The Government of British Columbia has announced that antifreeze and lead-acid batteries will be required to have recycling programs managed by producers, who are required to develop and submit for approval recycling programs by July, 2011. Any...
The Government of British Columbia has announced that antifreeze and lead-acid batteries will be required to have recycling programs managed by producers, who are required to develop and submit for approval recycling programs by July, 2011. Any producers that intend to develop a Product Stewardship Plan under the recycling regulations must submit a plan to the Director for approval by October 1, 2010.
In addition to antifreeze, antifreeze containers will be included in the recycling regulations. The lead-acid batteries included in the recycling regulations are those commonly found in cars, motorcycles, boats and locomotives. The recycling rules for these batteries are now being standardized with other industry-led recycling programs in the province. In the past, lead-acid batteries were subject to a fee imposed by the government, which was then made available to offset recycling costs faced by processors. A recycling program led by industry doesn’t collect fees, although industry can set its own fees to defray the cost of recycling.
Ontario blue box plan revisions
On March 16, 2010, Stewardship Ontario’s Board of Directors approved the Draft Revised Blue Box Program Plan and submitted it to Waste Diversion Ontario for review. The revisions were developed in response to a request by the environment minister in August 2009 to ensure that curbside recycling will achieve 70 per cent waste diversion target by 2011.
The Draft Revised Plan describes how improving recycling performance in multi-residential housing can increase the current recycling rate of 66 per cent, but will not allow the 70 per cent target to be achieved. The reason given for this is the change in composition of blue box materials, whereby overall tonnage is declining as a result of decreases in sales and size of print media and increases in lighter-weight and more difficult to recycle mixed plastic packaging (such as clear containers used for fruit and baked goods).
The plan includes products made from materials that are nearly identical to, and have a function similar to, packaging. Such materials may already be collected through the Blue Box Program Plan, but were not included in the original 2003 plan (and no fees are being paid in respect of those materials). The addition of these materials to the list of designated materials allows costs to be allocated across all producers.
Stewardship Ontario has developed three criteria in order to determine which materials should be added to the plan. The first is similarity of the product to currently included material. The second criterion is the manner in which the product is intended to be used by consumers. (Essentially, if the function of the product is similar to packaging and the material is intended to have a short life span, it will likely be included.) The third is how the consumer uses the product. If the consumer is likely to dispose of the product in the blue box, it will likely be included.
Some of the products to be added include: aluminum pie plates and foil; plastic bags intended to be used to store and/or set out recyclables for collection; boxes; disposal cups, plates, bowls and containers including “take out” style paper or plastic; food storage bags; storage containers intended for use with consumerables (such as purchased metal or plastic, similar to decorative or durable containers for food, medicine or other consumerable products); gift bags and boxes; gift wrap and glass jars.
Manitoba stewardship regs
Two regulations have been published pursuant to Waste Reduction and Prevention Act in Manitoba, one dealing with electrical and electronic equipment and another dealing with household hazardous material and prescribed material. The first regulation deals with electrical and electronic equipment and provides that no person shall supply designated material for consumption unless the steward of the material operates or subscribes to an electrical or electronic equipment stewardship program. This prohibition will take effect on April 1, 2011.
The second regulation deals with household hazardous material and prescribed material and provides that no person shall supply designated material for consumption unless the steward of the designated material operates or subscribes to an household hazardous material or prescribed material stewardship program. This prohibition also comes into effect on April 1, 2011.
The Manitoba Products Stewardship Corporation has ceased operation as of March 31, 2010 and its functions have been replaced by Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba. The latter entity will carry out its mandate under a new Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Regulation under Waste Reduction and Prevention Act.
The Government of the Northwest Territories has announced that milk containers will now be part of its Beverage Container Program, thereby expanding the Waste Reduction and Recovery Program in the NWT. Containers that will now be included are milk jugs, milk and milk substitute cartons, yoghurt drink bottles, condensed or evaporated milk cans, and creamer bottles. The containers will be accepted at all bottle depots in the Northwest Territories, although bottle depots may refuse to accept containers for sanitary reasons if they have a strong odour or are not rinsed properly. Infant formula and milk and liquid milk products in containers of less than 30 ml are not part of the program. The funds raised through the Beverage Container Program go into the Environment Fund, which is used to cover program expenses and improve waste reduction and recovery programs.
The Yukon Liquor Corporation has announced that, effect April 19, 2010, single-use bags will no longer be offered with purchases. The elimination of plastic bags constitutes a slightly different approach than the programs adopted by other companies and other jurisdictions whereby there is a charge or fee associated with the provision of single-use bags.
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 email@example.com