TORONTO – On August 15, 2019, Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks directed the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) and Stewardship Ontario (SO) to develop a windup plan for the Blue Box Program Plan (BBPP) by June 30, 2020. This direction included instruction that the Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF) wind up as soon as practical and no later than December 31, 2025.
Approval by RPRA of SO’s windup plan for the BBPP and CIF is not expected until the end of 2020. Accordingly, this year’s plan is presented as an interim document with potential for change. The CIF says its 2020 plan balances the Minister’s directive with the priorities established by its stakeholders to focus on efforts that support collective benefits and that emphasize initiatives and services and the current mandate as found in the BBPP.
As the province prepares to begin transitioning the Blue Box Program in 2023, and in accordance with these priorities, the Interim Plan will invest up to $1,500,000 to:
- Prepare municipalities for program transition;
- Aid in stabilizing sustainable markets for Ontario’s Blue Box materials;
- Aid municipalities with day-to-day decision making and longer-term planning; and
- Seek to continue to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the existing program at a collective level for those municipalities waiting to transition.
In an effort to expedite approvals of important work stakeholders wish to undertake, the CIF will consider project proposals that address budget priorities on a ‘continuous intake’ basis throughout the year. This approach will allow proposals to be submitted on a ‘first come first served basis’ until funds are fully committed, or the CIF receives new direction about its operations. This approach is intended to expedite completion of new projects while leaving flexibility to adapt to changes that may occur during the year.