Retailers committed to ensuring workable waste diversion program that will
benefit all Ontarians

TORONTO, July 20 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) supports today's government announcement of the reversal of eco-fees and a 90-day reassessment of Phase II of the Ontario Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste program (MHSW) introduced on July 1, 2010. RCC commends Environment Minister Gerretsen and the Government of Ontario for acknowledging the confusion in the marketplace around this new program and their move to correct the issue.

The retail sector looks forward to working constructively with government, consumers, the industry-funded not-for-profit organization administering the program, and other stakeholders over the next 90 days to ensure that clarity, transparency and accountability are central to this laudable program moving forward.

"Clearly there were some issues with the roll out of the new program that caused some confusion and frustration among consumers and retailers. We believe the government has responded appropriately by taking a step back from the program for 90 days and reassessing, with engagement from all stakeholders, how this important initiative can be better delivered to Ontarians," said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO.

Immediately following this morning's announcement by Minister Gerretsen, retailers across the province have been working diligently to adjust their systems as quickly as possible in order to comply with the Minister's directive.

Retailers in Ontario have embraced waste diversion and acknowledge the essential part they play in the process. Retailers are proud of what they have achieved with the support and participation of consumers. Last year, Ontarians diverted 18 million kilograms of waste from landfills and waterways, and Ontario is on target to divert some 27 million kilograms of hazardous waste by the end of 2010.

"Our hope is that we can take the next few months to work with the government and Stewardship Ontario to build on the successes of other waste diversion initiatives already in place in Ontario," adds Brisebois. "This is an opportunity to get all of the stakeholders together - consumers, retailers, manufacturers and others - to create a workable program that will ensure hazardous materials are not ending up in Ontario landfills and waterways."

About Retail Council of Canada

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has been the Voice of Retail in Canada since 1963. We speak for an industry that touches the daily lives of Canadians in every corner of the country - by providing jobs, career opportunities, and by investing in the communities we serve. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association representing more than 43,000 store fronts of all retail formats across Canada, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores, and online merchants. RCC is a strong advocate for retailing in Canada and works with all levels of government and other stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail, to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast, and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness. RCC also provides its members with a full range of services and programs including education and training, benchmarking and best practices, networking, advocacy, and industry information.

SOURCE Retail Council of Canada

For further information: For further information: Mark Beazley, Director, Communications at mbeazley@retailcouncil.org or (416) 922-0553, ext. 228


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