Toronto About to Kill Polystyrene Recycling for all of Ontario



    TORONTO, Oct. 24 /CNW/ - The City of Toronto is on the verge of killing
an extraordinary environmental program - a program that would have made
Ontario the envy of North America.
    If Toronto backs away from its promise to collect all forms of
polystyrene in blue bins, as it appears that it might, it will effectively
destroy the program for all of Ontario. Other municipalities - even those who
are currently participating - will no longer be able to recycle this material
in Ontario. Over 115 municipalities across Ontario collect and recycle
polystyrene - food and protective packaging.
    What could have been a huge win - the ability to divert every bit of
post-consumer polystyrene from landfills in Ontario - will be lost forever.
Instead, some 20,000 tonnes of the material will now end up in the waste
stream.
    "What a shame," said Joe Hruska of the Environment and Plastics Industry
Council (EPIC). "This is an enormous loss for the environment and a huge waste
of taxpayers' dollars."
    The private sector has already invested about $21 million in polystyrene
recycling facilities in the province, with the Ontario government also
providing half a million in funding for research. This investment in
state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology was made on Toronto's doorstep
in the belief that the companies would receive a sufficient volume of
post-consumer polystyrene to be economically viable.
    But without Toronto, which accounts for about half of the volume in the
province, the companies say they'll no longer be able to accept municipal blue
box shipments and will have to switch entirely to industrial recycling.
    "What we have heard from some Toronto councillors just doesn't make
sense. Literally at the eleventh hour, Toronto seems to have changed its mind
on polystyrene food packaging. This material is 100% recyclable in Toronto's
new blue bin system. The city is leaving a lot of other municipalities
stranded. As well, it is reneging on its promise to its own residents," said
Hruska.
    Ontario leads the world on polystyrene recycling. Toronto has a new blue
bin program capable of taking both types of polystyrene, and new green jobs
are being created. The used packaging (food and protective) is being
re-manufactured into high-end products like picture frames and decorative
mouldings for the home as well as fire-proofing materials.
    The two companies currently recycling polystyrene are: the Canadian
Polystyrene Recycling Alliance (CPRA) which has facilities in Toronto,
Mississauga and Port Hope; and W.R. Grace & Company of Ajax. CPRA accepts both
rigid food packaging and protective foam cushion packaging which it recycles
into picture frames and decorative mouldings. Grace Canada accepts white
cushion protective packaging which it re-manufactures into fire-proofing
products.
    Regions and municipalities already sending polystyrene to these
facilities include: the Regions of Peel and Niagara, the City of Hamilton, the
City of Kingston, the Town of Markham, and Quinte Recycling. Others expected
to begin shipments in the near future include the City and County of
Peterborough, the City of Orillia, and the City of Greater Sudbury.
    Now all of these arrangements are in doubt.
    "Twenty years and millions invested in research and development have made
Ontario a leader on polystyrene recycling," said Sam Alavy, President & CEO of
CPRA, whose company remanufactures the used polystyrene into high-end picture
frames that are sold across North America. "But, if Toronto decides NOT to
recycle BOTH used protective and food polystyrene packaging, that will be the
end of the program."
    This packaging includes yogurt cups, bakery plates and lids, crystal
drink containers, meat trays, foam coffee cups, quick service food containers,
clamshells, and white cushion packaging material used to protect fragile goods

    About EPIC

    EPIC is dedicated to sustainable plastics recycling and to minimizing
plastic waste sent to landfill. EPIC facilitates the development of
sustainable programs to effectively manage plastics waste and acts as a
resource to individuals, groups, companies and the educational community.

    
    Fact sheet and images are available at this link:
    <A HREF="http://www.cpia.ca/files/files/PS_Fact_Sheet_with_Myths_May_08.pdf">http://www.cpia.ca/files/files/PS_Fact_Sheet_with_Myths_May_08.pdf</A>

    Municipalities Currently Collecting Polystyrene
    -----------------------------------------------

    -  Source: Waste Diversion Ontario 2006 Datacall as reported by
       municipalities
           -  Collections through municipal Curbside Blue Box and/or Depots

    ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS, TOWNSHIP OF
    ALFRED AND PLANTAGENET, TOWNSHIP OF
    ALGONQUIN HIGHLANDS,TOWNSHIP OF
    AMARANTH, TOWNSHIP OF
    ARNPRIOR, TOWN OF
    AUGUSTA, TOWNSHIP OF
    BARRIE, CITY OF
    BONNECHERE VALLEY, TOWNSHIP OF
    BRANT, COUNTY OF
    BROCKTON-HANOVER, MUNICPALITY OF
    CARLING, TOWNSHIP OF
    CARLOW MAYO, TOWNSHIP OF
    CASEY, TOWNSHIP OF
    CHISHOLM, TOWNSHIP OF(1)
    CLARENCE-ROCKLAND, CITY OF
    DEEP RIVER, TOWN OF
    DESERONTO, TOWN OF(1)
    DRYDEN, CITY OF
    DUTTON-DUNWICH, MUNICIPALITY OF
    DYSART ET AL, TOWNSHIP OF
    EAST FERRIS, TOWNSHIP OF
    EAST LUTHER GRAND VALLEY, TOWNSHIP OF
    EDWARDSBURGH CARDINAL, TOWNSHIP OF
    ELIZABETHTOWN-KITLEY, TOWNSHIP OF
    EMO, TOWNSHIP OF
    ENNISKILLEN, TOWNSHIP OF
    ESSEX-WINDSOR SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY
    FORT FRANCES, TOWN OF
    FRONTENAC ISLANDS, TOWNSHIP OF
    GANANOQUE, TOWN OF
    GEORGIAN BLUFFS, TOWNSHIP OF
    GILLIES, TOWNSHIP OF
    GREATER MADAWASKA, TOWNSHIP OF
    GREATER NAPANEE, TOWNSHIP OF
    GREATER SUDBURY, CITY OF
    GUELPH, CITY OF
    HALDIMAND, COUNTY OF
    HAMILTON, CITY OF
    HARLEY, TOWNSHIP OF(1)
    HASTINGS HIGHLANDS, MUNICIPALITY OF
    HIGHLANDS EAST, MUNICIPALITY OF
    HILLIARD, TOWNSHIP OF
    HORTON, TOWNSHIP OF
    HOWICK, TOWNSHIP OF
    HUDSON, TOWNSHIP OF
    HURON EAST, MUNICIPALITY OF
    KAWARTHA LAKES, CITY OF
    KEARNEY, TOWN OF(1)
    KERNS, TOWNSHIP OF
    KILLALOE, HAGARTY, AND RICHARDS, TOWNSHIP OF
    KINGSTON, CITY OF
    LANARK HIGHLANDS, TOWNSHIP OF
    LAURENTIAN HILLS, TOWN OF
    LEEDS AND THE THOUSAND ISLANDS, TOWNSHIP OF
    LOYALIST, TOWNSHIP OF
    MACHAR, TOWNSHIP OF(1)
    MADAWASKA VALLEY, TOWNSHIP OF
    MAGNETAWAN, MUNICIPALITY OF(1)
    MARKHAM, TOWN OF
    MCDOUGALL, MUNICIPALITY OF
    MCKELLAR, TOWNSHIP OF
    MCMURRICH/MONTEITH, TOWNSHIP OF(1)
    MCNAB-BRAESIDE, TOWNSHIP OF
    MEAFORD, MUNICIPALITY OF
    MERRICKVILLE - WOLFORD, VILLAGE OF MELANCTHON, TOWNSHIP OF
    MINDEN HILLS, TOWNSHIP OF
    Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
    MONO, TOWN OF
    MULMUR, TOWNSHIP OF
    MUSKOKA, DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY OF
    NEEBING, MUNICIPALITY OF
    NEWBURY, VILLAGE OF
    NIAGARA, REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF
    NORFOLK, COUNTY OF
    NORTH DUNDAS, TOWNSHIP OF
    NORTH FRONTENAC, TOWNSHIP OF
    NORTH HURON, TOWNSHIP OF
    ORANGEVILLE, TOWN OF
    ORILLIA, CITY OF
    OTTAWA VALLEY WASTE RECOVERY CENTRE
    OWEN SOUND, CITY OF
    PAPINEAU-CAMERON, TOWNSHIP OF
    PEEL, REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF - MISSISSAUGA, BRAMPTON, CALEDON
    PERRY, TOWNSHIP OF
    PERTH, TOWN OF
    PETERBOROUGH, CITY OF
    PETERBOROUGH, COUNTY OF
    PRESCOTT, TOWN OF
    QUINTE WASTE SOLUTIONS
    RENFREW, TOWN OF
    RUSSELL, TOWNSHIP OF
    SEGUIN, TOWNSHIP OF
    SHELBURNE, TOWN OF
    SAULT STE. MARIE, CITY OF
    SIMCOE, COUNTY OF
    SOUTH FRONTENAC, TOWNSHIP OF
    SOUTH GLENGARRY, TOWNSHIP OF
    SOUTHGATE, TOWNSHIP OF
    SOUTHWEST MIDDLESEX, MUNICIPALITY OF
    STONE MILLS, TOWNSHIP OF
    SUNDRIDGE, VILLAGE OF(1)
    TAY VALLEY, TOWNSHIP OF
    THE ARCHIPELAGO, TOWNSHIP OF
    THE BLUE MOUNTAINS, TOWN OF
    WATERLOO, REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF
    WELLINGTON, COUNTY OF
    WEST GREY, MUNICIPALITY OF
    WEST NIPISSING, MUNICIPALITY OF
    WHITESTONE, MUNICIPALITY OF
    WHITEWATER REGION, TOWNSHIP OF
    




For further information:

For further information: Joe Hruska, EPIC, (416) 930-1796; Sam Alavy,
CPRA, (416) 744-8800; Jaclyn Clare, (416) 777-0368

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ENVIRONMENT AND PLASTICS INDUSTRY COUNCIL (EPIC)

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