Solid Waste & Recycling

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CFIB warns of red tape over Nova Scotia's stewardship proposal

CFIB notes problems experienced in British Columbia, as that province expands its own stewardship programs


The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is sounding the alarm over an EPR proposal from the Nova Scotia government that would introduce a costly new recycling tax for small businesses.

On its wesbite, CFIB states that the costs of recycling or disposal for a long list of designated products would become the responsibility of the businesses who sell them – without any corresponding drop in the property taxes that already fund these services.

CFIB fears a red tape disaster, and notes problems experienced in British Columbia as that province expands its own stewardship programs.

RELATED: Nova Scotia prepping mattress recycling report

Revising Our Path Forward – A public discussion document 

“From the need to weigh, categorize, and track every single piece of packaging that goes out the door to the requirement for each impacted business owner to develop a plan outlining how each product could be diverted from a landfill, this proposal saddles business with an entirely new, time-consuming set of reporting requirements,” says the CFIB.

CFIB says most Nova Scotia businesses have fewer than eight employees, which would complicate the logistics of meeting any new steward performance standards.

In terms of shifting costs from the comsumer to brand owners, CFIB says it has concerns because Nova Scotia is already an expensive place to do business, with  taxes among the highest in the country.

The discussion paper proposes changes in seven areas:

• Product stewardship

• Disposal bans and approval requirements

• Used tire management program

• Removal of the requirement for regional solid waste management plans

• Clarity on the rules for energy from waste

• Improved enforceability of the solid waste regulation

• Beverage container deposit-refund program

Here is the full list of products that Nova Scotia Environment recommends to be covered within a framework for product stewardship:

  • Packaging
  • Printed paper
  • Products containing mercury
  • Batteries
  • Vehicle fluid products and the containers
  • Oil, oil filters, oil containers
  • Paint and coating products and their containers
  • Paint thinners and their containers
  • Single-use pressurized containers
  • Safety flares
  • Pharmaceuticals and sharps, including syringes
  • Domestic pesticides and their containers
  • Small quantity fuels and their containers—camping oil, lighter fluids, etc.
  •  Tar and roofing patch and their containers
  •  Adhesives (in containers greater than one litre)
  •  Electronic waste (as currently regulated)
  •  Microwaves
  • Floor model printers
  • Photocopiers
  • Mattresses and box springs
  • Carpet and plastic and synthetic flooring
  • Pressure treated timber

Limited EPR for the following items:

• Engineered and composite wood

• Drywall and wallboard

• Asphalt shingles


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