Skip to content

MHSW Wind Up

MHSW Program Wind Up Plan Updates

Stewardship Ontario operated the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program, also known to consumers as the Orange Drop program, from 2008 to September 2021, under the authority of Ontario’s Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016 (WDTA). 

Former MHSW materials are now collected and recycled under Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) regulations, which are administered by the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA). Information on current recycling of Hazardous and Special Product (HSP) materials can be found on RPRA’s website.

Historic MHSW Program

Under the MHSW Program, Stewardship Ontario facilitated the collection of hazardous and special wastes to ensure they were recycled and disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner. Stewardship Ontario funded the MHSW Program through the collection of fees from industry stewards that supplied MHSW materials into the Ontario market.

MHSW materials included single-use batteries, pressurized containers, oil containers, oil filters, antifreeze, paints and coatings, pesticides, solvents and fertilizers. Over the course of the MHSW Program, more than 235,000 tonnes of materials were collected and processed.

Beginning in 2015, the collection and processing of some MHSW materials was transitioned to Industry Stewardship Plans (ISPs). Pursuant to ISPs approved by RPRA, Product Care Association (PCA) took over the management and collection of paints and coatings in 2015 and the collection and management of pesticides, solvents and fertilizers in 2016. Automotive Materials Stewardship (AMS) assumed responsibility for managing oil containers, oil filters and antifreeze in 2017. 

Following the creation of ISPs, Stewardship Ontario remained the WDTA designated Industry Funding Organization for all MHSW materials. Stewards had the choice of joining ISPs to fulfill WDTA obligations or continuing to have Stewardship Ontario act as their stewardship agent. Stewardship Ontario entered into service agreements with both PCA and AMS to purchase an allocation of recycled materials on behalf of the stewards it continued to represent.

Wind Up Plan

Stewardship Ontario initiated steps to wind up the MHSW Program following an April 2018 Ministerial direction. An MHSW Wind Up Plan was developed following extensive stakeholder consultations and was approved by RPRA in December 2019. Additional Ministerial directions required subsequent amendments to the plan. As per the approved Wind Up Plan, Stewardship Ontario ceased operation of the MHSW Program:

  • for single-use batteries on June 30, 2020;
  • for other MHSW materials on September 30, 2021.

Under the approved MHSW Wind Up Plan, Stewardship Ontario disbursed $44.8 million in Program surplus funds and an additional $2.9 million in residual funds to stewards and Industry Stewardship Organizations (PCA and AMS) for redistribution to their members. Information on the timing of disbursements by MHSW Program category is available in this Summary of MHSW Wind-Up Surplus and Residual Fund Disbursements.

Further information on the wind up of the MHSW Program can be found on the RPRA website page Municipal or Hazardous Special Waste Program Wind Up.

MHSW Wind Up Documents

Minister MHSW Wind Up Plan Directions

Approved MHSW Wind Up Plan Documents

RPRA Approvals

Historical MHSW (Orange Drop) Program Information