Toronto, Ontario, September 15, 2011. AMO is running a special advertising insert in newspapers across Ontario in September.

This will be used to kick-start discussion about waste management issues in Ontario and how we should fund safe disposal of our increasingly complex, and potentially toxic, garbage.

While eco fees have garnered much public attention, the big picture about Ontario’s significant waste management challenges has been lost. Ontario produces more waste per capita than comparable jurisdictions, our landfills are filling up fast, and 35 per cent of Ontario’s garbage is shipped to the United States.

Despite high residential recycling rates, Ontario’s garbage grows largely because we have few incentives for businesses and consumers to reduce waste, recycle more and use safer products.

“People want convenient, safe and cheap waste collection, but very few people know what happens to the garbage they throw out, or who pays for it,” said AMO President Gary McNamara. “Property taxes pay for most waste management costs, but tax bills have little or no connection to how much garbage someone creates. AMO believes that our environment, and most people’s wallets, would benefit from waste management policies that promote greater accountability, personal responsibility and transparency.”

Putting anything and everything at the curb and walking away is convenient but expensive. It poses greater risks to the environment, and it creates high demand for large-scale landfill sites, waste incinerators or garbage export. All of this drives up costs for each property taxpayer, whether he or she produces a lot of garbage or very little.

AMO believes that waste management in Ontario should:

  • hold producers more directly accountable for the waste they generate;
  • promote waste reduction and diversion from landfill;
  • create incentives to use efficient packaging that’s easy to recycle; and
  • create incentives for the manufacture and use of less toxic products.

Holding those who create waste accountable for waste management costs encourages greater efficiency and better environmental stewardship.

The public service advertising insert will run in Ontario newspapers the week of September 19 as part of the newspaper industry’s in-kind contribution to recycling programs. More information about Ontario’s growing waste management challenges is available at www.amo.on.ca.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 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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