ECCC Request for Municipal Solid Waste Characterization Studies

In 2020, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) published a National Waste Characterization Study (NWCS) that focused on characterizing organic materials in the waste sent to landfill. The results of the study support policy development, identify trends in waste disposal, and are a key data element required to estimate annual methane emissions from landfills in the National Inventory Report on Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks. The study was based on data from municipal, regional, provincial and territorial waste characterization studies conducted between 2007 and 2017. 

ECCC is preparing an update to its NWCS in order to develop information on the current composition of waste being sent to landfills as well as waste collected in source separated organics and recycling programs. To initiate this study, ECCC is requesting available waste characterization information from municipalities, especially reports/data gathered between 2017 and 2020. 

If your municipality has conducted a recent waste characterization study, ECCC is requesting that you consider sharing this data. The data will be used to develop updated provincial and territorial composition data for disposed and diverted waste. Data from individual communities will not be made publicly available; but will support the calculation of provincial and territorial average values. 

In addition to informing work on methane reduction opportunities in the waste sector, this information will also serve as a useful baseline showing the extent to which different kinds of materials are currently sent to Canadian landfills or diverted through source separated or recycling programs. 

Thanks in advance for considering this request; it will be appreciated if waste characterization studies can be submitted by the end of April 2021. If you would like further information on this information request or to share a recent waste characterization study, please contact:

Carol Pietka
Environmental Protection Branch
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St-Joseph Blvd, 9th floor
Gatineau (Québec) K1A 0H3
Government of Canada

Newsflash sent by request of ECCC