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Publications SPE-890-15

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SPE-890-15 - A Guideline for accountable management of end-of-life materials

Publication Year:

  • 2015

Total Pages:



  • CSA


This is the first edition of CSA SPE-890, A Guideline for accountable management of end-of-life materials. CSA SPE-890 has been developed as a guideline and does not contain any mandatory language. It provides guidance and best practices for management of end-of-life (EOL) materials.


1.1 Objectives

This Guideline has been developed to aid primary and secondary service providers and to establish a set of common definitions, performance metrics, and reporting requirements in support of best practices in the management of end-of-life (EOL) materials.

In addition to providing a consistent framework that will allow for more effective and informed decision making on EOL management options, this Guideline facilitates a rigorous, transparent, and accountable materials management system that provides for greater assurance regarding the management of these materials, from the point of collection through to final disposition. It describes a method to account for and verify these flows (serving to improve data accuracy) and identifies the key elements of a data verification audit.

This Guideline provides a transparent means to support the move to a more circular economy*. Unlike the linear model, which is based on a "take-make-consume and dispose" pattern of growth, a circular economy keeps resources within the economy, optimizing resource reuse potential and creating further value.

* See European Commission, Towards a Circular Economy.

1.2 Target audience

The primary audiences for this Guideline are current and prospective service providers with responsibilities for ensuring the proper management of EOL materials*. This Guideline is designed to promote environmental performance and innovation, while ensuring that service providers operate on equal standing and according to consistent reporting and accountability requirements.

* This includes waste transfer facilities, which may act as a primary or secondary service provider. The secondary audience of this Guideline includes waste generators [municipal and industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI)], stewards and manufacturers, or both, who want assurance that they are properly addressing the EOL management of their products, including guidance on best practices to reduce the negative environmental impacts of their waste management practices.

While not directly applicable, this Guideline also benefits provincial and local governments, who are responsible for regulating, approving, and overseeing recycling facilities, as well as ensuring the implementation of effective recycling programs. Other beneficiaries include policy makers and citizen activists, researchers and academics interested in recycling standards, guides, and best practices, as well as the general public, who want assurances that their products and packaging are properly managed at EOL, without risk to human health or the environment.

The answer to the question "What's in it for me?" is different for each stakeholder. In other words, it is important to understand that each stakeholder group will have different interests and stakes in this Guideline according to the benefits they derive from its use. For example, provincial regulatory agencies responsible for setting collection and recycling targets will have a different use for this Guideline compared to a service provider using it to improve their respective competitiveness.

1.3 Considerations for using this Guideline

This Guideline is intended for use by primary and secondary service providers. Although originally developed for Ontario, the information contained within this Guideline may also be applicable to service providers in other jurisdictions.

This Guideline is applicable to a range of EOL products and materials including, but not necessarily limited to the following:

a) paper and packaging;

b) food waste;

c) leaf and yard waste;

d) textiles;

e) wood waste;

f) glass;

g) metals;

h) plastics;

i) waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE);

j) municipal hazardous or special waste (MHSW);

k) construction and demolition waste (C&D);

l) used tires;

m) automotive wastes including maintenance wastes;

n) durable goods; and

o) industrial process residues.

It should be noted that this Guideline does not supersede local, provincial, or national regulations and must not be construed as a substitute for, or legal interpretation of, any regulatory requirements. It is also important to recognize that some standards already exist for certain materials and products in more mature markets. This Guideline is intended to complement existing laws, standards, and procurement policies to help ensure reliable and accurate measurement and reporting and to promote the development of EOL processes that achieve the greatest benefits.

While this Guideline is based on industry best practices, it is recognized that technologies and processes are constantly evolving. As such, tomorrow's best practices will inevitably evolve beyond those of today. As more information becomes available, this Guideline should be revised, or others developed, to reflect the latest developments related to the EOL management of materials. This may include, for example, the development of domestic standards, international standards, or both. Similarly, new competition and innovation should not be inhibited from emerging because it may deploy ideas not conceived of when this Guideline was written. What is important is the transparency of the reported performance outcomes achieved.

This Guideline does not attempt to explain the reasoning behind decisions made about the particular movement of materials. Many factors may be involved in such decision making, including, but not limited to, economic viability and other environmental considerations. This Guideline does, however, facilitate an opportunity to understand the implication of these decisions.

1.4 Defining diversion and diversion rates

This Guideline is not intended to be used to define diversion activities nor diversion performance rates (i.e., what constitutes diversion). Definitions and performance methodologies often vary between organizations and jurisdictions and by material types. Nevertheless, the reporting requirements in this Guideline provide the metrics to allow governments or organizations to report clearly and transparently on the specific management approach used for all materials.

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GST REG No R119441681
QST REG No R1006017360