ReWaRP study finds perceptions of EFW may influence diversion

Residents of the Greater Toronto Area and London who are lower diverters of waste are more likely to say they will divert less when discards are expected to end up in an energy from waste incinerator or energy from waste landfill. This suggests that special policies may be required to maintain high residential waste diversion in energy from waste regimes. These findings appear in a ReWaRP manuscript published in the journal Resources Conservation & Recycling. See the Publications section of the mobilize page to find a links to the paper.

ReWaRP in the News

The CBC interviewed Virginia Maclaren about diverting plastics and the use of waste-to-energy facilities. She cites our study findings and the Waste Management paper. See the mobilize page to find a links to the article and to the paper.

Workshop presentation files posted

The workshop was held last Thursday with 25 in-person participants and an additional 10 participating online via the webinar feed. We have posted the presentation files as pdf's, please visit the mobilize page to download the files.


On June 9, 2016 we are hosting a workshop "Waste-to-Energy Policy and Perceptions Research Results" in Toronto. The goal is to bring together key stakeholders and share research findings for feedback and set an agenda for ongoing research and stakeholder interaction. More details about the workshop can be found on the mobilize page. Invitees can participate in person or online via webninar software. Webinar participants are free to simply view any or all of the proceedings from their office. Invitations have been sent out already. If you would like to participate and have not been sent an invite please email us: .

Study 2 first survey results published

The data from waves 1 and 2 of the survey for study 2 will soon appear in the journal Waste Management. The highlights of the paper are as follows:

  • We sent a mail-back survey to three communities, two with WtE facilities and one control.
  • We test intentions to divert waste and predictors of support for different WtE facilities.
  • 14-18% of residents would divert less if they knew waste would go to a WtE facility.
  • WtE incineration preferred over landfill, but only 43% in favor of hosting such a facility.
  • Main WtE incineration facility concern is health risk; while for landfill it is odors.

Free to download until May 17, 2016. After that date...
Email us if you would like a copy.

Wave 3 of WtE survey mailed out

A third wave of our survey has been mailed out to track longitudinal views on WtE, diversion and waste facilities. London, ON was added as a study community - they contrast the other communities by not having a greenbin program, so residents there may have a unique perspective.

Researchers at advisory committee meeting

On Sept. 30 Yvonne and Jennifer attended the Energy from Waste - Waste Management Advisory Committee (EFW-WMAC) to learn more about facility governance. The EFW-WMAC was established to satisfy the Host Community Agreement with the Municipality of Clarington and the Commissioner & Medical Officer of Health’s Report 2009-COW-01 obligations. En route they took some photos of the facility - these can be viewed in the photo gallery

In June Yvonne also attended a public information session in Brampton for PERC (Peel Energy Recovery Center) which is currently at the proposal stage.

Survey on waste-to-energy and diversion behaviours

This summer we sent out a postage-paid mail-back questionnaire to a random sample of residents living: i) near the Algonquin Power facility in Brampton, ii) near the Durham York Energy Centre, and iii) in Toronto. The goal is to understand the effect that waste-to-energy (WTE) may have on people’s waste diversion attitudes (i.e. reducing, reusing, and recycling) as well as general attitudes towards WTE facilities and landfill. We are in the process of analyzing the results and will post some graphics here in the coming months. A copy of the questionnaire is here: (questionnaire).

Solid Waste Management Partnerships Workshop

Virginia and Jamie participated in the Solid Waste Management Partnerships Workshop hosted by the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy. Though waste to energy (energy from waste) was high on the agenda, there were wide ranging discussions about waste as a resource - e.g., engineering solutions to obtaining other resources from waste including metals.

Alltreat Farms

The research team paid a visit to the Alltreat composting facility in Arthur Ontario.

Yvonne Ho Joins Research Team

Yvonne Ho joins the research team. She will be conducting a survey based study for her 4th year undergraduate Environmental Science thesis.


Yvonne, Virginia and Jamie visit Toronto’s Greenbin facility and the Algonquin Power waste to energy facility in Brampton.

Yvonne R. has begun fieldwork for her PhD

Yvonne R. has begun fieldwork for her PhD conducting face-to-face in-depth interview with waste policy stakeholders.