In all the fuss about the EcoFee, no one seems to have noticed Orange Drop.
The much maligned EcoFee was a system to have purchasers of household hazardous products pay for the proper disposal of those products, instead of loading the cost on municipalities or future generations. Orange Drop is Stewardship Ontario’s program to help collect and lawfully dispose of such products.
In 2008, Stewardship Ontario began to collect nine types of household hazardous waste – paints, solvents, single use batteries, oil filters and containers, antifreeze, pressurized containers, and fertilizers and pesticides. Orange Drop is an expansion of that program, to add 13 new categories, from batteries to pharmaceuticals, as of July 1, 2010. This means that 22 types of household hazardous wastes can now be returned to 92 recycling depots, 738 retail collection sites, and 2700 pharmacies across Ontario. However, the program cannot operate without funding, which was supposed to come from the EcoFee that was ignominiously canceled last month. Now that Minister Gerretson has lost his post over the EcoFee debacle, there is no obvious source of sensible funding for Orange Drop.