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Today, the Ontario government proclaimed the Waste Diversion Transition Act (WDTA) and the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA) to advance its efforts to increase the province’s recycling rate, which has been stalled at about 25% for the last two decades.

These laws were included in the Waste-Free Ontario Act, which was unanimously passed by Members of Provincial Parliament at Queen’s Park in June 2016. Today’s proclamation gives both of them the force of law while repealing the province’s Waste Diversion Act.

New regulations under the WDTA also took effect today to keep Ontario’s existing recycling programs operational until they can be “wound up” and new regulations can be put in place to continue the collection and recycling of e-waste, used tires, household hazardous materials and Blue Box waste under the RRCEA.

Additionally, Waste Diversion Ontario has been transformed into the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority, which will monitor compliance under the province’s new waste diversion law. The government appointed the Authority’s board and provided a list of the members, along with their brief biographies, which you can view by clicking here. Glenda Gies, as most members know from her previous role as the executive director at WDO, will serve as the Authority’s chair 

The government intends to spell out this agency’s role in more detail by releasing a draft Transitional Operation Agreement between the Environment Minister and the Authority. The proposal will be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry to give the public an opportunity to provide feedback.

“In the near future,” the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) says it will release its proposed Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building a Circular Economy for further consultation.

The new strategy will guide the government’s plans during the wind-up of Ontario’s waste diversion programs and the development of new regulations under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act.

As part of these regulations, the government will create individual obligations for producers to recover and recycle their products and packaging in a way that complies with Canada’s Competition Act.

The purpose of transitioning to a system of individual producer responsibility under the RRCEA is to promote competition among both producers and service providers, and allow the market to develop more effective and efficient recycling and waste reduction programs.

It is expected that the government will start with developing new regulations for the recovery and recycling of used tires and e-waste, and move to wind up the province’s current recycling programs for these materials, along with Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) and Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES).

The OWMA is working with our members on various waste diversion committees to ensure that we are prepared to present the sector’s point of view to policymakers and MPPs.

The OWMA will also host a webinar at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 7, to provide additional information and answer any questions from members. To register for our webinar, click here. If you would like to speak sooner, please call our office.