Municipalities Across Ontario Urged to Do More to Support Recycling Concrete and Asphalt

According to a study by the Toronto and Area Road Builders Association (TARBA), multiple municipalities in Ontario have policies that prohibit or limit the use of recycled asphalt and concrete in road construction.

Photo courtesy of TARBA – Leaders & Laggards

In an open letter sent to 20 municipalities in Ontario, TARBA, Heavy Construction Association of Toronto (HCAT), Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors Association (GTSWCA), Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA), and Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) are urging City and Regional Councils to take more of a leadership role in encouraging the recycling of concrete and asphalt.

Every year across Ontario tens of millions tonnes of asphalt and concrete are removed from construction sites as roads are repaired, bridges are maintained, old buildings get knocked down, and infrastructure is replaced. This causes large volumes of material accumulating in mountains of urban rubble, or dumped in landfill.

TARBA suggests that the materials (also referred to as “aggregate” in the construction industry) that are recovered from these sites can be repurposed for other construction projects as asphalt and concrete are 100 per cent recyclable.

In an independent research commissioned by TARBA in 2018, municipalities are ranked based on whether they are “Leaders” or “Laggards” in supporting aggregate recycling. The results identify 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 municipalities in the middle of the pack are: 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).

Photo courtesy of Tarba.org.

To help local governments increase aggregate recycling, TARBA, HCAT, GTSWCA, OSWCA and RCCAO have prepared a proposed Municipal Aggregates and Asphalt Recycling Policy. The policy suggests that City and Regional Councils can achieve significant new gains in diverting used aggregate from the waste stream, lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gases, and build more sustainable infrastructure.

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