, a derelict vehicle removal pro-
viable as stand alone depots [30]. In rural areas, transportation gram, and the household hazardous waste programs with the
is a major issue with the ENVIRO-DEPOTs because of more seven solid waste management regions [30]. Of the $1.46 mil-
remote locations [36]. Since ENVIRO-DEPOTs are given lion RRFB Nova Scotia spent in 2005 for education, approxi-
exclusive rights they require large territories in rural areas mately $1 million went directly to the regions [30]. The
to remain economically viable. Thus, in rural areas, consider- remaining $460,000 was spent on provincial education and
able distance may have to be traveled to redeem beverage awareness programs that included, conducting regular work-
containers. shops for the 25 regional educators hired through the
(3) The third component of the strategy to increase the cap- regional education contracts, coordination of a provincial
ture of recoverable materials is through industry stewardship recycling contest in Nova Scotia schools, delivery of educa-
agreements administered by the RRFB Nova Scotia and codi- tional presentations using Moby the Recycling Robot, and pro-
fied by the NSEL. Industry stewardship agreements are duction of a wide range of educational tools, books, and other
arrangements with companies to share the responsibility for materials designed to promote waste reduction, reuse, recy-
recycling and disposal of specific waste items (i.e., product- cling and composting [30]. The RRFB Nova Scotia also offers
focused as opposed to producer-focused environmental poli- a province-wide toll-free recycling hotline [28].
cies). Stewardship agreements have been developed for used
tires, used paint, medical sharps, telephone directories, news-
paper, and milk containers. The agreements typically involve 4.5. Increase use of diverted materials
some form of subsidy to the RRFB Nova Scotia, with the funds
used to support related recycling companies or off-set collec- The bulk of Nova Scotias MSW management efforts are on
tion and management costs. For example, Nova Scotias four increasing the capture of recoverable materials. As the supply
dairies provide funds to Nova Scotias solid waste management of recoverable materials increases, the challenge is to increase
regions based on the number of milk cartons collected [37]. the local demand for such materials. The traditional approach
The industry stewardship agreement with the newspapers in- by most MSW recycling programs is to rely on global markets.
volves an in-kind contribution. Daily newspapers that circulate Markets exist for paper, corrugated cardboard, aluminum, steel,
in Nova Scotia provide $10 worth of advertising to the RRFB glass, and select plastics (e.g., HDPE and PET). However, these
Nova Scotia for each tonne of newsprint purchased by the pa- markets historically have been volatile, creating challenges to
pers [38]. Although it was originally anticipated that steward- solid waste managers due to a steady supply and an unpredict-
ship agreements would be relatively easy to negotiate, the able demand. To ameliorate market volatility and increase job
program has had only limited success. Industrys disinterest creation, Nova Scotia adopted a value-added program to
is in part due to the fact that the RRFB Nova Scotia does not support local industries that would utilize diverted recover-
have a means of enforcement. This lack of authority translates ables. The RRFB Nova Scotia provides funding towards the
to only limited efficacy in negotiating stewardship agreements cost of commercializing and marketing new and innovative
[17]. The NSELs strategy for these agreements is not to estab- products, services, and equipment related to material recovery.
lish environmental fees, but instead allow the RRFB Nova Sco- This approach is viewed as crucial to the provincial programs
tia to work out agreements with the retailers to determine fees success for three reasons. First, transportation costs are gener-
or alternatives. In the case of tires, the focus has been on retail ally the greatest barrier to marketing recovered materials, espe-
outlets rather than tire manufacturers; even though there are cially plastics. Thus, transportation costs are minimized when
three large tire manufacturing plants in Nova Scotia [13]. Since local markets are created. Second, local demand has the poten-
most of the stewardship agreements include contributions that tial to increase stability in the resource recovery market by di-
are used to offset management costs, they are not really indus- versifying demand, thereby, reducing the impact of having to
try stewardship initiatives per se, as they externalize the waste speculatively accumulate sufficient materials without an eco-
management costs onto the products purchased by the public nomically viable market in place. Third, local markets create
rather than promoting source reduction or recovery. local jobs and associated spin-off employment, which remain
(4) One of the original objectives of the RRFB Nova Scotia a key element in any projects success.
was to create a provincial education and awareness program to Since 1996, the RRFB Nova Scotia provided approximately
promote waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting. $6.5 million in funding to industries and municipalities to
RRFB Nova Scotia administers education contracts for each promote value-added products and increase the demand of
418 T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421

diverted materials [6]. Part of this funding also supported Table 1


research to develop local markets for diverted materials Comparison of selected disposal rates, 2002 [40e43]
in Nova Scotia. In addition to creating and fostering demand Entity Per capita
for diverted materials, the purpose of value-added manufactur- disposal rate (kg)
ing was to create jobs, which was one of the original selling Canada, national average 760
points of the strategy. Jobs have been created from Nova Sco- Nova Scotia 417
New Brunswick 551
tia-based value-added manufacturing in paint, plastic, tire, British Columbia 667
wood pallet, and paper recycling. This has become an increas- Ontario 797
ingly important component of the MSW strategy. An attractive Quebec 745
aspect about the jobs is that they are spread throughout the Alberta 928
province instead of being concentrated in one location or USA, national dataa 531
California 927
area. As a consequence, as some provinces and states are offi- Mainea 567
cially indifferent about exporting their waste, in Nova Scotia, a
Rate does not include construction and demolition debris.
most regions do not support exporting waste outside of the re-
gion for with the waste goes jobs [32].
RRFB Nova Scotia also funds the Nova Scotia Material Ex-
change [30]. This is a free service that seeks to reduce waste since 1996 for a 79 percent recovery rate, and the composting
by promoting the exchange of reusable materials. Through of more than 230,000 tonnes of organic material [32]. In 2005
the Nova Scotia Materials Exchange, companies with surplus alone, 79,000 tonnes of organic waste was diverted through
or by-product materials can connect with other businesses or municipal composting facilities [28]. Since the start of the
individuals who can reuse these materials productively. used tire program, approximately 6.1 million used tires have
been diverted [28]. In addition, the province has established
5. Is the Nova Scotia MSW strategy a model program? material recovery programs for used medical sharps, derelict
vehicles, used paint, and household hazardous waste. The
In assessing the question of whether Nova Scotias strategy province has also initiated an Electronic Product Stewardship
is a model program, it is necessary to review specific indica- Program to address the some 4500 tonnes of electronic waste
tors including effectiveness, costs to benefits, and impact on disposed annually [28]. Clearly, the Nova Scotia MSW strat-
environmental and public health protection. Regarding effec- egy has been effective in meeting and trying to maintain the
tiveness, the Nova Scotia MSW system met its 50-percent Canadian diversion goal.
diversion goal in 2000, just five years after adopting the new An assessment of the provincial program in terms of cost-
strategy. Although, the solid waste diversion rate has since benefit is less certain due in part to the lack of comprehensive
dropped to 42 percent, recycling rates and composting rates data and relative subjectivity of some factors. Using traditional
increased four and five percent respectively [17,21]. accounting measures, based on a 2004 cost-benefit analysis,
The reason for this seeming contradiction is that the per Nova Scotias MSW strategy cost $72.5 million in fiscal
capita MSW generation rate has increased at a greater pace. 2001 compared to the estimated $48.6 million in 1989 [6].
This is due to increased non-recyclable packaging in the The total annual per capita MSW management cost was
wastestream and increased construction and demolition $75.19 in 2000 [40]. The annual, per person marginal cost
debris [21]. The diversion rate should rise in 2006 with the clo- of adopting Nova Scotias MSW strategy is estimated to be
sure of the provinces only remaining incinerator in Sydney, $26 in constant 2001 dollars [6]. As to be expected, using
since the nearest landfill is approximately 200 kilometers traditional cost accounting measures, the direct cost to imple-
away [30]. ment the strategy has increased by 49 percent. This, however,
A comparison with other waste management programs does not represent a full cost accounting of the strategy, which
based on per capita disposal rates is presented in Table 1. is important in evaluating the program [2]. The authors of a
Nova Scotia has the lowest solid waste disposal rate in recent study contend that the obvious costs are offset by a num-
Canada; 46 percent lower than the Canadian average. The ber of less obvious factors including reduced air emissions and
U.S., which relies primarily on voluntary recycling, has groundwater leachate, improved public health, cost avoidance
slightly higher disposal rates than Nova Scotia; however, these of siting new landfills, cost avoidance of remediating contam-
data are misleading because Canada and its provinces include ination from landfills, reduced environmental liability, energy
construction and demolition debris as MSW whereas data for savings, employment benefits, and reduced greenhouse gas
most of the U.S. does not. In Nova Scotia, construction and de- (GHG) emissions [6]. Based on full cost accounting, the study
molition debris accounts for 24 to 30 percent of all solid waste estimated a net cost savings from implementing the system of
generated [6] (data on generation for all sectors are not avail- $33 to $178 per person per year above the pre-strategy total
able). It is important to note that in U.S. cities and counties cost baseline of $31 million to $167.7 million [6]. Regardless
where diversion participation is mandated, a diversion rate of the adherence to traditional cost to benefit analysis or full
of 40 to 65 percent has been achieved [39]. cost accounting, available data suggest that the cost of Nova
Other accomplishments of Nova Scotias MSW program in- Scotias waste management strategy approximates that of the
clude the recycling of over 1.7 billion beverage containers State of Maine (U.S.A.), but is less than the Canadian national
T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421 419

average.9 (The annual, per person MSW cost for Canada is materials an estimated 71,980 to 249,270 tonnes of CO2 equiv-
$45.49 and the nearby U.S. state of Maine is $78.35, although alent have not been emitted between 1989 and 2001 [6]. By
direct comparison should be viewed with trepidation given the increasing source reduction, there are also significant life cycle
differences in data collection, classification, and analysis) energy savings that decrease GHG generation, which are far
[42]. However, Nova Scotias disposal rate is far lower than more difficult to quantify, but must be acknowledged. Second-
all other provinces and Maine, suggesting that the national ary environmental benefits result from decreased upstream
and Maine cost data includes inexpensive landfilling as the waste generation from reduced raw material acquisition,
dominant disposal practice of choice rather than more costly, processing, manufacturing, transportation, and use [44]. In ad-
but protective pollution prevention-based management. dition, there are similar local savings as there is less waste ne-
An additional important element of the Nova Scotia strategy cessitating disposal. An important secondary effect of the land
is that it has forced increased internalization of waste manage- disposal bans is that collectively, the cost of landfill disposal
ment costs for households and the ICI sector. Historically, has increased thereby decreasing the economic advantage of
waste was dumped in inexpensive, substandard landfills or disposal over recovery. Simultaneously, because of the dis-
burned; transportation was the major cost. However, primitive posal ban, there was a significant increase in the supply of re-
landfills and open burning sites have high social costs including coverable materials. In short, there is a dramatic reduction in
potential environmental damage and adverse short- and long- upstream wastes, associated energy, and waste going to land-
term health effects. Consequently, a secondary benefit of ban- fills (no incineration) that are more protective and less
ning the disposal of recoverable goods and first-generation biologically active.
landfills is that residents and firms have had to internalize Given the increased tipping fees, decreased landfill avail-
some costs as they face increased management, collection, ability, disposal restrictions, and the rural nature of the prov-
transportation, and disposal costs. Thus, instead of teasing mar- ince, the obvious question is whether there has been
ket conditions sufficient to justify recycling, the Nova Scotia a significant increase in illegal disposal? Intuitively, such con-
approach was to legislate recycling and subsequently support ditions would heighten the concern of incidences of illegal
the development of industry and markets. This further consol- disposal. Regardless of what type of disposal system is used
idated regional approaches to MSW management as many mu- or adopted, historically, illegal disposal has always been a prob-
nicipalities could not afford to construct new landfills. In fact, lem [45]. Reviewing surveys of communities adopting unit-
some regions have opted not to construct new landfills and have based pricing (pay-as-you-throw) MSW systems, a study found
entered into cooperative agreements with those regions that that there was a short-term spike in illegal dumping but dimin-
have new landfills compliant with second generation standards. ished with acceptance and familiarity [45]. However, the
Consequently, because municipalities and regions face higher studys authors caution that data on the frequency and amounts
tipping and transportation fees, there is an increased economic of illegal dumping are virtually non-existent in most commu-
incentive to divert waste from disposal. While the precise costs nities. Although in HRM, illegal dumping has been a signifi-
and benefits are arguable and some economists would charge cant problem for many years, based on an analysis, there were
that government intervention is inherently inefficient, it has no data to support a relationship between illegal dumping and
to be recognized that there are short-, and especially long- increased disposal fees [46]. Based on a survey of Nova
term economic benefits, many of which are non-quantifiable Scotia regional waste reduction coordinators, illegal disposal
and relate to reduced future environmental and public health has and continues to be a problem, but there are no data linking
impacts. it with the strategy. Most incidences of illegal disposal are
There is little argument as to the net environmental and white goods (large appliances), derelict vehicles, demolition
public health benefits of Nova Scotias MSW strategy. First, debris, and waste from households moving away [47]. On a
the strategy resulted in the closure of dozens of dumps and in- related issue, litter remains a significant issue in the province.
adequate landfills and being replaced with seven engineered In a recent study, miscellaneous materials comprised 43 per-
landfills. The closure of these substandard landfills has a direct cent of sampled litter, 23 percent was litter from the fast-
environmental and public health benefit for current and future food industry, 15 percent was from snack foods, and 13 percent
generations as it correspondingly decreases landfill gas and was from tobacco products [48]. In response, in May 2006, the
leachate generation. In addition, the bans on landfill disposal Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Labour proposed to
of organic materials reduce the biological activity and thus, significantly increase the fines for individuals and businesses
leachate generation and GHG (methane) production. One littering and to broaden the definition of litter [49].
study estimated that the reduction in landfilled biodegradable
solid waste resulting from Nova Scotias strategy between 6. The future
1989 and 2001 reduced GHG emissions between 231,400
and 261,900 tonnes of CO2 equivalent [6]. In addition, because Nova Scotia faces significant challenges in diverting waste.
the strategy promotes recycling over the use of virgin Although disposal has decreased and recycling has increased,
diversion percentages have decreased because more MSW is
9
Maine is used because it is similar to Nova Scotia geographically and de- being generated. This trend is not unique to Nova Scotia.
mographically and is one of the few states with solid state-wide MSW data. There is a direct correlation between economic wealth and
Most other data in the U.S. are municipal. waste generation. In addition, demographic changes typical
420 T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421

of western societies lead to greater waste production. In a problem. To be sure, developing the program was not sim-
Canada, the population has increased, but the number of indi- plistic and clearly there were, and continue to be, problems,
viduals per household has decreased by 33 percent since 1961 challenges, and disappointments. Yet, the strategy remains rel-
[50]. In Nova Scotia, there were 2.5 persons per household in atively popular. Part of this popularity stems from a sense of
2001 [51]. As the number of individuals per household accomplishment. Nova Scotians are proud of their strategy,
decrease, and the population increases, more dwellings must which is confirmed when they travel to other provinces.
be built. It is inevitable that more waste is generated to They realize that Nova Scotia has done something good and
support this living situation as more households consume it reinforces it for them [54]. Based on awareness, participa-
furniture, appliances, household maintenance products, food, tion rates, and RRFB Nova Scotia-commissioned surveys,
and so forth. Moreover, (Canadian) consumers increasingly there is an overall highlevel of public support for Nova
prefer disposable items such as plastic bags, paper plates, Scotias waste reduction efforts [55e58].
and polystyrene cups [52]. The increasing reliance on con- One of the crucial elements of Nova Scotias success is that
venience generates packaging wastes, cardboard boxes, plastic the province was able to link the environment to the economy,
and paper bags, plastic trays, and plastic film. Finally, the reinforcing that they are not mutually exclusive [13]. This was
increasing rapidity of product obsolescence based on techno- crucial to the strategys success as support from business
logy, fashion, and functionality further increases waste leaders was based on seeing MSW as a resource. For instance,
generation. a Nova Scotia paper mill has the capacity to recycle all the
Faced with a seemingly overwhelming production of waste, provinces old corrugated cardboard and newsprint and in
Nova Scotias strategy, based on the framework depicted in fact imports additional stock. This feedstock is important to
Fig. 1, is well designed to address the diversion aspect, but maintain plant operations, sustain employment, and close the
is limited in its ability to tackle the overall generation trend. loop on recycling. The provincial strategy has secured addi-
The obvious approach to combat overall waste generation is tional jobs in plastic, paint, and tire recycling. Given that
to force producer cost internalization through such means as jobs are very important to Nova Scotia, this attraction cannot
extended producer responsibility as the product discard man- be overestimated. Moreover, the jobs are not limited to one in-
agement paradigm is limited in its diversion ability. Without dustry or one location, but spread throughout the province
national or large-scale regional leadership in this area, given making them less susceptible to market downturns.
Nova Scotias population, the province is limited in its ability One of the important conclusions drawn from the study is
to force such a dramatic change in major producers. Other that Nova Scotias MSW strategy serves as a model sub-
countries, provinces, and states are exploring various national program, based on effectiveness, environmental and
approaches to force cost internalization and producer respon- health benefits, comparative costs, and cost to benefits based
sibility, which will benefit Nova Scotia. on full-cost accounting. Admittedly, the cost and benefit
Nevertheless, additional and continuous modifications and aspects are value judgments, but given the short- and long-
steps can be made within the framework to achieve further mar- term benefits to environmental protection and to the provincial
ginal reductions in the generation of waste and its subsequent economy, the marginal cost increase seems comparatively rea-
disposal. These include: (1) Additional and improved extended sonable, especially when compared to other popular public
product responsibility within the framework of Nova Scotias subsides. Although the Nova Scotia MSW management strat-
product stewardship program. (2) Expanding the value-added egy is a model sub-national program, only limited improve-
manufacturing program to increase local demand of diverted ments are expected without extended producer responsibility.
materials. (3) Increasing the reclamation of construction and Thus, more research is needed to identify and assess success-
demolition debris. (4) Continuing to increase individual partic- ful sub-national extended producer responsibility programs. If
ipation in the strategy. Interestingly, the province has observed national and sub-national governments are serious about sus-
an increase in material separation by requiring the use of clear tainability, they should study Nova Scotias approach to MSW.
bags for non-recoverable waste for disposal. Currently, 16 of
the 55 municipalities, covering 40 percent of the population,
now require clear bags [53].
References
7. Conclusion
[1] Rathje W, Murphy C. Rubbish! The archaeology of garbage. New York:
An analysis of the Nova Scotia MSW strategy provides an HarperCollins Publishers; 1992.
[2] Dewees DN, Hare MJ. Economic analysis of packaging waste reduction.
interesting case study. The strategy was a direct response to Canadian Public Policy 1998;24(4):453e70.
a perceived MSW landfill crisis. Yet, instead of merely ame- [3] Brown DT. Landfills and legislation; overview of regulations affecting in-
liorating the crisis incrementally and at minimal economic ground disposal of non-hazardous solid waste in Canada and the United
and political cost, Nova Scotia embraced an aggressive and States. In: Mustafa N, editor. Plastics waste management; disposal, recy-
novel approach based on creating an entirely new provincial cling, and reuse. New York: Marcel Dekker; 1993. p. 37e58.
[4] See for example, Isaacson F. Japan likes what we do, how we do our gar-
MSW strategy e adopting pollution prevention over disposal. bage, The Halifax Herald; Saturday, March 8, 2003. Dooley C. Group
This in itself is an important lesson. As Nova Scotia demon- looks to Nova Scotia for lesson on treating waste. Irish Times; January
strated, sometimes only a truly new approach can solve 9, 2001. p. 9.
T. Wagner, P. Arnold / Journal of Cleaner Production 16 (2008) 410e421 421

[5] Goodick M. Assessing environmental improvements from changes in [29] Joseph R. Executive Director, Nova Scotia environmental industry asso-
waste management practices in Nova Scotia from 1990e2000, Masters ciation. Personal interview. Dartmouth, NS; August 6, 2004.
Thesis, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS; 2002. [30] McCarthy, MC. Director of communications, resource recovery fund
[6] Walker S, Colman R, Wilson J, Monette A, Harley G. The Nova Scotia board Nova Scotia. Personal communication; July 3, 2005.
GPI solid waste-resource accounts. Glen Haven, NS: GPI Atlantic; 2004. [31] Ferguson A. Regional waste coordinator, Pictou County solid waste man-
[7] See for example, Stein DL. Who will profit from trash crisis? Toronto agement system. Personal interview. Stellarton, NS; August 10, 2004.
Star; March 30, 1989, p. A27; Smith M. Waste problem could halt con- [32] Status report 2004 of solid waste-resource management in Nova Scotia.
struction metro warns. Toronto Star; February 9, 1989, p. A7; Smith M. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour; 2004.
Queens park promises to help solve waste crisis. Toronto Star; January [33] Friesen B. A world leader in diversion. BioCycle 2002;43(6):34.
21, 1989, p. A6; Funston M. Taxpayers seen paying for Peel trash crisis. [34] RRFB Nova Scotia. 2003 annual report. Truro, NS, Canada: Resource
Toronto Star; November 30, 1988, p. A7; Garbage war is approaching. Recovery Fund Board; 2003.
Toronto Star; April 19, 1988, p. N4; Temple J. Cost to get rid of trash [35] Burgess P. Canadian Recycling, Ltd. Personal interview. Dartmouth, NS;
will double in calamity ahead, councilor says. Toronto Star; March 9, August 11, 2004.
1988, p. A15. [36] Campbell M. Education Coordinator Region 1. Personal interview. Port
[8] Canadian Council of the Ministers of the Environment. Information re- Hood, NS; August 9, 2004.
lease, Winnipeg, MB; April 19, 1989. p. 30. [37] Nova Scotia milk packaging stewardship agreement. Nova Scotia Depart-
[9] See for example, Mydron J. Landfill polluting river e expert. The Mail- ment of Environment and Labour; 2000.
Star; March 16, 1989, p. 21. Hall F, Wild L. Testing shows high level of [38] Nova Scotia daily newspapers stewardship agreement. Nova Scotia
ammonia, The Daily News; March 20, 1989. p. 3. Department of Environment and Labour; 2001.
[10] Best practices. The Business Voice. Halifax Chamber of Commerce; [39] Platt B, Lease K. Cutting the waste stream in half: community record-
March 1, 2002. setters show how. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection
[11] Wendt F. Pay now or pay later: a cost benefit analysis of Halifax regional Agency; 1999. EPA-530-R-99e013.
municipalitys integrated solid waste management system. Masters [40] Waste management industry survey business and government sectors
Thesis, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS; 2001. 2002. Statistics Canada; 2004. Catalogue No. 16F0023XIE.
[12] Towards a solid waste management strategy for Nova Scotia: a public [41] Municipal solid waste in the United States: 2001 facts and figures.
consultation report. Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 2003.
Labour; June 1995. EPA530-R-03-011.
[13] Friesen B. Solid Waste-Resource Manager, Nova Scotia Department of [42] 2003 municipally submitted solid waste management data. Augusta,
the Environment and Labour. Personal interview, Halifax, NS; August Maine: Maine State Planning Office; 2003.
11, 2004. [43] California Integrated Waste Management Board. Statewide profiles,
[14] Solid waste-resource management: a strategy for Nova Scotia. Nova <http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Profiles/Statewide/>; [accessed June 19, 2006].
Scotia Department of Environment and Labour; 1995. [44] Finnveden G, Johansson J, Lind P, Moberg A. Life cycle assessment of
[15] Recycling e markets, marketing, and a coherent strategy for Nova energy from solid waste e part 1: general methodology and results.
Scotia. Ernst and Young; 1993. Journal of Cleaner Production 2005;13:213e29.
[16] Changing attitudes in a changing environment: a discussion paper for [45] Skumatz LA, Van Dusen H, Carton J. Illegal dumping: incidences, drivers, and
solid waste management in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Department of strategies. SERA Research Report Series No. 9431-1; 1994, updated 2001.
Environment and Labour; July 15, 1994. [46] Halifax Regional Municipality, Solid waste/regional advisory committee,
[17] Kenney BM. Solid Waste-Resource Manager, Nova Scotia Department of Minutes of meeting; May 12, 1999.
the Environment and Labour. Personal interview. Halifax, NS; August 5, [47] Clarke R. Regional Waste Reduction Coordinator, Cape Breton regional
2004. municipality, Nova Scotia. Personal communication; July 7, 2005.
[18] Cotton R. Chair, Nova Scotia solid waste-resource management regional [48] Allen SA, Saccary L, Wishart JG, Vigneau AM. A characterization of
chairs committee. Personal interview. Halifax, NS; August 5, 2004. Nova Scotian litter: 2004 Litter survey; 2004.
[19] Kenney BM. Solid Waste-Resource Manager, Nova Scotia Department of [49] Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour. News release:
the Environment and Labour. Personal communication; June 15, 2006. amendments to the environment act tabled; May 8, 2006.
[20] Macdonald TC. Incinerator emissions double the allowable limit. Cape [50] Statistics Canada. Type of dwelling and population by type of dwelling
Breton Post November 19, 2005. (1961e2001 Censuses), <http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/famil66.
[21] Kenney BM. Solid waste-resource manager, Nova Scotia Department of the htm>; [accessed June 15, 2006].
Environment and Labour. Personal communication; December 10, 2004. [51] Statistics Canada. Type of dwelling and population by type of dwelling
[22] MacQueen D. Environmental Engineer, Nova Scotia Department of the (1961e2001 Censuses), <http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/famil66.
Environment and Labour. Personal correspondence; July 26, 2006. htm>; [accessed June 15, 2006].
[23] Greene L. A less trashy Nova Scotia. Environmental Health Perspectives [52] Statistics Canada. Human activity and the environment, annual statistics
2001;109(9):A418. 2005, Catalogue no. 16-201-XIE.
[24] Data for this were collected from an author survey with compost plant [53] Data for this was collected from an author survey with municipalities
operators throughout Nova Scotia conducted on July 27, 2006. throughout Nova Scotia conducted on August 3, 2006.
[25] Friesen B. Landfill ban stimulates composting programs in Nova Scotia. [54] Van Rooyen B. Policy coordinator, valley waste-resource management.
BioCycle 2000;41(3):57. Personal interview. Kentville, NS; August 4, 2005.
[26] Koch KE, Domina T. Consumer textile recycling as a means of solid [55] Public opinion survey: Final report. RRFB Nova Scotia; 1997.
waste reduction. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal [56] 1999 Public opinion survey on recycling and waste management. RRFB
1999;28(1):3e17. Nova Scotia; 1999.
[27] Domina T, Koch K. Convenience and frequency of recycling: [57] Survey of recycling and composting in Nova Scotia. RRFB Nova Scotia;
implications for including textiles in curbside recycling programs. 2002.
Environment & Behavior 2002;34(2):216e39. [58] Moscoso, ADE. Factors influencing households participation in the
[28] RRFB Nova Scotia. 2005 annual report. Truro, NS: Resource recovery waste/resource management program of Halifax regional authority,
fund board; 2005. Masters Thesis, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS; 2001.