(TORONTO) August 15, 2019 – The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is pleased that the Province is taking the necessary steps to fix the current Blue Box program and set us on the path to be a global leader once again.  Municipal governments have raised concerns for many years about rising costs, stagnant recycling rates, and the increasing amount of waste generated.

“This is an important step forward in the evolution of Ontario's iconic Blue Box. It puts the responsibility for recycling on those that have the greatest ability to make change – the producers,“ said AMO President Jamie McGarvey. “Residents may not see a big difference at the curb, but it will make a difference for our environment, spur more innovation and importantly, lower costs for taxpayers.”

Stakeholders agree that the current Blue Box system is not working. It is costly for all and without substantive changes, these costs are expected to steadily increase. The current system cannot respond to today’s realities like the rapid changes in packaging, the need to invest in collection and processing infrastructure, and the fact that end markets are demanding higher quality.

“There’s global momentum building to reduce waste, increase diversion and make sure that plastic waste does not end up littering our land and waters. Transitioning the Blue Box program to full producer responsibility demonstrates Ontario’s commitment and leadership on these issues,” said Mac Bain, AMO Board Member and Chair of the Waste Management Taskforce.  “Today’s announcement is a testament to the collaborative efforts by the Province, municipal governments and the business community to find solutions.”

The expectation is that residents will see a similar collection system, but with more items being collected and a standardized program being offered across the Province that will limit confusion and result in better performance.

“As we make this transition, AMO will be working hard to ensure that the new system improves accessibility for residents, increases recycling rates and makes it easier to do the right thing,” McGarvey said.