How much does recycling cost municipalities and producers in Ontario? The answer: Quite a bit more than it used to. Recently released numbers illustrate how China’s National Sword campaign decimated Ontario’s Blue Box program’s commodity sales revenues, cutting them in half from 2017 to 2019 (the Blue Box initiative is a coordinated curbside recycling program in the province that is paid for half by printed paper and packaging producers and half by government).

Meanwhile, National Sword and the “evolving ton” have pushed up MRFs’ processing expenses. As a result, the net cost to recycle a metric ton of material in Canada’s most-populous province has increased substantially in recent years.

Chart detailing revenues from commodity sales.

Chart detailing net cost per metric ton.

This article appeared in the November 2020 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.