RPRA now in operation as part of Waste-Free Ontario Act
Waste-Free Ontario Act adds producer responsibility framework that makes producers responsible and accountable for end-of-life products and packaging
On November 30, 2016, the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) was proclaimed as part of the new Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016 which received Royal Assent in June, 2016. RPRA, a new oversight, compliance, and enforcement organization, is now in operation under the direction of RPRA’s initial board of directors.
In the coming months RPRA will be developing a new website. In the meantime, at www.rpra.ca, stakeholders can find historical Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO documents and the Municipal Datacall information that were on the WDO website under the tabs at the left side of the screen. The WDO website is now closed.
On June 9, 2016, Bill 151 – An Act to enact the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (‘RRCEA’) and the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016 (‘WTDA’) - received Royal Assent.
This new legislation - called the Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016 - is designed to replace the Waste Diversion Act, 2002 (‘WDA’) with a new producer responsibility framework that makes producers individually responsible and accountable for their products and packaging at end of life.
There are two Schedules to the Act: Schedule 1 – the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 and Schedule 2 – the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016.
The new producer responsibility framework is set out in Schedule 1 and includes the creation of the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (‘RPRA’).
RPRA will develop and operate an electronic registry to effectively monitor producer performance and will collect fees to cover the administrative costs of the Authority. It also has new responsibilities for oversight, compliance, and enforcement of new producer responsibilities established by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).
In addition to its responsibilities to operate a Registry, RPRA will also be responsible for oversight, compliance, and enforcement of the existing programs established under the WDA until all programs have been wound up.
The Act stipulates that upon proclamation of the relevant sections of Schedule 1, “The corporation without share capital established under Section 3 of the Waste Diversion Act, 2002 under the name Waste Diversion Ontario, is continued as a corporation without share capital under the name Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (‘RPRA’).”
Schedule 1 also states that “A reference to Waste Diversion Ontario in any by-law, resolution, agreement or other document shall be read as if it were a reference to the Authority.”
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.