Ontario’s Minister of the Environment Laurel Broten has announced important changes to the province’s plans for product stewardship in respect to used oil, scrap tires and household hazardous waste (HHW).
The minister made the comments at the recent annual general meeting of Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO); the announcements were verbal and waste industry professionals are awaiting written announcements and documents to confirm the details.
Used Oil Program: Following a long period of inaction on the used oil program, the minister announced that the program will be cancelled (i.e., removed from designation under the WDO). WDO will no longer engage in developing a used-oil program for collection and processing; however, used oil filters and containers will be included in a new HHW designation (see below). The minister acknowledged the current 78 per cent recovery rate for used oil and indicated there was a better “return” in putting efforts towards other waste materials. (This appears to validate the position of Safety-Kleen and Solid Waste & Recycling magazine contributing editor Usman Valiante that the private sector has already developed a sophisticated used-oil management system in Ontario, and that the so-called “western model” is not necessary in that province. See Editor’s Blog for commentary at the left-hand side of the magazine homepage at www.solidwastemag.com)
Scrap Tires: The minister announced a deferral on further consideration of a scrap tire program to allow the WDO to focus on blue box, electronics (WEEE) and the new HHW program.
Household Hazardous (Special) Waste (HHW): The minister indicated that a designation of HHW will be forwarded to WDO for the development of a program. A program request letter is currently being drafted. The HHW program will likely include used oil filters and containers, paints, cleaners, chemicals, fluorescent lamps, batteries, etc. – all collected under municipal programs. The HHW program will likely be a phased-in program. The partial rationale for the HHW designation is the existence of municipal infrastructure and programs already in place.
Other: The minister also announced that the province will be seeking a review of the National Packaging Protocol relative to the reduction of blue box waste and will be making an announcement in the near future regarding changes to environmental assessment that will “speed up” the process. The minister acknowledged the “unsustainability” of waste export to Michigan and linked the resolution of this issue with increased diversion. She also made positive comments on the Stewardship Ontario E&E Fund support of projects and markets surrounding blue box glass.
Editor’s note: This news item was prepared with files provided by the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA). See Editor’s Blog for commentary.