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Continuous Improvement Fund to wrap up operations in Ontario by 2024

Liquidation of blue box intellectual assets first step in CIF wind down

CIF blue box at the curb close up

The Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF), established in 2008 with the mandate to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Ontario's municipal blue box programs, is currently in the process of winding up operations in accordance with Ontario provincial Ministry directives and will be liquidating its intellectual assets through a public process. As an initial step in the process, the CIF is inviting municipalities, other governmental and non-governmental organizations, not-for-profits and the private sector to submit Expression of Interest (EOI) for  acquiring the rights to the CIF's intellectual assets.

"This is a unique opportunity for governmental, educational, or private sector institutions to gain over a decades worth of research and training materials," commented Mike Birett, Director of the Continuous Improvement Fund. "Our training curricula, specifically, has been foundational to a generation of municipal waste staff in Ontario."

Since 2008 the CIF has completed over 750 projects with deliverables posted to the CIF website for public use. The intellectual assets being made available through this REOI are typically the project final reports, but also include training curricula, technical guidance, sample procurement documents and mathematical models. A list of the CIF projects and deliverables can be found online.

Background on the Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF) in Ontario 
The CIF is a partnership between the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), the City of Toronto, Stewardship Ontario (SO) and Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) previously known as Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO). The Fund commenced operations on May 1, 2008, under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the Fund partners. 

In 2016, the government of Ontario enacted the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) and Waste Diversion Transition Act (WDTA). The two acts provide a legislative framework under which existing waste diversion programs will be wound down
and replaced by new programs. The legislation also enables development of new diversion programs in the future for other designated materials.

On August 15, 2019, and as amended April 3, 2020, the Honourable Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (the Minister or Ministry) issued policy direction letters to both RPRA to, amongst other things, develop a plan to windup the existing program. Separate direction was also given to both RPRA and SO to end the CIF as soon as practical and before December 31, 2025. 

As per the current schedule, by the end of 2021, the majority of the CIF's approved grants and projects are expected to be completed. Throughout 2021 and up until year end 2023, the CIF will continue to provide an appropriate level of transitional and program support to meet the stated desires of its municipal stakeholders.
On December 31, 2023, the CIF would cease public operations and initiate a final administrative windup of the Fund with the expectation that such activities would be completed by no later than June 30, 2024.

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