Ontario Set to Overhaul Waste Reduction Legislation: Increased Responsibility for Producers
June 6, 2013 by David Crocker
Co-authored by Katherine Ruta, Student.
Environment Minister Jim Bradley introduced a new Waste Reduction Act (the "Act") on June 6, 2013 as part of a new Waste Reduction Strategy. If the bill is passed the new legislation will replace the existing Waste Diversion Act, 2002. The legislation proposes two major changes from its predecessor. First, the proposed Act is specifically aimed at increasing the diversion rate of the industrial, commercial, and institutional (IC&I) sector. Second, it shifts the responsibility of managing the cost of recycling from the consumer to the producer.
The new legislation will address a number of priorities:
These potential changes mean producers will have a new set of comprehensive guidelines to adhere to under the Act. Although the Minister acknowledged that it could take up to five years to transition to the new strategy, producers should be aware of the changes they need to make in order to manage their business in such a way as to be compliant with the proposed new legislation, and to avoid penalties.
The new Act will replace the Waste Diversion Act but continue current waste diversion programs through temporarily re-enacted provisions. Information about both the Waste Reduction Strategy and the Waste Reduction Act can be found on the Environmental Registry for the next 90 days. The proposed Act can be found here. The legislation will receive second reading in September.