DAILY NEWS Mar 18, 2014 12:25 PM - 0 comments

WDO: Battery stewardship decision by June 2014

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By: SWR Staff

The Board for Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) is set to make an official decision before June 18, 2014 about Call2Recycle Canada’s industry stewardship plan (ISP) to recycle Ontario’s single-use batteries.

“The Board sees considerable merit in the Call2Recycle Canada ISP but did not make a decision at its March 12, 2014 Board meeting,” WDO said in a statement on its website, in response to a media report that announced WDO’s rejection of the battery plan.

WDO stated that the media report was inaccurate, but added that, “Yes, the Board can make a final decision on this ISP while the work is in progress. We are committed to working as quickly and efficiently as possible to reach a conclusion on both the Call2Recycle ISP and any of the work requested by the Board.”

While WDO has been considering the battery stewardship proposal since fall 2013, stakeholders have raised concerns over the financial impact on industry, particularly Ontario’s Raw Materials Co. in Niagara, and questioned the merit of burning batteries for use as a road aggregate

Call2Recycle Canada was not immediately available for comment on March 18, but Executive Director Joe Zenobio issued a statement in the Toronto Star in January 2014 about the use of melting batteries into road aggregate, otherwise known as roadbed slag. It’s a proposal that appears to be at odds with the Ontario Waste Diversion Act, 2002, 25(2), which prohibits the use of waste for land applications.

“Your readers may find it interesting that slag has been endorsed by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as an eco-friendly input into road construction,” Zenobio wrote. “Our non-profit organization was founded on environmental commitment. Ensuring the proper end-of-life management for batteries is our mission and it’s what 200+ battery and battery-powered product companies trust us to do.”

Call2Recycle Canada submitted its battery plan to WDO in fall 2013. After making a presentation to the WDO Board on January 29, 2014, a decision on the stewardship plan was deferred. View the stewardship plan here.

According to WDO, their staff is still working on three elements involving the ISP:

  • a definition of battery recycling
  • questions around competition and the ISP’s potential effect on the battery processing marketplace
  • and the costs of the transition from the current Stewardship Ontario-operated program to a potential Call2Recycle-operated program.

Online public consultations for the Ontario battery stewardship plan occurred October 24, 2013, November 4, 2013 and January 14, 2014.

Formed in 1994, Call2Recycle works on behalf of some 200 battery and product manufacturers.

Single-use batteries are covered by the Ontario Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste Program Plan under the Waste Reduction Act 2002. Call2Recycle’s ISP stated that the organization intended to continue management of rechargeable batteries if the proposal was accepted.

If accepted, Call2Recycle would transition its program out of Stewardship Ontario. The organization would absorb the costs of collecting, transporting and collecting the batteries.

January 2014 marked the rollout of a nationwide battery recycling program for Call2Recycle.

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