The provincial government has recently (June 3rd, 2021) announced that it is enhancing and improving the Blue Box Recycling Program.
As someone who has been interested in what really happens to our waste disposal for almost five decades I was hopeful.
“Our government is working to expand and improve upon Ontario’s Blue Box Program because we believe that big environmental changes result from changes to our daily routines. Our new program will have some of the highest waste diversion targets in North America and will promote innovation in recycling technologies across the province. By expanding recycling services in additional locations, from residential buildings to schools to public spaces, we are ensuring that more Ontarians will be able to recycle. And, by making producers responsible for the delivery of this program, we will also ensure that it remains affordable and convenient." – Richmond Hill MPP Daisy Wai .
So, on the positive side:
- standardization across the province of which items can be recycled in Blue Bins. There will be less confusion!!
- more recycling bins in public spaces
- producers rather than municipalities pay for this program.
Under the new legislation, any producers who sells more than $2,000,000 worth products in Ontario, will be required to pay a fee to fund the Producer Led Blue Box Program. It is expected that the fees producers pay be determined based on the tonnes of product/packaging supplied to the market and the recyclability of that material. (The easier and less costly the material is to recycle the lower the fee.) Producers should be using less packaging and use materials that are more easily recyclable.
But, on the not so positive side:
- commercial establishments are not part of this
- no bans on single use plastics
- no incentives to have consumers really regard the 3Rs properly - Recycle comes after Reduce and Reuse
- Richmond Hill will not adopt this program until December 31, 2025
I recognize that change in business comes when there are economic incentives. This trumps a real desire for environmental savings.
Marj Andre, Director of OnRichmondhill.com and long time recycling advocate