The Liberal government in Ontario has approved a plan that directs industry to pay 50 per cent of the net cost of municipal blue box programs. About $3 million per month will flow from industry to municipalities beginning in early 2004. This figure indicates that the net cost of blue box recycling across Ontario is approximately $72 million.
The scheme is part of an overall waste diversion plan that will include a landfill ban on organic waste and steps to increase the recovery of blue box materials. The government has asked Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) to submit by March 2004 a plan to expand the recovery of material suitable for blue boxes from the current 45 per cent to 60 per cent by 2008.
Beginning in early 2004, Stewardship Ontario will collect fees from brand owners and importers. Fees will eventually be set annually. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) — as part of an annual five-year commitment — will provide $5 million to the WDO for payment to municipalities and for its administrative costs.
To obtain a copy of the Blue Box Program Plan, go to the ministry website www.ene.gov.gov.ca, Waste Diversion Ontario’s website www.wdo.ca or Stewardship Ontario’s website www.stewarshipontario.ca A copy of the plan can also be obtained from Waste Diversion Ontario at 416-226-5113 or Stewardship Ontario at 416-594-3456 or 1-888-277-2762.