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:
Individual Producer Responsibility -
Individual producers will be responsible for managing their
product's end-of-life by financing the cost, rather than
passing it to the consumer at the point of sale. Producers will
also be subject to waste diversion targets, standards, service
standards, promotion and education requirements, and administrative
Consumer Protection - The proposed legislation
requires "all-in" pricing to ensure consumers are not
surprised by added recycling charges or eco-fees at point of sale.
The Act will also require the seller to display waste diversion
costs in a transparent and accurate manner. Any false or misleading
representations will constitute an offence under the Act.
Strengthen Oversight - A new Waste Reduction
Authority will be created with a broader set of powers to monitor
performance and ensure producers meet their targets, assign
penalties for non-compliance under the Act, and oversee and manage
a registry of producers.
Improve the Municipalities' Role - The 50
percent funding cap will be lifted for municipalities. Producers
will be required to reimburse municipalities for collection and
handling costs of designated wastes. The new Authority has been
granted powers to manage dispute resolution.
Increase Waste Diversion - New material
designations are identified including IC&I paper and packaging,
carpet, bulky items, additional WEEE, and non-food organics; a new
standard for end-of-life vehicles; development of a strategy for
organics; and mechanism for disposal. The Authority will establish
new standards through regulations.
Focus on Tackling Large Producers of Waste -
As a whole, the Waste Reduction Strategy is aimed at improving the
recycling performance of the industrial, commercial, and
institutional sector, beginning with printed paper and
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
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.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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