On Monday April 22, PC MPP Sylvia Jones (Dufferin-Caledon) introduced a private members bill, bill 56, entitled The Aggregate Recycling Promotion Act. The Bill seeks to promote greater sustainability in the construction industry by allowing for greater use of recycled aggregates in publicly-funded construction projects as a means to preserve this non-renewable resource where possible.
According to the Ontario Road Builders Association (ORBA), the bill seeks to prohibit public sector owners from refusing to consider a construction bid for work, or from refusing to enter into a contract with a company, because they propose the use of non-virgin aggregates.
There are presently numerous public sector bodies in the province (i.e. Ministry of Transportation and several municipalities) that are incorporating recycled aggregates into their construction contracts with great success and this bill looks to build on the successes of these bodies to further encourage this practice. In effect, the objective of this bill is to eliminate public sector construction work that restricts contractors to using only 100 percent virgin or primary aggregate materials.
With this bill, Jones indicated that the province will ensure that “recycled aggregates will be fairly considered in all construction contracts entered into by the government of Ontario and the broader public sector. This allows for a better balance between the need for primary aggregate extraction and secondary aggregate recycling in Ontario.”
“The most important thing about the bill is that municipalities, although many of them are looking to become more green, have certain processes that are restricting it,” Geoff Wilkinson, ORBA executive director told the Daily Commercial News. “I think the provincial government has a role to play in terms of leading the way for green initiatives, such as recycled aggregates.” E