Province plans to force producers to pay for Blue Box instead of municipalities

Province plans to force producers to pay for Blue Box instead of municipalities
The Ontario government wants to reduce the recycling burden on municipalities — and encourage the reuse of products — by forcing producers to pay the cost of Blue Box programs.

Environment Minister Jeff Yurek said that starting in 2023, a year after the next provincial election, the costs of Ontario’s 240 municipal Blue Box programs will be borne by the companies that generate the packaging waste.

“Transitioning the Blue Box program to full producer responsibility will promote innovation and increase Ontario’s recycling rates while saving taxpayers money,” Yurek said Thursday.

By the end of 2025, producers would be responsible for paying for Blue Box costs.

Yurek stressed it would be a “seamless” transition so residents would not even notice as they continue to haul out their biweekly recycling bins to the curb.

Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark said it’s the right thing to do for communities across the province.

“(They) are the closest level of government to people and we will take the time to get it right by supporting our municipal partners to make sure future policy reflects local needs and concerns,” said Clark.

Association of Municipalities of Ontario president Jamie McGarvey said “residents may not see a big difference at the curb, but it will make a difference for our environment, spur more innovation and importantly, lower costs for taxpayers.”
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