Industry Makes it Easier for Ontarians to Recycle their Household Hazardous Waste



    Stewardship Ontario introduces Do What You Can Drop-Off Program

    TORONTO, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Stewardship Ontario, the industry organization
responsible for the Blue Box program and the Municipal Hazardous or Special
Waste (MHSW) program, is making it easier for Ontarians to recycle old
batteries, paint, solvents and other "household hazardous waste" with a new
initiative under the MHSW program called Do What You Can.
    The MHSW program aims to more than double the amount of 'hazardous' or
'special' waste diverted from landfill over the next five years. Materials
targeted under the program include paint, solvents, non-rechargeable
batteries, antifreeze, propane cylinders and other items commonly found in
Ontario homes but which need special care when there are leftovers and used
containers.
    "Ontario is on a path towards a zero waste future," said Ontario
Environment Minister John Gerretsen. "It means looking at waste in new ways
and seeing the opportunities inherent in materials we once thought of as
'garbage.' The MHSW program is an important part of this future. I
congratulate those involved in this program and encourage all Ontarians to do
what they can for the environment in 2009 and beyond."
    "Ontario residents have shown their willingness to recycle for more than
25 years and they keep telling us they want to do more. Do What You Can is
another tool we can all use to work towards the provincial targets for less
waste and a healthier environment," said Gemma Zecchini, CEO of Stewardship
Ontario. "From industry stewards who are the brand owners of these products,
through the retail chain to consumers - we all know we can do a little more to
make our communities more livable."
    Do What You Can encourages residents to take household hazardous waste
and other special care items and their containers to one of a growing network
of special collection locations. Well known retail building supply stores,
RONA and The Home Depot, are now registered with Stewardship Ontario to
collect paint and The Home Depot also will collect used single-use
(non-rechargeable) batteries.
    Other retail partners include the Jiffy Lube auto centres which, starting
today, are accepting used oil filters, empty auto oil bottles, and antifreeze
and containers from do-it-yourselfers who change the oil and antifreeze in
their own vehicles. Pro Oil Change is piloting the program in two London
locations.
    "RONA has been committed to sustainable development for a long time. The
best example of this is how we participated in setting up Canada's first paint
recovery and reconditioning program in Quebec 10 years ago. Today we're very
proud to continue this commitment in Ontario through the 'Do What You Can'
partnership by applying a life-cycle approach where paint is recovered in our
stores, reconditioned and then offered back to consumers as recycled paint.
Since last July, we have already recovered over 600,000 lbs of used paint,
diverting it from Ontario landfills. We're also happy to be recovering
batteries as well, beginning March 1st - another step in helping to reduce
Ontario's environmental footprint," said Claude Bernier, Executive Vice
President, Marketing and Customer Innovations at RONA.
    "Our partnership with Stewardship Ontario provides The Home Depot with
the opportunity to expand our consumer recycling programs to include paint and
battery recycling. Our customers recognize us as a leader in environmental
solutions so this is a natural extension to our Eco Options program, which
offers over 1,500 environmentally friendly products and our CFL recycling
program. The synergies between Eco Options and the 'Do What You Can' program
allows us to continue to contribute in new ways to the communities in which we
live and work. We are pleased to be a 'Do What You Can' partner," said Jeff
Kinnaird, vice president operations, Canada East, The Home Depot.
    It will be Stewardship Ontario's job to pick up these materials from
retail partners as well as those municipalities that collect them through
event days and permanent depots, and to ensure that as much as possible is
directed into 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycling) solutions. For anything that
can't be reused or recycled, Stewardship Ontario will handle disposal in an
environmentally appropriate manner.
    Most municipalities in Ontario have hosted household hazardous or special
waste days for years. Under special agreements with Stewardship Ontario,
municipalities will be expanding the services they offer their residents,
making it more convenient to do the right thing when it comes time to dispose
of leftover and unwanted hazardous or special waste materials. Municipalities
will add an additional 6,000 days of service by expanding hours of depot
operations and/or offering more event days to allow consumers to return their
unwanted materials.
    "We all have household products that can harm the environment if they are
not disposed of properly," said Peter Hume, President of the Association of
Municipalities of Ontario. "It's up to all of us to do what we can to make
sure that old paint, chemical solvents and used batteries aren't sent to
municipal landfills or poured down drains. Ontario's municipalities are
working with residents and industry to keep communities clean and safe."
    The MHSW program, including the Do What You Can initiative is funded
through fees paid to Stewardship Ontario by the brand owners or importers of
the designated products. Stewardship Ontario uses the funds to develop and
operate the program which includes setting up research and development
projects and conducting public education initiatives aimed at building
awareness of the opportunities to clear out basements and garages of leftover
and unwanted hazardous and special waste materials.
    The public face of the program includes a new interactive website,
www.dowhatyoucan.ca that consumers can use to locate collection sites for a
wide variety of hazardous and special waste.
    "As the organization that oversees waste diversion programs on behalf of
the Minister of the Environment, we are constantly looking for innovative and
progressive ideas that will make Ontario a leader in waste reduction and
diversion. We do this by forging partnerships between the public and private
sectors and today's launch is an excellent example of the benefits of this
partnership," said Glenda Gies, executive director, Waste Diversion Ontario
(WDO). WDO is responsible for developing and implementing waste diversion
programs in Ontario for blue box materials, municipal hazardous or special
wastes, waste electrical and electronic equipment and used tires.

    
    LEARN MORE

    Read more about the MHSW program:

    MHSW Program Overview:
    http://files.newswire.ca/777/Program_Overview.doc

    MHSW Media Backgrounder:
    http://files.newswire.ca/777/Backgrounder.doc

    Find the closest collection location for MHSW: www.dowhatyoucan.ca

    Other websites:

    www.stewardshipontario.ca/mhsw/index.html

    www.wdo.ca

    www.ene.gov.on.ca

    www.Eco.rona.ca/intro.aspx

    www.Homedepot.ca/ecooptions
    


    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    





For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Barbara McConnell,
Communications, Stewardship Ontario, (647) 777-3362; off-hours (613) 471-1816,
or by email: bmcconnell@stewardshipontario.ca

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