CASE STUDY: Region of Waterloo

Sustainable management of soil and materials

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To enable reuse of excess soils, a key success factor is to match supply with end-use demand in a timely manner that can meet development timelines.

Waterloo Region is one of the fastest-growing areas in Ontario. The population is expected to increase from approximately 590,000 to 730,000 by 2031. The Region of Waterloo’s objective is to manage and shape growth to ensure a livable, healthy, thriving and sustainable community. This includes a more sustainable approach to managing soils and other materials generated from re-urbanization, redevelopment and new infrastructure projects.

The Region of Waterloo recognized that the market and regulatory regime governing the management of soils and materials from projects is complex. They retained BLOOM to undertake a two-phase project that involved market research and extensive stakeholder consultations to identify the regulatory, policy and market barriers and opportunities to developing a more sustainable strategy for soils and materials management.

WHAT BLOOM DID

  • Identified key issues and success factors for implementing a more sustainable approach to soil and materials management
  • Prepared a plan outlining a strategic and sustainable approach to dealing with soils and other materials in Waterloo Region
  • Carried out preliminary identification and assessment of innovative approaches and models, including a soil brokering/banking system and concept of a Soil and Materials Management Campus

HOW THE REGION OF WATERLOO AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS BENEFITTED

  • The Region gained practical insights and knowledge to support their development of a long-term soil and materials management strategy.
  • The Region established new relations with different stakeholders to support strategy and policy formulation.
  • The Region obtained baseline information to conduct a more detailed feasibility study of a Soil and Materials Management Campus.
  • The outcomes contributed to the finalization of a guidance document prepared by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment on “Management of Excess Soil – A Guide for Best Management Practices”.
  • The outcomes supported the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario in creating a not-for-profit organization and web portal (soiil.com) to encourage and facilitate the responsible and beneficial reuse of excess construction soils in Ontario.
  • The outcomes supported the Canadian Urban Institute with developing an Excess Soil By-Law Tool to help municipalities promote the beneficial reuse of excess soils.

Sustainable Management of Soil and Materials
Sustainable Solutions: A Concept for a Soil and Material Management Campus