Here's Where Mississauga Stands on the Recycling Scale
Editor’s Note: The City of Mississauga has since disputed some of the survey’s findings. Their response is below.
Where does Mississauga stand in regards to poor recycling of asphalt and concrete?
Let's find out.
According to a recent press release, many municipalities in Ontario have policies that prohibit or limit the use of recycled asphalt and concrete in road construction and other public works.
This causes millions of tonnes of this material to be stockpiled in mountains of urban rubble or dumped in a landfill.
“And that’s a terrible waste of a valuable resource,” Rob Bradford, Executive Director of the Toronto and Area Road Builders Association (TARBA), said in a recent press release.
Municipalities with low rates of concrete and asphalt recycling are sacrificing opportunities to help the environment by lowering fuel consumption and greenhouse gases associated with trucking new aggregate, diverting used aggregate from the waste stream, lessening the impact of quarry operations, and building more sustainable infrastructure.
According to a survey commissioned by TARBA, the municipalities that are the worst performers in regards to recycling aggregate are as follows: Mississauga (at the bottom of the list with a score of 4 out of 100), Oshawa (10), Peel Region (14), Durham Region (20), Niagara Region (32), Halton Region (34), Brampton (38), Windsor (40), and Kingston (40).
The areas in the middle include Burlington (44), Waterloo (46), Barrie (46), and Hamilton (48).
Those ranked as the “Leaders” are: Ottawa (54), York Region (56), London (58), Kitchener (58), Markham (64), Cambridge (72), and at the top of the list, Toronto (76).
Some areas including Guelph, Vaughan, Oakville, Brantford, and Oshawa, declined to respond to the survey.
But while Mississauga’s ranking looks poor, the city says there some issues with the survey itself.
The City of Mississauga recently provided the following response:
- On October 18, the Toronto and Area Road Builders Association (TARBA) released a study about the recycling of concrete and asphalt among Ontario municipalities, which also commented on the City of Mississauga's practices.
- Upon reviewing the findings of the report and our communication with the author, we discovered that the survey submitted was not populated accurately and therefore does not represent Mississauga's current practices for recycling and reusing asphalt and concrete.
- At the City, both recycled asphalt and concrete are used in our mixtures for road sidewalk and multi-use trail construction.
- We're committed to increasing the use of recycled aggregates by continuously reviewing policies, benchmarking with other municipalities and conducting research to identify best practices. This ensures that we're upholding and executing environmentally-friendly practices.
- Our current policies and practices follow the approved standards and specifications for the use of recycled materials, such as the Ontario Provincial Standards and Specification criteria for the use of recycled materials.
- As a municipality we continue to grow, which will result in future municipal infrastructure construction projects that will increase our opportunity to use recycled materials.
- As we move forward with these projects, we want our residents to know that we are administering best practices when recycling and reusing concrete and asphalt.
- We want to continue to be seen as a leader and are committed to taking the necessary steps to do so.
This survey was conducted in August of this year.
TARBA plans to continue to monitor the municipalities and make similar reports in the future.
“It is our hope that public awareness of this issue will bring about positive change and improved aggregate recycling in the years ahead,” Bradford said in a recent press release.