Waste Reduction Act

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Bill 91
Summary of Proposal:
Currently waste diversion under the Waste Diversion Act is stalled. We generate about 12 million tonnes of waste a year but divert only 25% from landfill. Much of our success is thanks to residents, who are currently diverting about 46% of household waste; while the diversion rate for the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors is much lower.

This represents a lost opportunity to create new jobs, foster innovation and conserve resources. Recycling uses less energy, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and has less environmental impacts than extracting raw materials. Recycled materials have tremendous value and potential to create investment opportunities and new jobs, but we are sending those opportunities to landfill.

Failure to divert more of our waste from landfill has consequences for the dwindling capacity of Ontario's municipal landfills. It also places increasing pressure on municipal taxpayers to fund diversion efforts and deal with rising costs.

On June 6 2013, Bill 91 was introduced in the Legislature. The government proposes to replace the existing Waste Diversion Act, 2002 with a new Waste Reduction Act, 2013. If passed by the Legislature, the Act would increase waste diversion in Ontario and protect consumers.

The proposed Waste Reduction Act would:

1. Establish individual producer responsibility requirements relating to the diversion of end of life products which result in designated wastes. The Act would enable the setting of standards related to waste diversion and services. Producers would have the flexibility to determine how best to meet the standards. It would make producers and those persons related to a producer or group of producers equally responsible for meeting the standards.

2. Ensure consumer protection by requiring all-in pricing for designated wastes under the Act. The Act would also require any seller displaying waste diversion costs, embedded in the price of a product, to be stated in a transparent and accurate manner. False or misleading representations would be an offence under the Act. The new Waste Reduction Authority would be responsible for enforcing the all-in pricing provisions of the Act.

3. Require producers to reimburse a municipality for the municipality's collection & handling costs for designated wastes.

4. Transform Waste Diversion Ontario into the new Waste Reduction Authority with responsibility to oversee the compliance and enforcement of the new individual producer responsibility regime. It would operate a registry, allow for inspections and enforcement, and be able to issue monetary penalties for non-compliance with the Act and regulations. The Authority would be financed by fees and administrative penalties determined through future regulations.

5. Repeal the Waste Diversion Act but provide for the continuance of the four currently operating waste diversion programs through re-enacted provisions (Part VII) in the new Act. Once the programs are transitioned into the new regime, these provisions would be repealed.

The proposed framework legislation would continue the existing Blue Box program and would permit an increase in steward funding for the program beyond the current 50%. When and how increased producer funding would be required would be subject to an extensive consultation process.

The new Act would provide various regulation making authorities, such as the designation of wastes, rules for monetary penalties and transition matters.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
June 6, 2013
Comments Due Date:
September 4, 2013