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The provincial government’s final Waste-Free Ontario Strategy, released last week, reflects the broad-based priorities of the OWMA’s membership, including the association’s long-term focus on creating a fair, competitive marketplace for recovered resources.

The Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy includes 15 actions to increase waste diversion and reduce the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.

These include:

  • Establishing new regulations that require producers to take on full environmental and financial responsibility “for recovering resources and reducing waste associated with their products and packaging.”
  • Developing an action plan and a policy statement to reduce food waste and increase organics diversion,
  • Strengthening oversight and enforcement under the newly established Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority, and requiring producers and service providers to register and report their waste management activities,
  • Introducing disposal bans for certain materials, such as food waste, beverage containers, corrugated cardboard and fluorescent bulbs and tubes,
  • Acknowledging the role municipalities play in providing waste management services in the province and working with them to transition Ontario’s Blue Box, and,
  • Promoting “competition in the provision of resource recovery services and waste reduction services.”

All of these actions follow the recommendations made by the OWMA over the past several years and put Ontario’s waste management sector on a path toward greater investment and sustainable growth. 

The OWMA is pleased with the provincial government’s final strategy and will work to represent the interests of the sector as new regulations and policies are developed under it.