Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ontario Proposes Individual Producer Responsibility and Cost-internalization

Ontario has finally blown up the dysfunctional and hated Waste Diversion Act and is proposing replacing it with legislation which will enshrine Individual Producer Responsibility and cost-internalization among other things.  The legislation is posted for public comment on the environmental registry for 90 days and then goes back to the legislature for a vote -- likely in October. 

As a brief synopsis, the proposed legislation and strategy consists of the following changes:

  • Individual Producer Responsibility - A move to making individual producers legally responsible for meeting outcomes set by the government, which would include waste diversion targets, standards, service standards, promotion and education requirements and administrative penalties. This will eliminate the IFO's as we know them under the WDA.

  • Strengthened Enforcement & Oversight - Proposes a transition of Waste Diversion Ontario into a new body that will have a broader set of powers and responsibilities to oversee the Act.  This new Authority will have compliance tools and clarity in its role and responsibility to properly oversee and enforce.

  • Visible Fees - Proposed legislation would require all-in pricing (no eco-fees at point of sale).

  • Municipal Role - Mechanisms are included to ensure reasonable costs are reimbursed to municipalities.  The new Authority has new powers to manage dispute resolution.

  • Increased Waste Diversion - New material designations are identified, including IC&I paper and packaging, carpet, bulky items, additional WEEE, non-food organics; a new standard for end-of-life vehicles; development of a strategy for organics; and a mechanism for disposal bans.

  • Waste Hierarchy - Appears to be better acknowledgement of waste hierarchy but recovery is still not considered as diversion.

  • Transition - Existing stewardship programs will be transitioned into the new IPR framework over a proposed four year phasing period starting with e-waste.  Blue Box will be transitioned over a longer period but the 50% producer funding will be increased at an earlier stage.  

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