The City has reached a key milestone in the second phase of its Solid Waste Master Plan, a 30-year plan that will guide how it manages solid waste.

In a briefing to Members of Council, staff presented an overview of the of the Phase 2 report, which will seek Council’s approval of the proposed vision, guiding principles, and goals for the master plan, and provide Council with an update on the City’s future waste management needs, and the long list of options for addressing those needs. The report will be considered by the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management at its next meeting on June 29, 2021.

The proposed vision, guiding principles and goals were developed through extensive engagement with residents and stakeholders. Reflecting recent and future trends in the waste management industry, they will guide the master plan’s development and help the City make decisions about waste management and diversion over the next 30 years.

The vision is a call to action that seeks to change lifestyles and practices over the long term:

A Zero Waste Ottawa achieved through progressive, collective and innovative action.

In support of this vision, the plan sets out specific goals, such as extending the life of the Trail Waste Facility Landfill, reducing the amount of waste we generate, increasing how much we reuse and recycle, and working to reduce our waste related GHG emissions by 100 per cent.

Waste projections based on anticipated population growth over the term of the master plan show that the City will need to manage 487,000 tonnes of waste in 2052, which is a 37 per cent increase from 2020. Based on these projections, as well as input from stakeholders, the City has identified its waste management needs, gaps, constraints and opportunities for the next 30 years.

Future needs identified in the report include finding ways to reduce and reuse waste, securing future capacity to process organics, and improving curbside and multi-residential waste diversion. The City would also work to provide more waste diversion options for residents, build a zero-emissions solid waste fleet and recover energy from waste.

Increasing diversion of waste from the Trail Waste Facility landfill is one of Council’s term priorities, and a proposed goal of the master plan. If current landfill practices and annual tonnages continue, the landfill is expected to reach capacity between 2036 and 2038. To support the goal of increasing the lifespan of the landfill, the City will develop a new strategy to optimize its life and manage residual waste, and continue to advance ongoing waste diversion projects. Staff will present a roadmap for the new strategy to Council in Q3 2021.

To address the City’s future waste needs, staff have developed a high-level long list of options in 10 different areas of waste management. A technical evaluation process will narrow this to a short list of the highest-ranking options that align with the City’s needs and the master plan’s vision, guiding principles and goals. Staff will use the shorter list to develop two potential future waste management systems to consult on with residents and stakeholders starting this fall.

Residents and stakeholders will have more opportunities to provide feedback on the master plan, including:

  • This fall on two potential future waste management systems
  • Next spring on the draft master plan.

The Committee and Council will consider the draft master plan and five-year implementation plan by early Q2 2022.


“I would like to thank the residents and stakeholders who have provided their valuable input on the Solid Waste Master Plan so far. Thanks to your input, we have developed a progressive vision for waste management and a broad range of options to help us create an adaptable master plan that will address our needs over the next 30 years.”

  • Councillor Scott Moffatt, Chair of the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management

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