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Big Changes coming for Ontario’s blue box program

Big Changes coming for Ontario’s blue box program

One program that originated in the Wynne government’s final years has been continued by the Ford government, namely, changes in the blue box program that will shift responsibility to the producers of recyclable waste. The shift in responsibility must be complete by April 2025.

In Hamilton staff will provide a report in August outlining the city’s plan to respond to the changes. The roadmap is being developed to identify all tasks that need to be completed prior to transition in April 2025. Municipalities across Ontario are participating in inter-municipal working groups concerning the Blue Box program transition.

The regulation provides a transition period to allow Producers the option to either:

  • provide collection services consistent with what a local community delivered as of August 15, 2019, or
  • provide collection according to the more stringent 2026 service standards, including all designated materials.

In both options, producers must maintain the collection frequency previously provided by the municipality until 2026. In some cases it is likely the producers will start paying municipalities to continue to manage the blue box program, but it won’t be mandatory.

On the waste producer side,  Circular Materials has been established by 17 of Canada’s leading food, beverage and consumer products manufacturers, restaurants and retailers. The 15 companies that founded Circular Materials are Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd., Empire Company, Kraft-Heinz Canada, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada, Lassonde Industries Inc., Loblaw Companies Limited, Maple Leaf Foods, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited, Metro Inc., The Minute Maid Company Canada Inc., Nestlé Canada, PepsiCo Canada, Procter & Gamble Inc., Restaurant Brands International (RBI), and The Clorox Company of Canada Inc. Circular Materials will  represent the packaging industry in negotiating the transition of blue box programs to producers.

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