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Dan Pio, President of Progressive Waste Solutions, officially took on his new role last week as Chairman of the OWMA Board after a transformative year for the sector that included the passage of the Waste-Free Ontario Act and cap-and-trade legislation.

In a video address at the Chairman’s Dinner held in Toronto as part of the OWMA’s Annual General Meeting and Conference, Pio outlined his vision for the association over the next two years under his term as chairman.  

“The board and I will continue to push for solutions that protect the health and vibrancy of the marketplace while improving diversion and creating an attractive environment for continued investment,” Pio said. “But we must balance what is virtuous against what is practical and achievable.”

Pio noted that the Waste-Free Ontario Act and Strategy holds the potential to increase environmental protection in a way that promotes sustainable economic growth, but stressed that the government must build the right regulatory framework based on the principles of fair and open competition in order to retain and attract further investment in the waste management sector.

“The OWMA will continue to support the Minister as he finalizes this important work,” Pio said. “As we do, we will continue to stress the need for fair and open competition for all parties.”

In addition to working with the government on waste diversion, Pio cited the sector’s continued leadership on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through landfill gas capture. As the province advances toward a circular economy, Pio noted that several OWMA members already have operations at their facilities to convert methane into a renewable fuel, including natural gas, that can be used to fuel waste collection fleets.

“While others talk about a circular economy in the environmental industry, our members have actually done it,” Pio said. “The gas we capture in our landfills now fuels the CNG trucks we operate to collect waste materials. It’s a sustainable model that works and is respectful to the taxpayer.”

As part of the OWMA’s strategic plan, Pio said he and the board will work together to elevate the profile of the association while demonstrating the leadership of the sector by proactively addressing the issues that our members face.