Cheques totaling more than $6.7 million were on their way on June 1st to 190 Ontario municipalities in the first phase of funding from industry to help pay for residential blue box recycling programs, Damian Bassett, CEO of Stewardship Ontario announced.
The cheques are the first payment to municipalities under the provincial Waste Diversion Act, 2002. It obligates brand owners and first importers who use packaging or printed papers that are ultimately handled through Ontario municipal waste management programs to contribute to a fund equal to 50 per cent of the net cost of municipal recycling programs.
The funds are distributed to municipalities according to calculations made by Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) based on the efficiency of their blue box recycling program, the range of materials they collect and the tonnage each diverts from disposal. The formula is detailed in the "Blue Box Program Plan," which was produced in 2003 by Stewardship Ontario in cooperation with Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO), and approved by the Minister of the Environment, Leona Dombrowsky, in December, 2003.
The plan calls for the obligated companies, called "stewards" under the plan, to contribute their 50 per cent share of net costs beginning February 1, 2004. This first payment to municipalities covers the period February 1 to April 30, 2004. A second set of cheques will be distributed in September and then quarterly thereafter.
Provisions have also been made to fund activities to increase material recycling rates and to reduce program costs including strengthening markets for recovered materials, public education and awareness and innovations to promote efficiency and effectiveness.
"The funding being provided by brand owner and first importer companies that comprise Stewardship Ontario will ensure that municipalities have the security of knowing their recycling programs are financially viable in the long term. At the same time, Stewardship Ontario, on behalf of its members, will work cooperatively with municipalities to help identify and drive down costs. The ultimate goal is to develop one of the most cost efficient waste diversion systems in the world," Bassett said.
He reported that more than 1,500 companies doing business in Ontario have registered as stewards with Stewardship Ontario and that work is continuing to reach out to the estimated 2,000 to 3,000 additional companies that are required to register to meet the requirements of the Act.
Glenda Gies, Executive Director of WDO, said: "This step underlines the successful launch of the first waste diversion program under the Waste Diversion Act and represents a breakthrough in our approach to waste management in Ontario. Companies that produce and distribute products in Ontario which subsequently become waste will be required to accept greater responsibility for management of these materials at the end of their useful life. The WDO already has programs under development for used oil material (used oil, filters and bottles) and for used tires and the minister of the environment is expected to designate additional waste streams in the months and years ahead."
For more information contact:
Barbara McConnell, Communications
After hours: 613-471-1816
Glenda Gies, Executive Director
Waste Diversion Ontario
NOTE: The complete press release with the amounts of money sent to each municipality will be made available under the Posted Documents button at this website.