Ford government to overhaul Blue Bin program

James Marshall
October 19, 2020

The government is also proposing an expanded list of materials and items that would be accepted in the program across Ontario, including things like drinking straws, cutlery and plastic coffee pods.

The program is now managed by Stewardship Ontario, with the cost split between participating cities, but industry is required to compensate municipalities for about half the cost.

Under a proposal released Monday, the government will transition the full cost of the program to producers of products and packaging, resulting in an estimated savings of $135 million to cities. But the Ford government will shift to a new model where producers of the waste - businesses - will provide blue box collection and pay for the entire cost.

The moves would help to make recycling more uniform in Ontario, where what's accepted in one community's blue box is not necessarily the same as in another's.

Government officials say there should not be any interruption to the program during the transition, saying that those who have curbside blue box collection now will continue to have it under the new system.

Instead of cities footing the bill for the recycling program, the government hopes to make the product's producers fully responsible for the costs.

"We don't want people to feel any difference in what they're doing with the blue box other than they're going to be able to put more stuff into the blue box to be recycled", he said at the time.

By 2026, the province hopes to expand the program further to include apartment buildings, long-term care homes, schools and municipal parks.

The draft Blue Box regulation will be posted for 45 days for public feedback, ending December 2, 2020.

Blue box recycling took off in Ontario in the 1980s, pushed by environmentalists and others as large landfills serving Toronto and other cities began filling up.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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