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Waste Initiatives across Canada (August 01, 2009)

Alberta's Paint and Paint Container program


Alberta’s Paint and Paint Container program

The Paint Stewardship Program was introduced in Alberta in April of 2008. At the time, there were approximately 100 collection sites for paint and paint containers. Since that time, the program has expanded considerably and there are currently 209 collection sites in 94 municipalities.

Due to this expansion, a decision was made to increase the environmental fees associated with the sale of containers as of August 1, 2009. The fees were initially established on the basis that 1.5 million litres of paint would be collected in the first year of the program; however, almost two million litres of paint were collected.

The environmental fees collected at the point of sale will increase for two of five paint categories. An increase of 25 cents for all containers over one litre and up to five litres will be implemented so as to raise the fee to 75 cents for containers in this category, and an increase of $1 for all containers over five litres and up to 23 litres will be implemented so as to raise the environmental fee to $2.

Manitoba’s Packaging and Printed Paper Program Plan

Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba has released a revised Packaging and Printed Paper Program Plan for public comment. The plan was developed in response to the Packaging and Printed Paper Regulation 195/2008, enacted in December, 2008 under the Waste Reduction and Prevention (WRAP) Act, and establishes requirements for a stewardship program for packaging and printed paper materials sold for use in Manitoba.

For the plan to be approved, five program components must be in place. First, the plan must include a formula for service providers that reflects the range of program conditions across the province and promotes recycling program effectiveness and efficiency. Second, where community-based collection and recycling services form part of a proposed stewardship program plan for packaging and printed paper, the program operator must fund 80 per cent of the cost of managing designated materials through municipal residential diversion programs. Third, there must be program support for schools, post-secondary education institutions, public space, and public event recycling designed to minimize waste from packaging and printed paper. Fourth, there must be program support for a comprehensive litter abatement program. Lastly, there must be accurate monitoring and reporting on beverage container sale, recovery and recycling rates.

The plan is expected to commence next year and the focus is on beverage containers, plastic bags and litter. The plan includes $250,000 for a school education program and $50,000 to encourage waste audits.

Federal EPR for ODS

Environment Canada has published notice of its intent to implement Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations to manage the end-of-life of ozone depleting substances and their halocarbons alternatives. The proposed regulations will cover chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, as well as their halocarbon alternatives (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) used in stationary and mobile industrial and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration applications.

Quebec packaging payments online

On May 20, 2009, co Enterprises Qubec created an online reporting and payment system for container and packaging fees. The Environment Quality Act in Quebec provides that companies may be required to pay a portion of the costs of recycling containers, packaging and printed matter that are used to mark their products.

Industry associations such as co Enterprises Quebec are responsible for establishing fee schedules that are subject to government approval, and then collecting fees from member companies pursuant to Quebec’s extended producer responsibility program. There are interest charges that apply for late reporting, and a schedule of contributions sets the dates after which penalties will be imposed. Penalties are 10 per cent of the contribution owed, and can increase to 20 per cent if co Enterprises Qubec has to pursue legal action to collect the dues.

co Enterprises Qubec submits the collected fees to Recyc-Quebec, which provides the funds to municipalities to assist in paying for up to 50 per cent of the costs of curbside recycling programs. With respect to written media (which is distinguished from printed matter in delivering news, opinion or comments at fixed intervals), a different industry association, ReycleMdias, collects dues.

The owner of a brand, name or distinguishing guise is required to pay dues in relation to containers and packaging used for marketing a product under its brand in Quebec; containers and packaging identified by its brand; and printed materials identified by its brand. If the owner of the brand has no place of business in Quebec, the first supplier may be required to pay the dues. Containers and packaging that are added to a product in a retail outlet are exempt from dues unless that outlet is operated under franchise from the brand owner or pursuant to a similar arrangement. Containers and packaging generally include materials used to contain, protect, wrap or present a product at any point in the supply chain.

There are three important exceptions to the requirement to pay dues. First, where consignment systems or recycling programs are already in place, participating companies are exempt. Second, companies that have only one retail outlet or have revenues under $1 million are exempt. Third, companies producing less than one tonne of covered materials are exempt.

Rosalind Cooper, LL.B., is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, with offices across Canada. Ms. Cooper is based in Toronto, Ontario. Contact Rosalind at rcooper@tor.fasken.com


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