TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO)
applauds the Environment Commissioner for making a series of
recommendations in a Report released yesterday that will help deal with
Ontario's growing waste problem. According to Statistics Canada,
Ontario generates more than 1000 kg of waste per person per year,
despite having several policies and regulations that mandate more
"The Ministry of the Environment has many policies and regulations that
it can use to solve Ontario's waste problem and support a growing
recycling industry," says Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director of the
RCO. "However, more needs to be done to utilize these tools and drive
Ontario has had regulations that require businesses and institutions to
reduce their waste and increase recycling since the early 1990s, but
there is a general lack of compliance. As a result, that sector has a
very low diversion rate hovering at just over 20%. Ontario residents,
on the other hand, are doing better, with many municipal waste
management programs having diversion rates of over 60%.
In 2002, the Blue Box Packaging program and other recycling programs got
a boost through a new regulation called the Waste Diversion Act (WDA).
This law obligates companies that sell products and packaging into
Ontario to be financially responsible for ensuring these are safely
recovered and recycled. Companies can do this by either paying
municipalities to service residents, or by creating new consumer-based
programs like retail 'take-back' initiatives.
The law requires targets and reporting mechanisms to make sure they are
performing. The resulting financial investments by industry have
greatly supported municipal programs and expanded the recycling
industry in Ontario. Under the new producer responsibility law, the
Minister of the Environment targeted many materials including paper and
packaging products, electronics, scrap tires and selected household
hazardous products out of landfill.
"Many new and important programs were developed under the Waste
Diversion Act. Millions of tonnes of materials were safely recovered
and recycled, and new investments in the recycling industries grew our
ability to recycle more in Ontario. Jobs in the industry were also
starting to grow," says St. Godard.
"Producer responsibility is an important policy tool in reducing waste
in Ontario. Many recommendations have been made to improve and expand
its use," says St. Godard.
One of the recommendations of the waste framework review was the
introduction of a disposal levy to help lessen the economic gap between
recycling and disposal; a concept RCO has supported for decades.
Currently it is generally cheaper to landfill than to recycle. This
means that economics drives valuable materials to disposal where there
are no programs or policies to support more diversion.
"Jurisdictions that have introduced disposal levies have seen positive
results in their diversion rates. Some have gone even further to add
disposal bans of some potentially hazardous products and valuable
resource materials," stresses St. Godard. "This Commissioner's report,
with its focus on waste reduction, is on the mark. Government has made
good progress. It has invested in all of the right tools, it just needs
to refocus and recommit to its original 60% waste diversion goal."
About The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO)
The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) is a not-for-profit,
membership-based organization committed to minimizing society's impact
on the environment by eliminating waste. RCO's mission is to inform and
educate all members of society about the avoidance of waste, efficient
use of resources, and the benefits and/or consequences of these
activities. For further information, please visit: www.rco.on.ca.
SOURCE Recycling Council of Ontario
For further information:
For more information or to schedule an interview with Jo-Anne St. Godard, please call Lucy Robinson at 416-657-2797 ext.1 or email Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org.