On Wednesday October 28, Ontario Minister of the Environment John Gerretsen released From Waste to Worth: The Role of Waste Diversion in the Green Economy — a report on the review of the Waste Diversion Act of 2002.
The report outlines where the government is headed in moving the province toward Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and related waste minimization efforts and diversion from disposal. The report suggests that (among other things), when consultations are finished, the industrial, institutional and commercial (IC&I) sectors will be required to dramatically reduce waste. Producers will pay for the full cost of end-of-life management (collection, processing and disposal) of products and packaging, and incineration of waste will not count as diversion.
Each of the proposals outlined in the report is guided by a long-term vision of Zero Waste and transitioning to 100 per cent EPR programs that will be outcome-based rather than prescriptive. The concept of Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) will be enshrined, meaning that individual companies will be legally liable for their products and packaging at end-of-life instead of Industry Funding Organizations (IFOs). Thermally-treated waste will not count as “diversion.”
A long-term schedule will be developed to target various products to be designated under the Waste Diversion Act, and the role and governance of Waste Diversion Ontario will change. Penalties will be imposed on non-complying producers and brand owners.
Tools to drive diversion include: broadening the scope of EPR programs to include materials sold into the IC&I sector; setting five-year diversion targets for EPR programs; banning designated materials from disposal; and the implementation of a disposal levy to all waste discarded in both the IC&I and residential sectors.
The environment ministry has provided a deadline of January 11, 2010 for written responses.
A copy of the report can be found at www.ebr.gov.on.ca. For further analysis, see Editorial on page 4 and Blog article on page 54.