The funding plan for Ontario’s blue box has encountered serious problems within its first year of operation: costs have soared, targets have been missed and many businesses are in arrears for their contribution to the 50 per cent net costs that business pays. The total cost for the blue-box program will climb to $118-million in 2005, about 40 per cent higher than this year’s $84-million cost and more than a third above the original forecast.
The information comes from a report by Stewardship Ontario, the industry funding organization that collects fees from companies and distributes them to municipalities. Thus far 1,600 firms have registered with Stewardship Ontario and committed to paying fees based on their own calculations of blue-box waste generated by their products. This is only half the roughly 3,000 companies anticipated.
Failure to comply with the Waste Diversion Act may result in fines of up to $20,000 per day for individuals and $100,000 per day for companies. (Learn more about blue box costs in the Cover Story of this edition.)