Province: Consultation sessions to decide format of new Ontario blue box program
How waste producers will pay their full share of costs for the province’s blue box program in 2023 is one of a number of factors still to be determined.
This will take place during consultation sessions leading up to the changes, Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks spokesperson Lindsay Davidson said in a statement.
This month the Ontario government announced plans to do away with municipalities and producers splitting the financial responsibility of the program, saying blue box costs are expected to increase by approximately $10 million a year after 2019 under the current model.
The best way to set and measure diversion targets, such as by weight or volume, will be calculated during the process.
“Under the producer responsibility model, each producer will have collection and recycling requirements related to the amount of packaging they supply into Ontario. Producers will be able to meet their requirements by working together in collective models, also referred to as producer responsibility organizations,” said Davidson in an email.
Subject to regulation, the full responsibility would mean that producers would be fully obligated for the costs of collecting and recycling materials, rather than sharing these costs with municipal taxpayers, she explained.
“Ontario will develop and consult on regulations over the coming year, to support the new producer responsibility framework for the blue box materials in a way that holds producers accountable while not over burdening the innovation and good work they can do to help recycle as much as possible,” wrote Davidson.
The first group of municipalities or First Nations will transfer responsibility of their blue box programs to producers starting Jan. 1, 2023, said the province.
By Dec. 31, 2025, producers will be fully responsible for providing blue box services across the province, she said.
“We will continue to look to producers, municipalities and Indigenous communities for their input to ensure the improved blue box is affordable for producers and right for municipalities and Indigenous communities,” reads the recent statement from the province.
During transition, the province says program “will continue to be convenient and accessible for the people of Ontario.”
“Once producers are fully responsible for the program, Ontarians will experience the same or improved access to blue box services across Ontario.”
Based on 2017 costs, once full producer responsibility is in effect, Ontario’s municipalities will save up to $175 million annually, according to the province.
Changes are coming to Ontario’s Blue Box program.