Stats Canada Data Underscores Need to Inject 'Producer Pay' Principle into Ontario's Waste Management Strategy



    TORONTO, July 3 /CNW/ - According to Statistics Canada's biennial report
on the waste management industry, Ontario consumers and businesses are sending
more waste to landfills, despite growing public awareness of its environmental
and financial costs.
    In 2006, garbage disposal in Ontario rose from 9.8 to 10.4 million
tonnes, an overall increase of four per cent, while the waste diversion rate
decreased by one percent, to 2.3 million tonnes.
    "We all have to give more thought to how much garbage we create, where it
goes and the real cost of managing it all," says Doug Reycraft, President of
the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. "Municipalities struggle to meet
waste management demands as responsibly as they can - at significant cost to
property taxpayers."
    AMO and the Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators (AMRC)
recently prepared a position paper that proposes to lift greater waste
management costs from the shoulders of property taxpayers and transfer them to
the manufacturers of consumer packaging and paper products.
    "Property tax payers should not subsidize companies that create garbage.
Making industry fiscally responsible for the printed paper and the packaging
it produces will reduce waste, reduce municipal costs, and better protect
Ontario's environment", said Reycraft.
    Post consumer product packaging and printed paper makes up one quarter of
the waste that municipalities manage each year and costs each property
taxpayer about $55 annually. In total, post-consumer waste costs
municipalities about $234 million annually.
    While more consumers are limiting the use of plastic bags and bottles,
product manufacture producers are not following their lead. In fact, Ontario's
taxpayer subsidized approach to funding the Blue Box program actually
discourages environmentally responsible packaging. While producers of
recyclable packaging are required to contribute to waste management costs if
it ends up in the Blue Box, those producers of non-recyclable material aren't
charged a cent to cover the waste management and environmental costs that
their products create.
    Consumers are urged to think of the environment when making their
purchases and to reward businesses that use more efficient packaging, made
from readily recyclable materials.
    More detail on the Stats Canada survey can be found at www.statcan.ca.
The AMO/AMRC discussion paper is available at www.amo.on.ca.

    AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario's 445
municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government
in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and
essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.





For further information:

For further information: Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, (416)
729-5425


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