Aggregate recycling gets a big boost in Ontario
Using more recycled aggregates in public works projects in Ontario could be coming now that Bill 56, The Aggregate Recycling Promotion Act, has received second reading in the Legislature. The Private Member’s Bill, by Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones, passed second reading with the support of many Conservative colleagues, as well as Liberals and NDP members. The Bill will be sent on to Committee for debate and public consultation before being submitted back to the Legislature.
If enacted, Bill 56 would encourage municipalities and public agencies, such as Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx, to utilize more recycled aggregates in their construction projects by requiring that public agencies not reject a bid from a contractor just because they propose to use recycled aggregates. It compels municipalities that prefer to use primary aggregates from pits and quarries to provide solid rationale why recycled aggregates are not being considered.
Passing second reading was good news to Aggregate Recycling Ontario Executive Director Brian Messerschmidt, who has been supportive of the Bill.
“There are large growing stockpiles of aggregates that have been recovered from construction projects throughout the province that are currently not being utilized in new construction due to a systemic bias against recycled products,” he said.
“Getting this Bill before Committee for further study and final approval will help educate road engineers that there is nothing wrong with specifying recycled aggregates that meet required specifications because they are as good as primary or newly produced aggregates,” he added.
Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation and some municipalities, such as Toronto and the Region of York, have been significant users of recycled aggregate in the past. If adopted Bill 56 will require other municipalities to follow their lead.
Aggregate Recycling Ontario was established in 2011 by eight industry associations and 19 individual companies to provide a unified voice for industry stakeholders that want to maximize the use and value of Ontario’s aggregate resources by promoting the greater recovery and recycling of aggregates from construction projects.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.