Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Recycling and Waste

Summary: Nova Scotia Solid Waste-Resource Management Strategy

Full text version of the Solid Waste-Resource Management Strategy

The Strategy; Reaching Our Goal

The Province of Nova Scotia has become a world leader at diverting valuable materials from disposal. Seizing the opportunity to turn waste into resources, the Province has created hundreds of jobs while protecting the natural beauty of Nova Scotia. We are investing in our people and our newest natural resource: solid waste.

The Nova Scotia Solid Waste-Resource Management: Strategy at a Glance

Disposal Bans

Valuable resources that can be recycled or composted are no longer accepted for disposal in Nova Scotia. These include:

  • Food Waste
  • Leaf and yard waste
  • Beverage containers
  • Newsprint
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Steel/tin food containers
  • Glass food containers
  • Select plastics
  • Used tires
  • Waste paint
  • Car batteries
  • Antifreeze

Industry Stewardship

Bottle deposit/refund system

Deposits and returns apply to the following non-refillable beverage containers:

Non-Alcoholic Alcoholic
  < 500 ml > 500 ml
10 cent deposit 10 cent deposit 20 cent deposit
5 cent return 5 cent return 10 cent return

Deposits applied to refillable containers are completely refundable.

To drive these economic and environmental benefits, the Province legistated a goal of 50% diversion ofwaste from disposal. The steps requires to reach this goal are detailed in the Province's Solid Waste-Resourse Management Strategy. Read on for an overview of the Strategy and a summary of what it means for Nova Scotians.

Milk Carton Recycling

Nova Scotia milk producers provide funding and in-kind advertisement to municipalities in Nova Scotia to recycle milk cartons.

Tire return system

Tires sold within the Province are diverted from disposal through a program operated by the Divert NS. An Environmental Fee of $3.00 for all new passenger tires and $9.00 for all new truck tires is applied to manage this system.

Used oil return

Retailers who sell motor oil must either accept used oil or provide a collection depot within 5 kilometers of their business. This ensures that all Nova Scotians have a convenient place to deliver their used oil for reprocessing.

Future agreements

Stewardship agreements are being negotiated on an on-going basis with industries whose products and packaging generate solid-waste.

Job Creation

A new resource requires a new work force to handle and process the banned materials and to create valuable new products. There are now thousands of jobs in Nova Scotia directly related to waste-resource management.

Divert NS

Divert NS is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mandate to:

  • fund municipal waste diversion programs across the province;
  • operate a deposit and refund system for beverage containers;
  • develop and implement voluntary industry stewardship agreements;
  • develop education and awareness programs; and
  • promote the development of value-added manufacturing.

Regional Cooperation and Disposal Sites

Cooperation amongst bordering municipalities will reduce the number of disposal sites from 40 in 1995 to less than 10 in 2005. All new disposal sites must meet strict environmental regulations. Open burning of municipal solid waste is banned in Nova Scotia.

Education and Awareness

Divert NS is coordinating a provincial education and awareness program to help Nova Scotians understand how the Strategy will affect them in their homes and at work.

What the Strategy Means for Nova Scotians

A Trip to the Enviro-Depot®

Many Nova Scotians visit their local Enviro-Depot to redeem their beverage containers. Residents can also return other materials such as newsprint, cardboard and automotive batteries. Community charitable groups often benefit from donated returns.

Curbside Recycling

Nova Scotians can place a wide variety of materials at the curb for recycling. The types of materials acceptable in these programs are expanding every year. Almost 100% of Nova Scotians have access to curbside recycling.

Backyard Composting

Backyard composting is an easy and cost-effective means of diverting a portion of the banned compostable organic material.

Curbside Composting

Compostable organic material is collected from a majority of Nova Scotian households and composted at central composting facilities.

Compostable organic materials include:

  • all food (including meat, fish, bones and dairy products); and
  • leaf and yard waste.
  • non-recyclable paper products (e.g. soiled paper towels, napkins, etc.).

Combined with Enviro-Depot and curbside recycling, centralized curbside composting can divert over 75% of a homeowner's waste! Over 70% of Nova Scotians have access to curbside organic collection.

Recycling and Organics Collection at Work

The introduction of the disposal bans has meant that more and more Nova Scotians can recycle at work as well as at home.

Providing access to recycling and composting will ensure a level playing field exists for all businesses.

Household Hazardous Waste

Many Nova Scotians have access to permanent or periodic Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Depots for recycling or safe disposal of waste paint, batteries and other HHW. Waste oil can be returned to waste oil depots set up by retailers who sell oil.

Less Waste Means Better Business

The Strategy has both challenged and created opportunities for business owners and operators. Responsible waste management and job creation leads to a more prosperous community in which to do business.

What the Strategy means for Nova Scotia

Less waste means fewer and safer disposal sites, a cleaner environment and a stronger economy. Nova Scotia is moving into the next century with a sustainable vision and a will to ensure that our natural resources are protected and job opportunities are maximized for future generations.