Retail Council of Canada supports Ontario's transition to EPR for residential recycling
According to a statement from the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), the RCC and their retail members in Ontario look forward to transitioning to a new, producer-controlled, blue box system wherein both costs and management shift to industry for all residential recycling.
As a result of the new provincial regulations announced June 3rd, Ontario's 1,900 stewards will more than quadruple their annual contribution to recycling, from $135 million annually to $600 million each year, as per estimates prepared for industry by Deloitte. Since the inception of the blue box system, businesses have contributed more than $1.6 billion to the program.
According to the RCC, organizations that make packaging decisions should pay for end-of-life residential recycling. This is a time-proven method which creates a strong incentive for businesses to move away from hard to recycle materials while continuing to optimize packaging methods. Extended producer responsibility is a powerful policy tool which facilitates a circular economy.
"The retail industry represents the largest sector paying into Ontario's blue box program. Retailers share a common view that plastics, printed paper and packaging do not belong in landfills" said Diane J. Brisebois, RCC's President & CEO.
"RCC supports today's regulation as a positive step forward for recycling in Ontario. The regulation maintains Ontario's commitment to a two-year preparation period prior to transition, providing a substantive consultation and planning period to ensure success.
"The retail industry supports the move to a set of targets that rival some of the most ambitious recycling systems worldwide. Ontario residents and customers are major winners today as a harmonized recycling system will support the reduction of municipal property tax, and harmonize municipal collection, both with respect to designated materials (e.g., same items collected across the province), as well as centralizing how recycling is processed and reused."
Retail is Canada's largest private sector employer. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org.
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.