FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jo-Anne St. Godard
Recycling Council of Ontario
Recycling Council Urges Government to Entrench Producer Pay Principal in Ontario
Toronto, Ontario: July 27, 2010
The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) urges government to go beyond the recommendations in the Environment Commissioner’s special report on the Management of Household Hazardous Wastes and make full producer responsibility a key environmental policy to solving all of Ontario’s Waste Problems.
“The Provincial Government has the right tools to move toward full responsibility,” says Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director of the RCO. “The recent ‘eco fee fiasco’ provides Government the ideal opportunity to examine all of the existing programs that it currently has approved under the Waste Diversion Act (WDA) and improve them. Moving back to taxpayer-pays is really regressive.”
In addition to hazardous waste targeted by the Environmental Commissioner’s report, the Ministry of the Environment has identified several additional waste streams that have been made subject to the Waste Diversion Act, legislation that is meant to model Extended Producer Responsibility policies that have been in place for decades in several other leading environmental jurisdictions. Programs like the one for Hazardous Wastes have been established to require producers to pay for targeted waste streams including blue box materials, scrap tires, and electronics. Recent media exposed issues surrounding how these programs are financed and who they are accountable to.
“These EPR programs provide much needed financing to support increase recycling in a province that currently is achieving less than 30% diversion,” says St. Godard. “Using the producer principal is the right policy to implement and support more waste diversion in Ontario. However, there is no doubt that there needs to be more accountability and oversight to make sure producers operate them competitively, not taking advantage of unknowing consumers. Government has an important opportunity here to learn from more than five years of implementation and operational experience and fix some of these flaws”
RCO has been involved in the development and implementation of all of these programs and supports the principals of Extended Producer Responsibility.
ABOUT THE RCO
The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization involved in policy, education and project work around the issues of consumption, waste generation, reduction and diversion, and recycling.
# # #