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The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) has approved Stewardship Ontario’s Blue Box Program Transition Plan, subject to certain conditions, including the deferral of the Material Cost Differentiation (MCD) Methodology. Use of the Four-Step Fee Methodology was approved.

In the Transition Plan, Stewardship Ontario proposed to use MCD as a new input to fee-setting to provide better and more reliable data on the cost impacts of each material in the recycling system. Other Blue Box programs in Canada have already started the process of replacing the Activity Based Costing (ABC) Methodology with MCD and have set 2021 steward fees using the Four-Step Fee Methodology and a 50/50 blend of the MCD and ABC methodologies.

Stewardship Ontario took the same approach in its proposed Transition Plan. We presented the 2021 steward fee schedule at the Annual Steward Meeting (ASM) while highlighting that it was still subject to approval as part of RPRA’s review and consultation on the Transition Plan.

With RPRA’s condition to defer MCD, we had to recalculate 2021 fees using the Four-Step Fee Methodology and ABC Methodology alone, without MCD. We encourage you to review the new, approved 2021 steward fee schedule here.

We understand that many of you will have already set your 2021 budgets based on the fees presented at the ASM, and we regret any inconvenience this change may have caused.

Stewardship Ontario will be reviewing RPRA’s reasons for the deferral of MCD and will be responding with a plan that aims to implement MCD in 2022.

Other conditions for RPRA’s approval of the Transition Plan relate to the following:

  • The impact of adopting MCD on the in-kind amount paid to participating communities.
  • Perceived competitive impacts of adopting MCD prior to transition.
  • Scope of Stewardship Ontario’s Code of Conduct.
  • Access to Stewardship Ontario’s data.
  • Maintaining program performance.
  • Updating the plan through the course of transition.
  • Provision of information to RPRA.

We are reviewing these conditions and will update stakeholders following the completion of this review.

Background information on the development of the Transition Plan is available on the dedicated webpage.

If you have any questions, please contact us at