Mississauga 2.0 AnKITA KAPOOR, CHRISTINE NG, mAHEEN jAMAL

Waste management Expert(Christine)

What are the issues or problems that exist in Mississauga?

  • Main disposal method is landfills
  • In the Peel region, 500,000 tonnes of garbage is produced by 1.2 million residents every year, putting a damper on their goal to divert 70 per cent of waste from landfills by 2016
  • Not enough space
  • Transporting excessive amounts of garbage from smaller landfills to larger landfills causing traffic congestion, more accidents and damaged roadways
  • Burning trash at Algonquin Power’s Brampton incinerator (unsustainable energy production)
  • People forgetting the three R’s, putting waste in the wrong bins
  • Compost ending up in landfills

How is the situation unsustainable in Mississauga?

  • Environmental contamination
  • Garbage continues to accumulate triggering pests and diseases
  • Burning garbage at Brampton incinerator releases toxic fumes
  • Increasing need for raw materials and energy, not preserving natural resources for the future (recycling)
  • Becoming more costly to make products from raw materials (price inflation), it is cheaper to make them from recycled products
  • Compost in landfills reduces their lifespans
  • Organics along with all waste in landfills breaks down anaerobically (without oxygen) to produce methane gas, a greenhouse gas 21 times more harmful than CO2 (produced by compost piles)
  • Buried organics can react with metals in the landfill to produce toxic leachate, a potential source of groundwater pollution

How do you propose to make Mississauga more sustainable within your urban planning committee?

Create advertisements encouraging residents to follow the three R's, buy products with less packaging/recyclable materials, compost, etc.

  • Focus on recycling and composting more, since 42% of urban waste is recyclable and 30-60% is biodegradable (we may be able to reduce the volume of the organic waste entering landfills by 15%)

Waste to energy processes: anaerobic digestion or gasification instead of incineration

-Anaerobic digestion (compost piles)

  • Micro organisms used to destroy the biodegradable content, no oxygen is present
  • Bio gas is used to run a gas engine, and energy is created for small scale use
  • Creates low energies for cooking and lighting in homes
  • Reduces the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and also as a worthy replacement of fossil fuels

-Gasification (landfills)

  • Converts carbonaceous substances into carbon dioxide, carbon mono oxide and some amount of hydrogen
  • Employs high temperatures to obtain results, however combustion does not occur
  • Steam and/or oxygen is also used in this procedure instead of fossil fuels or organic substances
  • Synthesis gas is produced and is considered as a good means of alternate energy, used for heat and electricity production primarily among other uses

Landfill gas to energy (cheaper alternative to gasification)

  • Safe and cost-effective
  • Methane gas is collected, cleaned, converted into electricity, and delivered to the city’s power grid
  • One facility can generate enough electricity to power thousands of homes
  • Protects the natural environment while providing a vital service to governments, businesses and residents
  • Prevents raw methane in the gas from escaping into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas

Diverting more waste from landfill by giving residents more opportunities to recycle a wider range of materials

Develop automated trash bins that detect correct/incorrect items

  • Prevent trash being placed in the wrong bins

Lists of possible items to place in each trash bin

  • Printed on trash bins

Encouraging more diversion through incentives and banning specific materials from landfills

3.25% waste tax to motivate residents to manage their garbage efficiently

  • In effect until 70% of waste is diverted from landfills
  • Money produced goes towards investing in these solutions- especially energy production technologies and automated trash bins

Transportation Planner (All but mainly Christine)

What are the issues or problems that exist in Mississauga? (Christine)

  • traffic congestion on intersecting roads and highways
  • fewer people walking, biking, etc.
  • excessive amounts of carbon emissions
  • uncivilized behaviour
  • accidents
  • commute time getting longer
  • too many people are buying cars these days = increased pollution
  • parking issues
  • Our PM, Mr. Trudeau, has decided to raise the price of gas in the hopes of making people walk/bike/take public transit more. This is not showing much effect as nothing is really in walking distance, hence we need to do something else about this.

How is the situation unsustainable in Mississauga? (Christine)

  • Carbon emissions from vehicles contributing immensely to greenhouse effect/climate change
  • People getting diabetes and obesity, earlier deaths
  • Worsening economic performance of urban centres

How do you propose to make Mississauga more sustainable within your urban planning committee? (Ankita and Maheeen)

  • lower price of fueled cars, cheaper electric cars
  • limit number of cars on road/highway
  • increase freeways, highways, make more space so that more cars can fit without it getting congested.
  • develop a public bike share program. Some could be in the main part of the city and some outside of neighbourhoods. That would mean Mississauga would make more bike lanes which would help with our pollution and traffic issues.
  • we could decrease the bus fare, so that more of Mississauga’s population would go by bus which would decrease the amount of cars per person.
  • extend the bus routes = wider range of location for public
  • increase size of bus
  • increase number of train/bus stations
  • add carpool lanes to encourage carpooling
  • try and teach people about the negative effects, if doesn’t work, scare them with the illnesses they can get

Smart Growth Coordinator (Urban Sprawl) (ANkita)

What are the issues or problems that exist in Mississauga?

  • Increase in expenditure (more people, higher demand)
  • Increased traffic (caused by the increase in the number of people)
  • Water over consumption (if there are more people, more water will be consumed for daily needs and factory usage)
  • Increased pollution;

Air pollution; caused by more cars and higher demand of products (more factories).

Land pollution; more products will cause more waste.

Water pollution- there will be more factories due to demand hence more chemicals dumped into the water.

  • More deforestation/ loss of wildlife habitat (clearing land for housing)
  • Makes it harder to maintain (more people will have more products/ houses/ cars which will require higher maintenance)
  • Lower wildlife encounters/ less parks/forests (clearing land for housing)(the animals will lose their habitats and maybe become endangered or extinct which reduces wildlife encounters)
  • Lower wildlife encounters/ less parks/forests (clearing land for housing)

As you can probably tell, the issues with urban sprawl are not that bad at the time but can prove to be disastrous in the long run.

How is the situation unsustainable in Mississauga?

  • More deforestation/ loss of wildlife habitat which can cause extinction or endangered animals/plants and reduce wildlife encounters, the food chain will also be unstable which will create a huge problem.
  • Health issues; eg. lung fibrosis, asthma (air pollution) (more chances for diseases to be brought in <more people>) These diseases can also be strengthened by the time there is an epidemic and the cells can become immune to the drug given to cure it, due to the levels of antibiotics/medicine the disease has been exposed to, this will make the epidemic more serious for everyone had will catch the “flu” later. *super cells*. This will make the situation unsustainable as there will be epidemics that can increase the number of deaths.
  • Urban sprawl costs us the farmland that provides us with fresh, local food. Hence requiring more food from abroad which reduces the freshness of the food, increases transportation costs and makes us dependant on other countries (increases our import costs).
  • There is a huge growth imbalance between core neighbourhoods and automobile suburbs, which is not sustainable from economic, social or environmental perspectives. Only 11% of toronto's population lives in the active core neighbourhood. The vast expansions of our automobile-dependent neighbourhoods have important social and health implications for those who are too young, too old or too poor to drive a car.This also causes obesity and cholesterol related health problems. The expanding of automobile suburbs also cause a high increase in the greenhouse gas emissions. If suburban growth continues at these rates, Canada’s most important metropolitan region will suffer increased costs of sprawl, poor public health and a decline in environmental quality.
  • Canadian cities are suffering from a $60 billion infrastructure debt. Every year, all levels of government face pressures to build/update transit, drinking water and sewage systems, and extend urban road networks.
  • Recent studies have shown that every major Canadian urban centre has levels of ambient particles high enough to pose a health risk. In addition to the environmental health implications, poor air quality has economic costs for communities. The OMA states that air pollution costs Ontario citizens almost $1 billion per year in combined health care and lost productivity.
  • Cities will be strongly affected by changing weather patterns and are not well protected against extreme weather events such as flooding and hurricanes.

How do you propose to make Mississauga more sustainable within your urban planning committee?

  • We need to find a way to balance the growth of our city.
  • Better pricing and policy tools to reduce the economic incentives for sprawl.
  • A more walkable, compact and mixed-use neighbourhoods will be better to meet our current needs and coming demographic shifts. (elderly baby boomers)
  • We have policies on transport-oriented development and sustainability, they are just getting overwhelmed by the great influx of people into auto-dependent suburbs. So we need to show light to these people and try to reduce the overwhelming.
  • We need to assign lands that can only be used for farming, this will help us keep our produce locally grown. Actually, upon further investigation I have found out that some provinces have a reserve to protect the high quality farmland, and Ontario is one of them. Besides that the lands are still in threat, so we need to strengthen the policies.
  • We also need to preserve our wildlife parks and forests and lakes/beaches by protected them with a policy/reserve.
  • Expanding the powers of all municipalities would provide them with an essential tool to address sprawl.
  • Provincial and federal governments could also change their own policies to support municipalities in reducing sprawling development.
  • We need to reduce automobile usage *go to transportation for solutions* to decrease air pollution
  • We can also use alternative energy instead of fuel to power factories to reduce toxins and pollution.
  • We also need to maintain water quality *see energy and water for in depth solutions* by refining sewage water for consumption or using desalination plants
  • We will also need to take care of our waste *see waste management*
  • You may have noticed all these are pretty expensive so we need to cut down our costs in other aspects or imply taxes.
  • We have to prepare cities against natural disasters which can be caused by the change in weather patterns.
  • We can pay more attention to the use of building orientation and innovative technologies to reduce energy use in Canada's building stock.

Most of the solutions and issues relate to the other topics as urban sprawl ties all the problems together, hence i have references from other topics.

Energy & Water Specialist (Maheen)

What are the issues and problems that exist in Mississauga?

Mississauga is located in Canada, and most people know that Canada is known for its Great Lakes and fresh water systems. We have one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. But many people take that for granted. There are many issues and problems with water that we don't really address, because no one takes it very seriously. But if we don't try to make a change now, we will have major problems in our future generations.

  • First Nations don't have equal water rights as normal Canadian Citizens
  • Fresh water is becoming more scarce and valuable.
  • Cost of water is too low leading to people over consuming it
  • Water is getting polluted.
  • Eight of the 11 watersheds are classified as having high pollution threat levels
  • Water quality is being threatened by lawn chemicals such as pesticides, oils, soap, etc.
  • People are starting to use nuclear energy increasingly more which is very expensive.
  • Another big problem is heat. Heat is a source of energy and because the climate is mostly chilly here in Mississauga, everyone turns on their heating.
  • We leave unused electronics on.
  • Turning on streetlights at wrong times thus wasting electricity.

How is the situation unsustainable in Mississauga?

  • First off, the First Nations are not getting access to fresh water. They have the same rights as us but still aren't able to have fresh water which is not a good thing.
  • Another thing is that the more energy we utilize, the more water we use up as well. This is because the different types of energy always needs water for it to work. So the more energy we use and waste, it wastes our water as well. So energy and water are connected in a way.
  • Fresh water is becoming more scarce and valuable. While over 70% of the world is covered in water – only 2% of that is fresh water.
  • Canadians waste a lot of water. We are one of the highest users of water in the world. One person uses 251 liters of water per day. That's way more than we should be using.
  • In Ontario, for example, the government only charges the private sector $3.71 for every million liters of water they take and sell to consumers. Since that fee won’t buy you most drinks at Starbucks – why can a private sector company get a million liters for the same cost?
  • Our water is being polluted most often by municipal, agricultural and industrial wastes, including many toxic synthetic chemicals. Even in tiny amounts, these substances can cause serious harm. This is due to bio accumulation and bio magnification. Bio accumulation is the gradual build-up of a substance. Bio magnification is when a substance becomes increasingly concentrated at each level of the food chain.
  • Eight of the 11 watersheds currently assessed are classified as having high or very high pollution threat levels. High threat levels mean these particular areas and their ecosystems have an elevated risk of being polluted.
  • People are starting to use nuclear energy increasingly more. But there are a number of concerns with relying on nuclear power as an environmentally and financially viable option. Nuclear power creates radioactive waste for which there is no accepted method of safely managing or storing.
  • Mississauga does not produce its own energy and instead relies on places such as Toronto, in order to attain the energy to power the city. Evidently, this un-viable method is not very efficient in terms of the city’s capability to sustain itself for the future generations to come. Mississauga would likely have an economic downfall, in persistence to its unsustainable energy sources. This is because it will become very difficult to switch to an energy source that will sustain its population while meeting the energy demand.

How do you propose to make Mississauga more sustainable?

  • -Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, this can save about 6 liters per minute
  • -Take shorter showers
  • -Use solar panels to power electronics in your household.
  • -Encourage others to buy more energy efficient appliances - Eco friendly refrigerators, LED lights bulbs, etc.
  • -Invest in desalination plants.
  • -Try refinement that can clean sewage water and make it drinkable.
  • -Turn off the water while washing your hair and save up to 150 gallons a month.
  • -Use alternative energy, especially in factories, to reduce carbon emissions and to reduce use of fossil fuels.
  • -minimize the amount of time street lights are on in the community.
  • -get rid of the law of keeping store lights on through the night, or provide renewable alternatives.

Credits:

Created with images by samthestockman - "Bin" • Tama66 - "hook crane close" • Peter Blanchard - "Deforested" • tpsdave - "paris france city" • deejayres - "more sprawl" • Payton Chung - "Urban sprawl"

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