Ontario’s new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, has intervened decisively to stop Waste Diversion Ontario from approving now two controversial proposed Industry Stewardship Plans: one from Call2Recycle for used batteries, and one from Product Care Association for used paints and coatings, before his new waste reduction law is introduced and passed.
On July 17th 2014 WDO received a letter from the Minister, saying
I am committed to moving towards an individual producer responsibility framework by introducing new waste reduction legislation in the near future.
In the meantime, the Minister used his powers under the Waste Diversion Act to direct WDO to conduct public consultations on how existing or anticipated Industry Stewardship Plans (ISPs) would:
- affect the ongoing success and financial viability of the existing waste diversion programs, including impacts from the fragmentation of the programs;
- affect any transition of the programs from the WDA, to the new framework;
- affect the collection, recycling and reuse of waste in Ontario;
- affect consumer uptake and protection;
- affect fairness in the post collection marketplace; and
- adversely affect the environment and public health.
He has also directed WDO to report back to him on the results of these consultations and the impact on existing or new diversion programs.
As a result of this directive, on July 22, 2014 the WDO Board met to consider the next steps concerning the two ISPs. In view of the Minister’s directives, “the Board has determined that it must defer a final decision on these ISPs.” (Our firm is on record that the Call2Recycle proposed ISP would adversely affect some of these issues, and should not be approved.)
The Chair of the Board has today responded to the Minister. As a starting point for planning the additional consultations the Minister has directed WDO to undertake, WDO will shortly distribute a report on the consultations held over the past year on these ISPs. The report will outline who was consulted, the issues that arose, and how they were addressed.