New Ontario waste act would overhaul recycling program

New Ontario waste act would overhaul recycling program

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Ontario's environment minister Jim Bradley yesterday introduced a new Waste Reduction Act and Strategy, which would make numerous changes to the province's solid waste and recycling management, including doing away with controversial eco-fees and allow for greater industry funding of curbside recycling collection.

The long-awaited Waste Reduction Act would replace the 2002 Waste Diversion Act and make some significant changes to how Ontario's solid waste and recycling programs would be run in the province.

The most visible public change to the program is to do away with the controversial eco-fees, which saw the cost for managing the end-of-life recovery of some products — tires and electronics — printed on the receipt at the check-out stand for consumers. Under the new act, printed prices for items will have the cost of recovery and recycling included.

Another significant change would see the current 50-percent industry funding cap of Ontario's "Blue Box" curbside recycling collection and management program lifted, allowing for industry to pay a greater share of the costs of the program.

The act would also require individual producers of goods to be responsible for products sold in Ontario. This means that producers, currently required to take part in a cooperative industry funding organization (IFO), would be given the flexibility to manage their products as they see fit, while meeting the recycling requirements set by the government.

The industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector, long an underperforming sector of the province recovering just 13 percent of waste generated, but responsible for 60 percent of waste created in Ontario, would have to hit recycling targets under the new act, according to the ministry of the environment.

Released along with the act, Ontario's Waste Reduction Strategy, which details how the act would be implemented, is now available for 90 days of public and stakeholder feedback.

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