Alberta approves stewardship program
The Alberta government has approved the Paint and Paint Container Designation Regulation under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The regulation designates certain materials for waste minimization, recycling and waste management in accordance with the associated Designated Material Recycling and Management Regulation. The materials targeted by the regulation are: paint supplied in unpressurized containers with a capacity of greater than 99 millilitres and less than 24 litres; paint supplied in pressurized aerosol containers; and, paint containers.
The definition of “paint” includes latex, oil, or solvent-based coatings, stains, finishing oils, varnishes, lacquers and wood or masonry treatment products. It does not include paints that are specifically formulated for automotive or industrial applications or marine anti-fouling applications, unless the paints are supplied in pressurized aerosol containers. The definition also does not include tar-based concrete sealants.
Starting April 1, 2008, unused paint and empty paint containers will be collected and recycled under a new provincial stewardship program managed by the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA). Paint suppliers, such as manufacturers, brand owners and retailers, will be required to pay environmental fees to the stewardship program based on their paint sales in Alberta. Suppliers will be permitted to pass those environmental fees onto their customers, and may show the environmental fees separately on retail receipts.
Ontario targets plastics recycling
Waste Diversion Ontario has approved new blue box stewards’ rules and fees for 2008. Based on the new rules, there are no longer any penalties associated with failing to file a Steward’s Report within the prescribed timeframe. Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) also approved additional fees of $2.4 million, above the basic fee rates, imposed on stewards of plastics to support the development and implementation of a strategy to increase blue box plastics recycling. Higher fees will be associated with plastics that are more difficult to recycle, such as laminants and film.
WDO also announced that, under an agreement between Stewardship Ontario, the WDO Board and Ontario municipalities, the “Effectiveness and Efficiency Fund” will become the “Continuous Improvement Fund” and will be funded with 20 per cent of blue box stewards’ fees in each year. This constitutes an increase of 10 per cent in stewards’ fees from the previous fund. (For more insight into the WDO, read “Blog” article, page 62.)
B.C. to designate more recyclable materials
British Columbia’s Ministry of the Environment announced that it is considering the addition of two new product categories to its recycling regulation. Products include: antifreeze and hydraulic fluid; batteries such as alkaline, lithium and lead acid; mercury containing products such as light bulbs, switches and thermometers; packaging such as paper, plastic, metal and glass; furniture and textiles, construction and demolition waste; and automobiles. The ministry is releasing a policy intentions paper for consultation on the selected products.
British Columbia has also amended its recycling regulation to make electronics producers (consisting of manufacturers, distributors and/or importers) responsible for the life-cycle management of their electronic products. Producers must either have an approved product stewardship plan or comply with the requirements stipulated in Part 3 of Regulation 449/2004, which is the Recycling Regulation. Funding for the electronic waste stewardship program is through an industry-set environmental handling charge paid by consumers when purchasing new electrical and electronic equipment.
In 2006, British Columbia’s Recycling Regulation was revised to include requirements for computers, televisions, computer monitors, desktop printers and computer peripherals. At the end of 2006, the Ministry of Environment approved the Product Stewardship Plan submitted by the Electronics Stewardship Association of British Columbia, and the association entered into an agreement with Encorp Pacific to collect and recycle computers, monitors and other electronics. In March of 2007, the Western Canada Computer Industry Association submitted a revised draft Product Stewardship Plan to the Ministry of Environment for review.
Manitoba to renew stewardship program
The Manitoba Association for Resource Recovery Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1997 by the lubricants industry, has applied to Manitoba Conservation for renewal of its stewardship program for used lubricating products. The program is intended to ensure that recycling of used oil, oil filters and containers in Manitoba is economically and environmentally sustainable. The association has 148 member companies and has been operating the stewardship program since 1997 with ministry approval, which expires at the end of 2007. The application submitted is to renew the program for another five years.
The association derives its revenue from environmental handling charges that are applied to the sale or consumption of selected lubricating products in Manitoba. Most of the association’s expenses relate to establishing and operating a publicly accessible network of licence collection activities for used lubricating products, and paying return incentives to companies that are licenced by the province and registered with the association to collect used lubricating products and transfer them to approved processors and end-users. The association also pays processing incentives to companies licenced by the province and registered with the association to recycle used lubricating products.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org