The comment period on the proposed Canada-wide Approach for the Management of Wastewater Biosolids expired on July 30, 2011.

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (“CCME”) mandated a Biosolids Task Group to develop a harmonized policy and regulatory framework for municipalities and others who manage municipal biosolids for the purpose of protecting the environment and human health and safety and to instill public confidence.

Canadian wastewater treatment plants produce more than 660,000 dry tonnes of biosolids per year. The municipal biosolids contain valuable nutrients and organic matter as well as some substances of concern. Municipal biosolids are currently managed in a variety of ways including composting, land application and through incineration and disposal in landfill.

The purpose of the draft policy was to define and promote a Canada-wide approach to beneficial use and sound management of municipal solids, municipal sludge and treated septage.  The draft supporting principles for the Approach are:

  • municipal solids contain valuable nutrients and organic matter that can be recycled
  • adequate source reduction and treatment of municipal sludge and treated septage should effectively reduce pathogens, vector attraction, odours and substances of concern
  • beneficial use of municipal sludge and treated septage should minimize the net GHG emissions from treatment processes
  • beneficial uses and sound management practices must adhere to all applicable legislation and standards

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