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Indicators
  Sulphur Dioxides
  Nitrogen Dioxides
  Volatile Organic Compounds
  Carbon Monoxide
  Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  Water Consumption
  Municipal Sewage Treatment
  Energy Consumption
  Energy Efficiency
  Municipal Waste
  Recycling
  Hazardous Waste
  Nuclear Waste
  Ozone Depletion
  Pesticide Use
  Fertilizer Use
  Livestock
  Species at Risk
  Protected Areas
  Fisheries
  Forests
  Road Vehicles
  Distance Traveled
  Population
  Official Development Assistance
   

 

 

WASTE:
Municipal Waste

Municipal waste contributes to several environmental problems including habitat destruction, surface and groundwater pollution and other forms of air, soil and water contamination. Depending on the disposal method, there may be other negative consequences, such as the creation of toxic substances through incineration. Landfills also emit methane (which contributes to global warming) and other gases.

Over 90% of Canada’s municipal waste goes to landfill sites, with a small percentage incinerated. The result is problems such as those faced by metropolitan Toronto, which is experiencing difficulty finding a viable landfill location for its garbage. Although in theory there is plenty of room in Canada for landfill sites, few locations are without vocal opposition from local communities and residents.

Municipal waste is also very expensive. Canadians spend billions annually to collect, transport and dispose of municipal waste.

Canada’s OECD Ranking
Canada ranks 18th out of 29 OECD nations in terms of municipal waste per person. Again Canada is firmly in the bottom half of the industrialized nations. Canadians produced 490 kg of municipal waste per person in 1997, slightly below the OECD average of 500 kg.

Canada also ranks 18th out of 29 OECD nations in total municipal waste generated.

Trend
There is good news in the fact that between 1980 and 1997, municipal waste per capita in Canada declined by 3.9%. However the decrease in municipal waste per capita has been more than offset by the increase in population during this period. Total municipal waste generated in Canada rose by 17% between 1980 and 1997.

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