May 28, 2019 – Shipping containers filled with Canadian household waste have been languishing in a port near Manila for nearly six years, drawing the ire of environmentalists and public health activists and more recently a threat of war from the President of the Philippines.  Now Malaysia’s Minister of Environment is denouncing Canada’s “irresponsible” export of plastic waste.

Although a declaration of war is quite excessive, these situations do raise some serious questions about the social responsibility of our current waste resource management system in Canada.

For years, China was the choice destination for plastic waste, but contamination and worsening air pollution forced Chinese authorities to abruptly ban plastic imports in 2017. Many of these plastics have now found a home in other Southeast Asian countries, creating similar problems to those observed in China.

Most people agree that recycling is a good thing and for many of us there is a sense of pride when we bring our blue bags to the curb.  But we need to think about what happens to our recyclables after they enter the recycling stream, particularly unmarketable low-quality plastics that may eventually be incinerated or landfilled in developing countries.

Technologically innovative alternatives to landfills such as Nova Waste Solution’s advanced thermal conversion and recycling facilities are an environmentally sound, socially responsible and proven option for managing our waste resources.  Fourth State Energy, a sister company of Nova Waste Solution Inc., is well positioned to offer this solution to the Philippines.

“We would be happy to offer our services to either party to promote an environmental solution that resolves this issue” said Stephen Mader, President & CEO of Fourth State Energy, “This is a cost effective and environmentally friendly way of processing waste.”.

Nova Waste Solutions and The Municipality of the County of Colchester are currently examining an advanced thermal conversion and recycling facility as an alternative to the municipality’s landfilling operations. This clean renewable energy solution is proven, practical, and significantly reduces the emissions, environmental footprint and climate impacts of end-of-life resource management as compared to active landfilling.  

In a very forward thinking and socially responsible move, Nova Scotia recently made regulatory changes to allow facilities like Nova Waste Solutions’ to process previously banned unmarketable materials, such as film plastics, into a synthetic gas for power generation, while increasing diversion of recyclables and reducing waste going into landfills. 

“Valuable waste resources should not end up in the ground to decompose over decades, negatively impacting our local environment for future generations nor should they be sent to developing countries to impact their air quality and the local environment”, Stephen Mader, President & CEO of Fourth State Energy.