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Canadian Waste Sector Symposium Montreal, Quebec November 9, 2011 Geoff Love, Love Environment Maria Kelleher, Kelleher Environmental. Love Environment. Impacts Of Future Lifestyles On Residential Recycling Programs. Love Environment. Presentation Outline. Looking at the future

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Canadian Waste Sector Symposium

Montreal, Quebec

November 9, 2011

Geoff Love, Love Environment

Maria Kelleher, Kelleher Environmental

Love Environment

Impacts Of Future Lifestyles On Residential Recycling Programs
presentation outline

Love Environment

Presentation Outline
  • Looking at the future
  • Start with the past and present
    • Brief look at how residential recycling has evolved
    • Recent changes to residential recycling materials
  • Research on future lifestyles
  • What this means for residential recycling system planning
residential recycling in 1980 s and 1990 s

Love Environment

Residential Recycling in 1980’s and 1990’s
  • Life used to be simple (in the old days!)
  • Many original residential recycling programs developed in Canada and the US late 1980’s and 1990’s
  • For 20 years, our efforts have focussed on:
    • Collecting paper, glass, metals, plastics
    • Expanding materials we collect
    • Stabilizing markets for processed materials
    • Increasing participation and capture of materials
    • Driving recovery up and driving costs down
    • Making the system more efficient
recycling systems more complex from 2005 on

Love Environment

Recycling Systems More Complex From 2005 On….
  • More materials added to residential recycling programs
  • Green Bin programs added to complexity of collection
  • More single stream recycling systems
  • MRFs became larger and more complex
  • More user pay systems and container limits
  • Less garbage
    • some communities moved to bi-weekly garbage collection
    • increased capture in recycling programs
  • Composition and amounts of recyclables stayed generally the same
things began to change in the late 2000 s

Love Environment

Things began to Change in the late 2000’s
  • Composition of recycling stream began to change
  • Residue rates increased
  • Markets began to complain about quality of materials from MRFs
  • Operators began to notice a drop in ONP (significant in some cases) and increase in OCC
  • With drop in paper and increase in convenience packaging, composition of recycling stream very different to a few years earlier – more items/picks; less weight/tonnes
implications of changing residential recycling material composition on recycling system

Love Environment

Implications of Changing Residential Recycling Material Composition on Recycling System
  • More plastics, less glass, less newspapers, more corrugated containers
  • Impacts on collection system
    • Less heavier material
    • More lightweight and low density material
    • Truck will cube out sooner
    • Increases collection costs
  • MRF designs need to change to accommodate different material mix
  • Material revenues will be affected (reduced)
toronto recycling material revenues to the mid 2000s

Love Environment

TorontoRecycling Material Revenues (to the mid 2000s)
  • 71% to 75% of revenues from paper
  • 10% of revenues from aluminum
  • 10% to 12% of revenues from HDPE and PET
  • If paper continues to decrease, impacts on revenues could be significant
background to toronto future blue bin study 2010

Love Environment

Background to Toronto Future Blue Bin Study (2010)
  • Toronto Residential Garbage, Green Bin and Blue Bin tonnages all lower 2009 vs2008
  • Significant drop in paper fibres collected 2009 vs 2008 (15%)
  • Lower paper tonnages had a significant impact on program revenues
  • 10-year Business Plan was being developed
  • Staff needed to understand materials and amounts in the future Blue Bin for business planning
  • Kelleher Environmental hired to carry out a “high level” study to provide directional information
future blue bin study project elements

Love Environment

Future Blue Bin Study Project Elements
  • Research future lifestyles
  • Research future packaging trends
  • Carry out in-store “packaging audits”
  • Develop projections of Blue Bin tonnages and composition by material for 5 years and 10 years out
predicting the future is challenging

Love Environment

Predicting the Future Is Challenging
  • You can try to put well researched facts into sophisticated models, however, these are not always right…
    • Leisure society due to automation
    • “Paperless” society
  • Bigger picture – life is changing and will continue to change
  • The future is not “more of the same” – not just faster computers, high tech cars, smarter homes, more TV channels, but something different
  • Large body of work by “futurists” used for this study
literature on the future

Love Environment

Literature on the Future
  • “I’ve seen the future brother, and its murder” - Leonard Cohen
  • Futurists:
    • Centre for Future Studies; The Futurist; Forum for the Future; World Future Society, etc
  • More traditional literature:
      • Canadian Food Trends to 2020
      • The Future Consumer (Capgemini, UK)
      • The Future of Consumer Products Industry (IBM Global)
      • Twilight of the American Newspaper
      • Demographic Trends, etc.
demographic trends

Love Environment

Demographic Trends
  • Aging Canadians
    • we are living longer
  • Evolving Households
    • Smaller households
    • Fewer Children
    • More 1-person households
    • More urban dwellers
    • More multi-family units (>50% in Toronto)
lifestyle trends

Love Environment

Lifestyle Trends
  • The Internet …(has changed everything)
  • Handheld and mobile devices changing the way we live and communicate
  • Changing meal patterns – fewer family dinners
  • Shifting expenditures – more take away food
  • Newer faces in Canada – larger variety of foods
  • More shopping via internet – more food packaging
  • Convenience is king…
      • Re-sealable packages
      • More ready to eat meals - e.g. salads from grocery stores
      • Complicated packaging (to accommodate arthritic hands)
      • More plastic packaging
      • Smaller portion packaging
impacts of drop in onp in mrf

Love Environment

Impacts Of Drop in ONP in MRF
  • Printed paper was 55% ONP; 45% other paper
  • Now 45% or less ONP; 55% or more other paper
  • Harder/impossible to create #8 News bale
  • MRFs now produce #6 News bale
  • Mills are getting used to this change (as they need the fibre)
  • Used to think this was single stream system issue – now understand its a more complex combination of factors at play
impacts of internet on residential recycling

Love Environment

Impacts of Internet on Residential Recycling
  • Less/smaller newspapers
  • More shopping by internet
  • Purchases are delivered by corrugated or boxboard container
  • More OCC and OBB showing up in residential recycling programs
12 packaging trends which will impact residential recycling

Love Environment

12 Packaging Trends Which Will Impact Residential Recycling
  • Light-weighting
  • Increase in multi-layer packaging
  • Material substitution (mostly plastic replacing glass, Al, steel)
  • More fruits/veg packaged in thermoform plastic
  • More ready cooked meals and take out packaging (in thermoform plastic)
  • SUPs (stand up pouches)
  • Re-sealable packaging
  • More smaller single serve packages
  • More snack packaging
  • Brand owner and retailer led initiative (Sustainable packaging)
  • Smart packaging – can tell when food is beginning to decay
  • Increase in bio-based packaging
projected residential recycling material changes

Love Environment

Projected Residential Recycling Material Changes
  • Relative amounts of fibre and containers will change over time
    • More plastic, less paper
  • Newsprint amounts will decrease over time
      • Toronto ONP down 15% 2008 to 2009
  • OCC will increase over time
  • Amount of plastic packaging will increase
  • Glass will decrease
  • Metals will stay about the same
background to toronto 2010 packaging audits

Love Environment

Background To Toronto 2010 Packaging Audits
  • Identify extent to which consumer items purchased in Toronto stores were in packaging which is:
    • Recyclable now or
    • Could be recycled in the future or
    • Is unlikely to be recycled in the future
  • Look at packaging audit methods used elsewhere and modify to suit Toronto 2010 circumstances
packaging audit approaches from other jurisdictions

Love Environment

Packaging Audit Approaches From Other Jurisdictions
  • “War on Waste” - UK Local Government Association
    • purchase basket of goods (30) in 8 different stores to compare packaging efficiency
    • Repeated 2007, 2008, 2009
  • The ULS (Use Less Stuff) Packaging Efficiency Study as it Relates To Waste Prevention (US)
    • 300 products in different packaging formats
    • Repeated 1995, 2007
2010 packaging audits

Love Environment

2010 Packaging Audits
  • Purchased 150 items in large grocery store:
    • Consumer Price Index list (60 items) – reflected typical “shopping basket” in the early Blue Box years
    • Use Less Stuff (ULS) US report list
    • New products identified through store visit which would not have been popular when CPI started
    • New packaging formats which are gaining in popularity
  • Weighed empty package (each component) and package when full of product
2010 packaging audits1

Love Environment

2010 Packaging Audits
  • Categorize each component as:
    • Recyclable now;
    • Recyclable in all plastic film program;
    • Recyclable in all plastics program;
    • Not recyclable for foreseeable future
  • “Normalize” the data to take account of typical annual purchases of each product.
packaging audit conclusions

Love Environment

Packaging Audit Conclusions
  • Audit provides “snapshot” of the range of packaging formats
  • Many packages are recycled in current Toronto program
  • “All film” program would increase diversion
  • Increase in thermoform PET for wide range of products
  • “All plastics” program would increase diversion
  • Many multi-layer packages which are not recyclable
plastics exports in pounds

Love Environment

Plastics Exports (in pounds)
  • Plastic export graph from Jerry Powell presentation at Halifax
implications of changing composition on business planning

Love Environment

Implications Of Changing Composition on Business Planning
  • Future tonnages and composition impact on:
    • Collection
    • Processing
    • Markets
    • Revenues
future scenarios

Love Environment

Future Scenarios
  • Based on Forum for the Future DEFRA work in UK
    • Modified for Canada/Toronto
  • Three Scenarios Developed
  • Status Quo – focus on regional
  • Fast Changes – good economy, increased oil prices, focus on global
  • Smaller World – bad economy, very high energy prices, focus on local
  • Most Likely Scenario - Hybrid
recycling material tonnages in toronto 2020 vs 2010 baseline

Love Environment

Recycling Material Tonnages in Toronto 2020 vs 2010 Baseline
  • 15% reduction in weight per household of printed paper and packaging in Blue Bin over 10 years
    • Reduction of 18% paper kg/hh/year
    • 17% increase in plastic kg/hh/year
    • Amount of metals stays the same – flat kg/hh/year
    • Decrease of 50% glass kg/hh/year
conclusions

Love Environment

Conclusions
  • The world is changing at a rapid rate:
    • Lifestyles are changing
    • Packaging formats are changing
  • All of these changes impact on recycling business plans
  • Toronto Future Blue Bin Study was first to look at this issue and translate estimates into Business Planning
  • Need to “refresh” the lifestyle and packaging research annually or bi-annually to catch new trends and plan for their impacts
thank you

Love Environment

Thank You
  • Geoff Love
    • loveenvironment@routcom.com
    • 647-248-2500
  • Maria Kelleher
    • maria@kellenv.com
    • 416-567-7439