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Jonathan Cocker is leading a partnership with Canadian Industry leaders and ReTraCE (Realising the Transition to the Circular Economy). ReTraCe is a Horizon 2020 EU-funded project which supports the implementation of the European Commission’s Circular Economy strategy. It is also a part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks. More exciting updates to come as the project progresses.

There has certainly been rapid growth in the market for electric vehicles (EV), in part due to their associated (and celebrated) environmental attributes. What receives much less attention, however, is the looming waste-management challenge, particularly for EV lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The proliferation of post-consumer LIBs has yet to fully materialize given the recent installation of long-life LIBs across multiple vehicle industries, but the environmental price for the switch to EV will soon be paid by…

Following some recent key milestones for the tire-derived fuels industries, it appears that TDF is now positioned for significant growth across Canada in the coming years. It hasn’t been easy in light of long-standing environmental concerns and pressures for circular economy solutions for end-of-life tires but TDF may well be poised to gain ready acceptance as part of Canada’s resource recovery strategy. Nova Scotia Legal Challenge Unsuccessful The watershed moment for TDF in Canada arguably…

After the uncertain rise and precipitous fall of a number of Canada’s energy-from-waste (EfW)  industries, it may have been easy to underestimate the commercial opportunities for renewable natural gas (RNG). After all, the corporate community lost much of its interest in capital intensive and technologically uncertain EfW projects at some point following the 2008 crash.  With a few notable exceptions, EfW became a local, and mostly municipal, waste management issue, usually undertaken on a small scale.  …

The numbers speak for themselves – construction, along with renovation and demolition (CRD) waste has long been one of the largest waste streams in Canada (e.g. wood, asphalt roofing, drywall, etc). Further, unlike waste streams of similar size such as municipal solid waste and organics/food waste, CRD waste has been relatively untouched by regulation in either its generation or its disposal.  This appears about to change.   CAP Required EPR for CRD Wastes by 2017…

With some important recent developments, the battery industries and their resource recovery partners have taken significant steps in preparing for the coming individual producer responsibility (IPR) circular economy laws. More specifically, Ontario’s Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act will impose regulated IPR obligations upon makers, brand owners and first importers of a range of small and large size batteries as of June 30, 2020.   Clearly, the time for needed industry-wide structural adjustments to meet this…

Jonathan Cocker’s abstract on North America’s first circular economy law was accepted by the Yale University Journal of Industrial Ecology’s special issue on Material Efficiency for Climate Change Mitigation.

The Canadian Biogas Association (CBA) has recently released a new proposed standard, the Canadian Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Guideline, with a “view to assist[ing] stakeholders in siting, design, approval, and operations of AD facilities that process food and other organic waste materials in Canada.”   The timing for the release of the new standard, with comments due September 11, 2019, could not be more opportune. AD as Regulatory Strategy AD has long been one of the few…