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Fee Setting Methodology

The datacall is the name for the process during which municipalities report the costs associated with running the Blue Box Program, tonnes collected, and revenue generated from the materials collected and marketed from the Blue Box system in the last year. This information is reported to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA).
This budget relates to costs associated with operating the Blue Box Program, which includes overheads such as salaries, office rental, and legal costs etc. These costs are also fed into the PIM.
To ensure consumer and marketplace trends are appropriately reflected in fee calculations, various studies are conducted on a regular basis to understand factors such as steward packaging shifts, consumer recycling behaviour, and current operational processes at the material recovery facilities (MRFs). Specifically, these studies include a cost allocation study of municipal recycling operations, curbside material composition studies of recycling and waste put out by Ontario residents, and MRF material composition studies that look at the baling of materials in advance of them being marketed to re-processors.
Blue Box stewards report on what materials they have put into the Ontario market. Steward reports are reviewed for accuracy prior to the calculation of fees.
Activity-based costing (ABC) studies are used to allocate representative costs of managing materials to create the bales for sale to reprocessors. The ABC study traces the costs involved in the collection, transfer, sorting and processing of recyclable material.
After waste materials are sorted at the MRFs, they are packaged together in material-specific bales that are then marketed and sold to processors. MRF material composition studies gather data on the composition of the various material bales. This data informs how materials flow through the system and how they are managed with other materials.
The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA), Stewardship Ontario and the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) work together to verify program costs, capital costs, material tonnes, revenues, and interest. Stewardship Ontario undertakes a year over year analysis to identify changes in tonnages, costs and other factors that impact system performance. Once all the data reported by municipalities has been verified, including a third party audit, negotiations are conducted between Stewardship Ontario and municipalities to finalize the steward obligation.
Curbside material composition studies are conducted to understand the composition of Blue Box waste, organics, and household garbage that are put out by Ontario residents. The study examines the amount of non-recyclables found in the Blue Box and the amount of recyclables incorrectly disposed of in other waste streams to inform generation tonnes.
Total kilograms reported by stewards of each material they have sold into the Ontario market.
Program costs include program management activities, market development costs, promotion and education, audits, system costs and consultation expenses. These costs are also fed into the PIM.
Following negotiations and final verification of the data, the steward obligation, marketed tonnes and revenues generated by municipalities from the sale of recovered commodities are pulled together and entered into the Pay-In Model (PIM).
Click to learn more about the Pay-In Model
Click to download the 2016 Blue Box Fee Schedule

Stewardship Ontario sets steward fees each year for industry to fund their share of the Blue Box Program to recycle printed paper and packaging. The diagram below shows the process and what data is input to calculate fees.

Blue Box Fee Setting Process and Data Inputs 

In 2012/2013, Stewardship Ontario carried out material composition studies, which feed into the fee setting process. Curbside material composition studies help to understand the mix of materials put out by Ontario residents in their recycling and garbage. Material Recycling Facility (MRF)  material composition studies examine the processed recyclables after they have been sorted in the MRF. A study looking at  the end-to-end costs of municipal recycling operations is also undertaken. You can click on the relevant boxes below (MRF Material Composition Study, Curbside Materials Composition Study, and Activity-Based Cost Allocation) to read summaries of the findings. To view the PIM table, click on the ‘PIM (Pay In Model)’ icon.

Material Composition Study Summaries


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