Transitioning the Ontario Blue Box

In 1981, the world’s first curbside recycling program was started in Ontario and it has only expanded from there over the last few decades. The current Blue Box Program was developed by Stewardship Ontario (SO) and Waste Diversion Ontario, which is now known as the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA). Under the current system, costs are split equally between industry and municipalities and the program is overseen by RPRA. Residents can place a variety of materials in their curbside blue boxes including glass, paper, cardboard, and plastics, among many other materials.

On August 15, 2019, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) directed SO and RPRA to transition the Blue Box Program to a full extended producer responsibility (EPR) system where industry will be 100% physically and financially responsible for the system. The transition will occur between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2025 with producers taking full control of the system by 2026. Over three years, the cost of Blue Box for producers will be brought to approximately $300 million.

Currently, RCC, along with producers, municipalities and circular economy organizations (haulers/processors, etc.) are attending a series of webinars, led by MECP Officials. These conversations have/are addressing a series of topics designed to inform Officials as they develop a draft Blue Box regulation for Summer 2020.

In order to keep members updated, we have prepared a series of topics and tables to help you familiarize yourself with Blue Box discussions, including government proposals, objectives and the positions being taken by RCC. Each section also includes a link to a survey so you can provide feedback or ask questions.

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