Building a Better Solid Waste System, Together

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Over the past weeks, we've come together as a community, in-person and online, to talk about our options for evolving HRM's waste system. This video recaps what we heard during the first phase of engagement.

Thank you for participating in this process. The survey and discussion forums are now closed. All responses will be compiled and packaged for inclusion in the final report. Stay tuned for updates.

Answers to your questions

Last updated on October 15, 2013

We've received a lot of questions during our public engagement events and are working on answering them all. Some are similar, so we've grouped them together. You can find the most up to date Q&A below, as well as the list of all the questions you've asked.

What we've heard

Phase 1 of the solid waste strategy review community engagement program consisted of consultations with industry stakeholders, residents of the communities in nearest proximity to the Otter Lake landfill, and members of the general public across all of HRM. A summary of key themes that have arisen in the engagement process thus far and the relative weight of each category of feedback is presented in the following Midterm Project Report.

Over the past weeks, we've come together as a community, in-person and online, to talk about our options for evolving HRM's waste system. This video recaps what we heard during the first phase of engagement.

Thank you for participating in this process. The survey and discussion forums are now closed. All responses will be compiled and packaged for inclusion in the final report. Stay tuned for updates.

Answers to your questions

Last updated on October 15, 2013

We've received a lot of questions during our public engagement events and are working on answering them all. Some are similar, so we've grouped them together. You can find the most up to date Q&A below, as well as the list of all the questions you've asked.

What we've heard

Phase 1 of the solid waste strategy review community engagement program consisted of consultations with industry stakeholders, residents of the communities in nearest proximity to the Otter Lake landfill, and members of the general public across all of HRM. A summary of key themes that have arisen in the engagement process thus far and the relative weight of each category of feedback is presented in the following Midterm Project Report.

Category Event Summary   Show all

  • Event Summary: Sept. 18th & 19th Town Hall Meetings

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    by IanC, 24 Sep 2013
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    20110101-P1018441

    We're working on summarizing what we heard at the first Town Hall meeting.

    In the meeting we heard from the Engagement Team, HRM staff, and the Otter Lake CMC (Community Monitoring Committee). You can find their presentation materials below for reference. 

    Engagement Team and Otter Lake CMC presentations: Beechville, Lakeside, Timberlea and Prospect Town Hall Presentation (pdf)

    HRM Staff presentation: HRM Solid Waste Resource - Town Hall Presentation (web link)

     

    20110101-P1018455

  • Dartmouth & Vicinity: Engagement Session 1

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    by Emily, 27 Sep 2013
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    The first engagement session for the Dartmouth community and vicinity, took place at Cole Harbour Place, on September 25. We will be returning to the same venue for session 2 on Wednesday, October 16th.


    The first engagement session for the Dartmouth community and vicinity, took place at Cole Harbour Place, on September 25. We will be returning to the same venue for session 2 on Wednesday, October 16th.

    Event Overview & Key Themes

    The bullet points below reflect the key comments, questions and themes we heard at the engagement session. The conversation was structured around the following questions:

    1. What do you appreciate most about the way we handle our trash in HRM?
    2. What is most important to you as we evolve our waste system?
    3. What values and principles should guide our future decisions?
    Conversation Summary

    What do you appreciate most about the way we handle our trash in HRM?

    ? Front end process

    ? Public consensus

    ? Improve without tearing it all apart

    ? Ahead of the curve

    ? Education of children

    ? Input from the public

    ? Proud! (we want clear bags)

     

    What values and principles should guide our future decisions?” 

    *Please note that the below is transcribed directly from post-it notes collected at the engagement session.

    Honor the Contract

    ? Honor the agreement created by host community for protection

    ? Simple principlehonor

    the commitment to host community

    ? The promise to the people

    ? Honor the existing agreement and permits without change and no extension for Otter

    Lake operational term past 25 years

    ? Honor agreements with community

    ? The same values and principles that were evident when the agreement between HRM

    and the host community for Otter Lake

    ? HRM must honor their contract

    ? Honor the contracts

    ? Keep promises made

    ? Honesty and support from HRM government

     

    Education, Source Separation and Diversion

    ? Focus on education and source separation

    ? Public responsibility to separate at the source

    ? Work to increase source separation. Education, awareness, enforcement, accountability

    ? Diversion/ Source separation

    ? Improve source separation through education and enforcement

    ? Source separation - commercial building (especially new). Build better source separation in the design and through permit

    ? Education - commercial, institutional, general public

    ? Focus on diverting more from ICI sector - apartments,

    businesses, commercial

    ? Use waste audits to tackle recyclables and organics not diverted

    ? Collect organics from restaurants and apartments

    ? Increase diversion at source including businesses

     

    Environmental Protection

    ? Environment over dollars and cents. Willing to pay more for state of the art.

    ? Environment –do not reduce liner, keep processes at Otter Lake and look at how to

    enhance

    ? Environmental protection

    ? Environmental and community protection

    ? Don’t reduce existing environmental protections

    ? Reliable data and environmental assessment

     

    Community Protection

    ? Community commitment and protection (now at Otter Lake and future site)

    ? Ensuring that the citizens understand the ramifications both financially and

    environmentally, especially those citizens who host the landfill in their area

     

    Not Listening

    ? I thought the listening meant that HRM would listen to us. Instead, we got a sales job and

    we did the listening

    ? I do not see any demonstration of values and principle in the way this meeting is being

    conducted

     

    Additional comments:

    • Plan for the Long Term
    • Celebrate our World Class Landfill
    • Trust in our Government
    • Look at Best Practices (don’t go backward)
    • Improve Operations (without making it worse)
    • Leave Otter Lake Alone
    • Use Clear Bags
  • Bedford and Vicinity: Engagement Session 1

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    by Emily, 08 Oct 2013
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    The event for Bedford and vicinity took place on September 26th at the Bedford/Hammonds Plains Community Centre. The second event will be held at the same location on Thursday, October 17.


    The event for Bedford and vicinity took place on September 26th at the Bedford/Hammonds Plains Community Centre. The second event will be held at the same location on Thursday, October 17.

     

    Event Overview & Summary of Key Themes

    The bullet points below reflect the key comments, questions and themes we heard at the engagement session. The conversation was structured around the following questions:

    1. What do you appreciate most about the way we handle our trash in HRM?
    2. What is most important to you as we evolve our waste system?
    3. What values and principles should guide our future decisions?
    Conversation Summary

    What do you appreciate most about the way we handle our trash in HRM?

    ? Way ahead, state of the art

    ? % of things put in recycling and compost

    ? Diversion and source separation

    ? Transient population – FEP and WSF protect us

    ? They pick it up! (the trash)

     

    What is most important to you as we evolve our waste system?

    ? Honor the agreement and take care of the people

    ? Move towards a zero waste system

    ? Otter Lake remains the same

    ? Maintain or improve education, operation and protection

    ? Stantec report is false

    ? Problem - no

    green bins for apartments

    ? Truth about GHG? How much?

    ? Keep the commitment to the community

    ? Review and consider all information and transparency

    ? Clear bags

    ? More processing will not increase methane production

     

    What principles should guide our future decisions?

    *Please note that the below is transcribed directly from post-it notes collected at the engagement session. 

    Honor the Contract

    ? Honor the contracts

    ? Honor contracts – Respect host community

    ? Integrity – live up to your commitments HRM

    ? Honoring commitments

    ? Trust – a deal is a deal

    ? Honor contracts and commitments

    ? A deal is a deal - LOLA!

    ? A deal is a deal – the local community

    ? Moral imperative to honor existing contract

    ? Respect CSC commitment, original strategy was brilliant

    ? Honor agreement

    ? Honor the agreement

    ? Honor commitments made to community around landfill

    ? Respect the CSC decision and commitment

    ? Honor commitment

    ? Honor past commitments

    ? The city made a commitment, let’s keep it

     

    Education, Source Separation and Diversion

    ? Improve education, enforcement and communication

    ? More education in regards to source separation

    ? Apartment building owners should be held responsible for waste management

    ? Provide tenants with tools to recycle and compost with as much ease as home owners

    ? Emphasize source separation - education, enforcement, clear bags

    ? Citizen driven strategy to increase diversion and establish waste system

    ? Perfect source separation

     

    Environmental Protection

    ? Environmental protection for everyone – host community should not suffer; they did not ask to be compensated

    ? Environmental protections

    ? Increase environmental responsibility and protection

    ? Environmental protection - liner

    + FEP + WSF + no organics

    ? Environmental protection

     

    Transparency

    ? Transparency

    ? Give all points of view information from ALL reports

    ? Transparency! Equal time for all reports and executive summaries

    ? Transparency and consider equal footing for all information

    ? Full disclosure – focus on all reports Re: Otter Lake

     

    Community Protection

    ? Community protection (FEP and WSF)

    ? Have some respect for your partners: the people of Beechville, Lakeside, Timberlea and Prospect

     

    Leave Otter Lake Alone

    ? Leave the landfill and Otter Lake alone

    ? We are not interested in changing Otter Lake

     

    Use Clear Bags

    ? Clear bags

    ? Use clear bags

     

    Additional Comments and Themes:

    • Trust
    • Ban Plastic Bags - use paper
    • Not about money
    • Extension past 25 years not supported
    • Get on with site selection
    • Make category B compost from WSF organics and use it beneficially


  • Halifax and Vicinity: Engagement Session 1

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    by Emily, 08 Oct 2013
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    The Halifax event took place on October 2nd, at the Halifax Forum. We will be returning to the same location for the second engagement event for this region (and final session for this program) on Thursday, October 24.


    The Halifax event took place on October 2nd, at the Halifax Forum. We will be returning to the same location for the second engagement event for this region (and final session for this program) on Thursday, October 24.

    Event Overview & Key Themes

    The bullet points below reflect the key comments, questions and themes we heard at the engagement session. The conversation was structured around the following questions:

    1. What do you appreciate most about the way we handle our trash in HRM?
    2. What is most important to you as we evolve our waste system?
    3. What values and principles should guide our future decisions?

    Conversation Summary

    What do you appreciate most about the way we handle our trash in HRM?

    ? FEP and WSF stay in place

    ? Not everything gets separated at source

    ? HRM is a leader as a whole

    ? Why fix what is not broken

    ? World class waste facility – NS is not always so ahead

    ? Community process

    ? Proud of the state of the art system

    ? HRM doesn’t seem to be listening – Is the respect still there?

    ? Where is the Dillon report?

    ? Community protection

    ? Community driven process

    ? Can’t take the FEP out and have the system still work

     

    What is most important to you as we evolve our waste system?

    ? GHG unintended? It is intended

    ? We need reality to the facts being brought forward

    ? WSF and FEP keep the community safe – helps us meet our diversion goals

    ? What about reducing waste?

    ? Lack of education about sorting

    ? We should go above and beyond

    ? We need another gatekeeper if people don’t comply. FEP is a double check

    ? No food waste to landfill

    ? Go to zero waste

    ? Source separation

    ? Reduce bag limits? People will get bigger bags

    ? Environment priority

    ? Add protection, not take it away

    ? Education - source separation at home, apartments and condos

    ? FEP and WSF are the best protection

    ? Landfill without a condom

    ? Most important environmental protection – Lakes – they affect us all

    ? Keep the system the way it is

     

    What values and principles should guide our future decisions?

    *Please note that the below is transcribed directly from post-it notes collected at the engagement session.


    Honor the Contract

    ? Honor the contracts

    ? Honor contracts - Respect the agreements

    ? You should honor the agreement to close Otter Lake

    ? Don’t make promises you can’t keep

    ? Keep promise to community

    ? Honor contracts with host community

    ? Honor your commitments to the contract and the host community

    ? Honor the contract

    ? Honor commitment including CSE strategy

    ? Honor the contract with community

    ? Keep your word

    ? Keep the trust of the people by honoring your word

    ? Honor commitment

    ? Honor the contracts and agreements

    ? Keeping your word – to the community, no manipulations/bribes/ buy outs

    ? Honor the contract

    ? Honor your commitments

     

    Education, Source Separation and Diversion

    ? Source separation

    ? Source separation and education

    ? Reduction and source separation, education

    ? More diversion, more education, more enforcement= less waste

    ? Educate the public - homeowners, businesses, apartments, condos

    ? Improving source separation which will reduce what ends up at Otter Lake. There by reducing what ends up at Otter Lake we reduce cost and the number of employees

    ? Source separation needs to be promoted and marketed to the residents (commercial, restaurants, elementary schools, apartments) Focus on education.

    ? More educational resources

     

    Environmental Protection

    ? Commitment to environment

    ? Environment commitments

    ? Environment

    ? Environmental protection – protect environment, keep FEP and WSF till 2023 and close the landfill

    ? Environmental protection of all systems

     

    Community Protection

    ? Community commitment 2023 closure focus on new options

    ? Respect community

    ? Keep commitment to community

    ? Treat Otter Lake community with dignity. We should be celebrating this community

    ? Our community is priceless

     

    Integrity

    ? More truthfulness and facts instead of spin

    ? Openness, collaboration, sharing factual info

    ? Listening would be a great start

    ? No manipulation, speak truth

     

    Leave Otter Lake Alone

    ? Leave the landfill and Otter Lake alone

    ? Leave the system alone

     

    Keep the FEP and WSF

    ? Safeguarding our WSF and FEP

     

    Get on with site selection

    ? Start process for another landfill

     

     

  • Building a Better Solid Waste System, Together: Phase 1 Summary

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    by Emily, 17 Oct 2013
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    The phase 1 events were held in central locations across HRM, including Dartmouth, Bedford, Halifax and Porters Lake. These events were focused on sharing information and gathering feedback from the community members in attendance.


    The phase 1 events were held in central locations across HRM, including Dartmouth, Bedford, Halifax and Porters Lake. These events were focused on sharing information and gathering feedback from the community members in attendance.

    The content presented in the public sessions included an educational presentation by HRM on the waste management system and options under consideration, and a presentation by the CMC articulating the key concerns of the host communities of the Otter Lake landfill. Discussions were then hosted in a world café format, and framed by the following questions:

    1. “What do you appreciate most about the way we handle our trash in HRM?”
    2. “What is most important to you as we evolve our waste system?”
    3. “What values and principles should guide our future decisions?”

    The key themes and topics that arose from the meeting discussions have been summarized in the image below.

    *click to enlarge image 

  • Building a Better Solid Waste System, Together: Phase 2 Summary

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    by Emily, 25 Oct 2013
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    After visiting central locations across HRM for phase 1 of the waste management public engagement sessions, we returned to the same communities for phase 2. This included Dartmouth, Bedford, Halifax and Porters Lake. While phase 1 focused sharing information and collecting feedback on potential changes to the solid waste management system, during phase 2 we asked community members to indicate their position on each of the options under consideration.

     


    After visiting central locations across HRM for phase 1 of the waste management public engagement sessions, we returned to the same communities for phase 2. This included Dartmouth, Bedford, Halifax and Porters Lake. While phase 1 focused sharing information and collecting feedback on potential changes to the solid waste management system, during phase 2 we asked community members to indicate their position on each of the options under consideration.

    We once again hosted discussions in a world café format. Small groups gathered to dicuss the topics and potential changes they cared about the most. This included:

    • Increasing diversion
    • Changes at the curb
    • Recycling
    • Organics and composting
    • Landfill site changes

    More information about each of the options discussed can be found under Public Event Materials

    An overview of the key topics, concerns and priorities transcribed by each table host at the phase 2 events can be found here.