Blue Box and Full Producer Responsibility

The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Parks and Conservation has shared proposed regulations to guide shifting the Blue Box to full producer responsibility. On the Blue Box, many ROMA municipalities deserve thanks for passing Council resolutions that helped ensure servicing for communities with populations less than 5,000 people, parks and public spaces is part of the province’s plan. Under the draft regulation, producers will either provide the service directly to the public or they can negotiate commercial terms with a municipality to provide services on their behalf.
Municipalities will have to decide if they want to stay in the business of recycling. For many, that decision will be informed by negotiations with producers and/or their representative organizations on providing the service. This will drive some of the financial implications of opting in or out of service delivery.
Having good data on the cost of current programs – and making those programs as strong resilient and sustainable as possible – will help rural municipal governments navigate these decisions, according to Cathie Green, Public Works Assistant for Drummond/North Elmsley. Cathie has worked on both rural curbside and depot recycling programs. Green said that cost calculations needs to include hidden costs like finance, legal, customer service, maintenance, overhead and Clerk’s Office resources.  
Green noted that strengthening local programs now will put municipalities in a good position as the program transitions between 2023 and 2025. The most important thing is that by making the shift, producers and packagers will have a stronger financial incentive to make better packaging choices – which helps both the planet and residents. AMO is reviewing the draft regulation in detail and will be providing feedback by the December 3 deadline. Learn more.