Toronto, Ontario, July 3, 2008. According to Statistics Canada’s biennial report on the waste management industry, Ontario consumers and businesses are sending more waste to landfills, despite growing public awareness of its environmental and financial costs.
In 2006, garbage disposal in Ontario rose from 9.8 to 10.4 million tonnes, an overall increase of four per cent, while the waste diversion rate decreased by one percent, to 2.3 million tonnes. 

“We all have to give more thought to how much garbage we create, where it goes and the real cost of managing it all,” says Doug Reycraft, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.  “Municipalities struggle to meet waste management demands as responsibly as they can – at significant cost to property taxpayers.”  

AMO and the Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators (AMRC) recently prepared a position paper that proposes to lift greater waste management costs from the shoulders of property taxpayers and transfer them to the manufacturers of consumer packaging and paper products.

“Property tax payers should not subsidize companies that create garbage.  Making industry fiscally responsible for the printed paper and the packaging it produces will reduce waste, reduce municipal costs, and better protect Ontario’s environment”, said Reycraft.

Post consumer product packaging and printed paper makes up one quarter of the waste that municipalities manage each year and costs each property taxpayer about $55 annually.  In total, post-consumer waste costs municipalities about $234 million annually. 

While more consumers are limiting the use of plastic bags and bottles, product manufacture producers are not following their lead.  In fact, Ontario’s taxpayer subsidized approach to funding the Blue Box program actually discourages environmentally responsible packaging.  While producers of recyclable packaging are required to contribute to waste management costs if it ends up in the Blue Box, those producers of non-recyclable material aren’t charged a cent to cover the waste management and environmental costs that their products create.

Consumers are urged to think of the environment when making their purchases and to reward businesses that use more efficient packaging, made from readily recyclable materials.  

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 445 municipal governments.  AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

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