Big changes are coming to the way the province handles organic waste which should have a huge effect on Parry Sound-Muskoka.

On Wednesday, the government of Ontario proposed to further reduce landfill food was by updating its Food and Organic Waste Policy to clarify what types of materials should be collected by municipalities.

Member of Provincial Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka Norm Miller was at the announcement in Etobicoke with Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek.

Miller says the proposal encourages innovative compostable products and packaging that will keep food products out of landfills.

“Five percent of our greenhouse gasses in our landfills come from organics. And there’s a lot of food wasted up there. This new policy is about getting more waste into our organic systems so that it doesn’t go in our landfills.”

The Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement provides direction to municipalities, industrial and commercial businesses and institutions on reducing and diverting food and organic waste.

Changes include clarifying and expanding the types of materials that may be collected in municipal green bins and other collection systems, including certain compostable products and packaging such as certified compostable coffee pods.

Because of the number of waste sites and landfills in our area, Miller says he’s been fighting for years to make this type of waste reduction a reality.

“This all originated in Muskoka, really it was detouring Muskoka Roastery in Huntsville who were using the certified disposable coffee pods but not having it accepted in organic systems. So, that’s how it all started – it started out very locally.”

The new policy statement will also help consumers and businesses make better decisions about food packaging and food waste.

You can give feedback on amendments to the Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement, which is open for public comment on the Environmental Registry until November 11.

The feedback will help inform updates to the policy.