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Think Global - Act Local

Producer Responsibility in Ontario Communities

Historically, management of waste and resource materials has been shared between the Province and Municipalities in Ontario. Policy and regulations, developed at the provincial level, frame the waste and recycling services and operations at the community level. Ontario's new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework--the Waste Diversion Act--layered in producer responsibility, transitioning the costs of recycling and waste management from taxpayers to producers. As operators and local policy makers, municipalities will to continue to be an integral part of Ontario's zero waste goal.

Among the many options available to municipalities is the enactment of targeted by-laws to support and/or expand producer responsibility. The implications of this strategy is wide-ranging for many stakeholders.

The Recycling Council of Ontario invited a cross-section of high-level speakers to this one-day workshop to facilitate dialogue on the current and future role of municipalities as it relates to waste reduction. Presentations focused on current EPR-like policy development activities in Ontario and in other jurisdictions, policy design and application, and community program elements and outcomes. In summary the workshop examined the opportunities, benefits and consequences of local EPR laws.

Presenters included:

Hon. John Wilkinson, Ontario Minister of the Environment
Ontario's "Waste Diversion Act" and Extended Producer Responsibility

Peter Hume, Chair of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario
Defining the role of local governments in supporting EPR policy

Laura K. Bisset, Davis LLP
Interpreting the Municipal Act as it relates to Producer Responsibilities

George Reimer, Waste Diversion Coordinator, City of Ottawa
Ottawa's Retail Take Back Program: Success and challenges in a voluntary program

Bill Worrell, Mgr Integrated Waste Management Authority, San Luis Obispo, CA
Retailer take-back obligation

Kevin Drew, Residential and Special Projects Zero Waste Coordinator, Department of Environment, City of San Francisco
California's Product Stewardship Initiatives

Toby Barrett, Environmental Critic for the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party
Commentary from the official opposition of the Ontario Legislature

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