The industry is struggling in a buyer’s market
Recycling just doesn’t pay like it used to, but there’s a good reason for that.
Putting it in the blue box is just the beginning of a process that’s getting more and more difficult.
The real problems started when China decided to stop being the world’s recycling bin and ban the import of 24 types of recycling one year ago.
Because we relied on them for long, though, our recycling infrastructure hasn’t been invested in the way it should have been.
That’s according to Jo-Anne St.Godard, executive director of the Recycling Council of Ontario, who says the next step should be for those who produce recyclable materials to deal with them responsibly and foot the bill.
“They’ve had a partial producer responsibility program, sharing the cost with municipalities for some time now,” explains St.Godard. “We’re ready to move to full producer-responsibility in this province.”
It’s called “extended producer responsibility,” or EPR, and it could soon be a reality here in Ontario, with Ontario Environment minister Rod Phillips telling the Globe and Mail it’s “how, not if” that system will be implemented.
It’s not clear how much of that cost would be passed on to consumers.
Waterloo Region’s recycling industry isn’t exactly thriving, but we’ve never had a problem finding someone to take our recycling.
That’s according to Cari Rastas Howard, Supervisor of Communications and Programs for Region of Waterloo waste management.