Policy2018-07-20T11:32:25+00:00

Policy

RCO is actively involved in shaping and supporting effective and balanced waste policies and regulations that focus on environmental outcomes. RCO proactively leads and facilitates open and fair debate and discussions on issues of policy which involve its membership, includes affected stakeholders but also informs and engages the public.

We encourage and engage members and stakeholders to participate in policy discussions and decisions.

Ongoing Activities under the Waste-Free Ontario Act

RCO takes an active role in monitoring and responding to policy initiatives as it relates to waste reduction, resource efficiency, and the circular economy. The following timeline is a comprehensive overview of all legislative and policy developments as it relates to the Waste-Free Ontario Act and Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy.

Timeline

Nov. 26, 2015: Government of Ontario proposes new waste reduction and resource recovery legislation and provincial strategy to replace the Waste Diversion Act, 2002.

Feb. 29, 2016: RCO responds to the policy proposal.

June 1: Government of Ontario passes the Waste-Free Ontario Act that aims to:

  • encourage innovation in recycling processes and require producers to take full responsibility for their products and packaging
  • lower recycling costs and give consumers access to more convenient recycling options
  • help fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas pollution that results from the landfilling of products that could otherwise be recycled or composted
  • overhaul Waste Diversion Ontario into the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA), a strong oversight body with new compliance and enforcement powers that will oversee the new approach and existing waste diversion programs until the transition is complete.

To support and accelerate Ontario’s transition to a circular economy the Waste-Free Ontario Act is an omnibus bill with two components:

Dec. 16: Draft Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario is posted to the Environmental Registry and  outlines a roadmap for resource recovery and waste reduction for Ontario that:

  • sets a vision and goals;
  • articulates key government actions to support implementation of the vision and goals; and
  • identifies performance measures to measure progress towards achieving the vision and goals.

Jan. 30, 2017: RCO responds to the proposed draft Strategy

March 1: Government of Ontario releases  Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy that outlines outlines Ontario’s vision for a zero waste future and proposed plan to implement the Waste-Free Ontario Act.

Circular Economy

Image source: Government of Ontario

Transitioning to full producer responsibility

The Waste Diversion Transition Act provides for continued operation and eventual wind-up of Ontario’s four existing waste diversion programs (Blue Box, Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW), Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Used Tires) and the industry funding organizations (IFOs) that operate them (Ontario Tire Stewardship, Ontario Electronic Stewardship, and Stewardship Ontario).

The Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act establishes a full producer responsibility scheme by providing authority for regulations that make producers environmentally accountable and financially responsible for recovering resources and reducing waste associated with their products and packaging.

Established in 2009, Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) is an Industry Funding Organization incorporated under Ontario’s Waste Diversion Act, to implement and operate the Used Tires Program.

Timeline

Feb. 17, 2017: pursuant to section 14 of the Waste Diversion Transition Actthe Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change formally directs Ontario Tire Stewardship to begin wind-up.

June 30: Further direction from the Minister directed to OTS

Nov. 30: OTS submits its wind-up plan to RPRA

Dec. 1: Tire Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act is posted to the Environmental Registry

Dec. 21: RPRA begins consultations with municipalities, representatives of stewards and stakeholders on the wind-up plan

Jan. 22, 2018: RCO responds to the Tire Regulation

March 22: RPRA approves OTS wind-up plan with conditions:

  1. The wind-up plan, including the final fee elimination date, shall be updated by OTS as directed by the Authority as required to address operational issues, such as disruption to the management of tires, and implementation issues.
  2. The wind-up plan shall be updated by OTS as directed by RPRA as information becomes available, including but not limited to:
  • The audited 2017 and 2018 financial statements, when available;
  • New financial information (e.g., Canada Revenue Agency ruling on Harmonized Sales Tax, change to budgets or actuals, cash flows);
  • The final detailed method for final reconciliation including recovery of the outstanding Off-the-Road tire deficit; and
  • The amount and management of any unanticipated liabilities.
  1. OTS shall communicate any updates, including the final fee elimination date, to representatives of municipalities, representatives of stewards and other affected stakeholders in a manner that is satisfactory to the Authority.
  2. OTS shall make the TreadMarks IT system available to any party as directed by the Authority.
  3. OTS shall transfer all of the data that is in OTS’ custody and control to the RPRA

April 9: Regulation 225/18 filed, which governs the system in which used tires are managed.  First regulation put forth under Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act

Aug. 31: All tire producers must register with RPRA

Oct. 31: Service providers, including tire collectors, haulers, retreaders and processors must register with RPRA

Nov. 15: Producers must report: the collection sites in their collection system; the tire haulers, retreaders and processors in their tire collection or management system

Dec. 31: OTS ceases operations

 

Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) is an industry-led, not-for-profit organization that operates a regulated recycling program in Ontario, and ensures end-of-life electronics are handled in a safe, secure, and environmentally-sound manner.

Timeline

Feb. 8, 2018: pursuant to section 14 of the Waste Diversion Transition Act the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change formally directs OES to begin wind-up.

Dec. 31, 2018: Deadline for OES to submit a wind-up plan to RPRA that is consistent with a series of principles:

  • Demonstrate transparent communications and meaningful consultation
  • Support competition and prevent conflict of interest
  • Demonstrate fairness to stewards and protect consumers
  • Maintain and improve program performance

June 30, 2019: Implementation of wind-up plan begins

June 30, 2020: OES ceases operations

The Orange Drop Program is administered by Stewardship Ontarioto offer residents disposal options for household products that require special handling:

  • Single-Use Batteries;
  • Pressurized Cylinders that held Propane, Oxygen, Helium or Other Gasses;
  • Vehicle Engine Antifreeze/Coolant and its Containers;
  • Empty Lubricating Oil Containers;
  • Oil Filters. 

Timeline

April 12, 2018: pursuant to section 14 of the Waste Diversion Transition Actthe Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change formally directsStewardship Ontario to begin wind-up of the MHSW program.

April 12: Addendum to Minister’s letter

June 30, 2019: Deadline for Stewardship Ontario to submit a plan to RPRA that is consistent with a series of principles:

  • Demonstrate transparent communications and meaningful consultation
  • Support competition and prevent conflict of interest
  • Demonstrate fairness to stewards and protect consumers
  • Maintain and improve program performance

Dec. 31, 2020: MHSW program ceases operations

Stewardship Ontario is a not-for-profit organization funded and governed by the industries that are the brand owners, first importers or franchisors of the products and packaging materials managed under our recycling programs. It collects fees from Industry Stewards—companies that are the brand owners, first importers or franchisors of the products and packaging materials that end up in curbside Blue Boxes—which are used to help fund costs of collecting, transporting, recycling, and disposing material by municipalities across Ontario.

Timeline

Aug. 14, 2017: pursuant to section 13 of the Waste Diversion Transition Act the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Minister requests RPRA and Stewardship Ontario to submit a proposal for an amended Blue Box Program Plan (a-BBPP) by Feb. 15 2018, and includes a series of principles: 

  • Transition from current shared cost model between municipalities and producers to a full producer responsibility model.
  • Work toward the circular economy by supporting reduction, reuse, recycling, and reintegration of printed paper and packaging materials into the economy.
  • Provide effective economic methods to incent behaviour change leading to waste reduction of paper products and packaging
  • Discourage use of problematic materials and/or to provide for increased diversion at the end-of-life.
  • Consistent recycling experience for all Ontario residents by establishing a broad and uniform set of paper products and packaging to be collected across the province.
  • Addressing issues related to in-kind contribution from the newspaper industry in a manner that is without costs to transitioned municipalities.

The proposal is to be developed collaboratively with municipalities, stewards, and affected stakeholders.

October: Stewardship Ontario and RPRA hold consultations with various stakeholders groups and presented information and considerations that will make up the a-BBPP.

Nov. 29: RCO submits a preliminary response on several aspects of the a-BBPP that were offered during Stewardship Ontario consultations.

Dec. 22: Stewardship Ontario releases a detailed draft plan with comment due Jan. 15, 2018.

Jan. 17, 2018: RCO joins a coalition of 11 organizations to provide a unified submission to the amended Blue Box Program Plan, and a joint letter with six of those organizations on the Program Agreement.

Feb. 15: Stewardship Ontario and RPRA determine more time is needed to address the comments received on the draft amended Blue Box Program Plan.

The Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy commits the Government of Ontario to a Food and Organic Waste Action Plan, which includes consideration of banning food waste from disposal. The strategy also proposes that the first policy statement under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Actfocus on food and organic waste.  These actions will also support the waste reduction and resource recovery objectives of the strategy and greenhouse gas reduction objectives of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan.

Timeline

May 31, 2017: Discussion Paper: Addressing Food and Organic Waste in Ontariois posted to the Environmental Registry

Nov. 16: Government of Ontario releases proposed Food and Organic Waste Framework that sets a vision for “a circular economy that moves towards zero food and organic waste and zero greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector” and considered a number of guiding principles:

  • Building on progress made in Ontario and learning from other leading jurisdictions
  • Collaborating across all levels of government to avoid duplication
  • Supporting an outcome-based approach
  • Creating conditions that support sustainable end-markets
  • Increasing the use of innovative technologies
  • Enabling efficient and effective recovery systems
  • Recognizing the administrative impacts and costs to recover resources from organic materials

Jan. 17, 2018: RCO responds to proposed Food and Organic Waste Framework