01/10/2014

A Waste Diversion backgrounder.

  • Excessive packaging on products is more than just frustrating. It is also taking a toll on the environment and driving up the costs of garbage and recycling.
  • Today, Blue Boxes and garbage bins brim with packaging made of mixed materials – like new plastics, laminated paper and resealable pouches – some of which cannot be recycled and end up in landfill. What can be recycled is more difficult and costly to manage than ever before.
  • Over the past five years, the amount of plastic recycled by Ontario municipalities has increased by more than 10,000 tonnes, increasing Blue Box costs by more than $13 million.
  • Every year, Ontario residents recycle about 900,000 tonnes of waste through municipal programs – at an annual gross cost of about $326 million.
  • Currently, property taxes pay for about 50 per cent of the cost, with industry paying the balance. Municipal property taxes pay 100 per cent of garbage collection and disposal costs.
  • AMO believes that the best way to encourage greener packaging would be to make individual producers more responsible for the costs of disposing or recycling their packaging.
  • This will give businesses an incentive to reduce waste and create new packaging that is easier and less costly to recycle. It will better protect our environment and help to control spiraling costs.
  • Ontario’s proposed Waste Reduction Act offers a new approach
  • Bill 91, the Waste Reduction Act would lift the 50 per cent cap on industry funding for the Blue Box program and create incentives for business to reduce waste and improve packaging and consumer choice. The bill also targets greater industrial and commercial recycling.
  • The bill received second reading in September, but has stalled in the legislature. Let your Member of Provincial Parliament know you support the proposed Waste Reduction Act.