Growth Plan Consultation Period June 16, 2020
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has released ERO # 019-1680 that opens a consultation period for changes to the Growth Plan. Most of these changes relate to the building and development industry, but there was also an amendment with respect to aggregate. The posting provides a 45-day comment period.
Submit your Health & Safety Award Nominations! November 11, 2019
The OSSGA Health & Safety Committee invites all active OSSGA members to recognize individuals and operations within their organizations that have excelled at making safety a part of their daily responsibilities. The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 13th. The awards and certificates will be presented at the 2020 Operations, Health & Safety Seminar on January 22 & 23rd.

OSSGA CEO Moreen Miller Speaks to Bill 56

March 27, 2014

Bill 56, Aggregate Recycling Promotion Act, 2013

Good morning.  Thank you for the opportunity to address the committee today with regard to Bill 56, the Aggregate Recycling Promotion Act.
My name is Moreen Miller, and I am the president and CEO of the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. Our association is a founding member of Aggregate Recycling Ontario, and I am the previous executive director of that group. You have just heard from ARO and now understand the important work that organization is doing on behalf of Ontarians to manage Ontario's non-renewable resources.
I am here today representing the OSSGA but also bring support from member associations of Infrastructure Alliance, a group of five associations whose members build most of Ontario's infrastructure.  Support for Bill 56 has been given by the Infrastructure Alliance members;  Ontario Road Builders Association, Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association, Ready Mix Concrete Association of Ontario, and the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association.
Bill 56 is supported by our industry as an important part of developing a robust, environmentally sound, and economically viable aggregate recycling industry in Ontario.  It does that by being an integral part in developing this industry.  Three key sectors play three key roles.
The province plays a key role in the development of this industry, both in the development of provincial regulations and legislation, but also as a role model of how to incorporate aggregate recycling as a mainstream infrastructure activity. 
The development of strong provincial legislation is imperative to engage all levels of government and industry in new recycling strategies.  Until last month, Ontario's Provincial Policy Statement did not even contain the words aggregate recycling.  The province's recent amendments to the PPS now articulate that aggregate recycling is becoming a key component to managing Ontario's non-renewable aggregate resources.  Similarly, this bill contains strategies for encouragement of integrating recycled aggregates where possible in infrastructure projects. This represents provincial leadership to make Ontario more sustainable.
While legislative proposals like Bill 56 will create a leadership role for the provincial government in encouraging recycling, the province itself holds the best example of practicing what it is preaching.  Ontario's Ministry of Transportation has led the way for decades in the use of recycled aggregates in its infrastructure projects. For over a decade, MTO has had an annual usage of approximately 2.2 million tonnes of reclaimed materials in its projects.  If you drove here today, I am very sure that you drove on roads that contain recycled aggregates.  The province's role to both lead by example and provide a sound regulatory structure are very clear on this issue, and Bill 56 speaks to both.
The municipalities in Ontario also play a key role in implementing a strong and viable aggregate recycling sector.  Their role is similar to the province's in that they must also regulate and use recycled aggregates to ensure that we are managing our non-renewable resources wisely.  However, research into this completed by ARO has revealed that most municipalities are lagging far behind the province and the private sector on the use of recycled aggregate products and developing a strong policy framework.
Asphalt pavement (which is 95 per cent aggregate) is the most recycled material in North America, and yet some Ontario municipalities still refuse to use Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) in their paving contracts. There are millions of tonnes of concrete salvaged from roads and sidewalks stockpiled in yards around the province just waiting to be recycled, and yet there are still some municipalities that will not accept these materials for roadbeds or engineered backfill. Recycling asphalt pavement and concrete aggregate may not be trendy or flashy, but it is one of the easiest and most effective ways to preserve our non-renewable resources, save on transportation costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save taxpayers' money. 
Municipalities need to know that they are not breaking new ground through Bill 56. We have to acknowledge the municipalities such as the City of Toronto that have undertaken a leadership role and, by their example, show that using recycled aggregate is not only the right thing to do environmentally, it is also the right thing to do technically and economically. To those municipalities that are wavering, Bill 56 is encouragement for them to explore that, turn for turn, lane for lane, traffic load to traffic load, roads built with recycled aggregates are every bit the equivalent to any other road in the province.
Municipal policies need to be developed that allow aggregate recycling to become a more accepted part of infrastructure development.  Bill 56 speaks to this by not allowing tenders to be rejected due to the inclusion of recycled aggregate products. 
The technical requirements for recycled aggregate, based on equivalence to virgin aggregates, are already reflected in standard specifications.  Municipalities need to develop a framework to depend on these specifications, and ask materials in infrastructure projects to meet them.   Municipalities also need to adopt a stringent quality and performance testing program to ensure that all of their infrastructure products meet the same high standards.  This has already been done by MTO, and it has served provincial infrastructure projects well. 
It would be our goal that sometime in the very near future, municipalities will be tendering jobs, and every tender they receive would have a recycled component.  Rejecting bids that contain recycled products would not then be an issue. Bill 56 can help achieve this more proactively.
Municipalities and public sector agencies considering using recycled aggregate products as outlined in Bill 56 also need confidence in the science of how the product will perform. 
This means industry has to play the third key role.  We need to ensure that the recycled products meet or exceed the very same specifications as primary aggregates, which means we have to continue to raise our level of technical proficiency.
Many municipal officials have an aversion to risk; they are understandably concerned that if infrastructure constructed with recycled aggregates fails, they will have to answer to taxpayers. As an industry we understand this, and are ready to ensure that our products meet the required specifications
We are ready to work with municipalities to develop high quality materials through acceptable testing methods, and a process in which they have confidence. We understand that we have to prove over and over again that recycled aggregate, properly processed in accordance with best practices, is the equivalent of virgin material.   Bill 56 encourages us as an industry to continue to raise our standards and produce products that meet rigorous testing.
There is a fine line between supporting and challenging government on environmental issues. Industry acknowledges the leadership role that municipalities and public sector agencies have undertaken in promoting green initiatives while constructively challenging them to do more.  This is what Bill 56 seeks to accomplish.
Chair, members of the committee, industry supports Bill 56 in its intent and implementation, and we ask you to support this bill also. This will give us the opportunity to show you that industry has the science, the business model and the consensus for action and responsibility that they can count on to build Ontario's aggregate recycling industry.
Thank you very much for your time today.