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Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Wind Up Plan


On February 11, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks released the proposed Hazardous and Special Products (HSP) Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016. The new regulation will support the transition of the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) program to full producer responsibility. The MHSW program is scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2021. To view the draft regulation, visit the Environmental Registry of Ontario.

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority will be the regulator mandated by the Government of Ontario to enforce the requirements of the HSP regulation when they take effect. For more information, visit https://rpra.ca/programs/hazardous-or-special-waste/ or email info@rpra.ca.



The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) has approved Stewardship Ontario’s Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) program Wind Up Plan. For more information, see below under ‘Approved MHSW Wind Up Plan.’

FEE REDUCTION UPDATE AS OF JANUARY 31, 2021

The approved Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Wind Up Plan and subsequent amendments included provisions for Stewardship Ontario to disburse MHSW Program surplus funds to stewards and Industry Stewardship Organizations (ISOs) to facilitate fee reductions during the remainder of the program.

This chart provides an aggregated summary of surplus funds disbursed by Stewardship Ontario related to the fee reduction process to date. As of January 31, 2021, Stewardship Ontario has disbursed a total of $42.5 million toward fee reductions for MHSW materials. We will continue to publish updates throughout the MHSW wind up process.

The MHSW Wind Up Plan indicates that the timing and level of fee reductions implemented in each MHSW material category varies dependent on the level of surplus funds associated with material reserves in those categories. Fee reductions for Stewardship Ontario stewards will also be adjusted throughout the MHSW wind up process as ongoing program costs and financial adjustments may affect the level of surplus funds available to be disbursed as fee reductions.

Stewardship Ontario began implementing fee reductions in January 2020 with respect to invoices issued in relation to the single-use battery material category. In July, in accordance with the ISO Surplus Fund Transfer Addendum, Stewardship Ontario disbursed surplus funds to ISOs to facilitate the implementation of fee reductions for their members.

Stewardship Ontario January fee reductions for stewards in oil filter and oil container materials categories were increased in relation to previous forecasts. Fee reductions in the pressurized container material categories continued as per October 2020 fee reduction schedules (details under Pressurized Container wind up and Automotive Materials wind up tabs below). At this time, Stewardship Ontario financial and operational forecasts do not support the implementation of fee reductions for stewards in other material categories, but Stewardship Ontario will continue to review other MHSW categories with respect to potential fee reductions to be implemented prior to the termination of the program.


Background Information

On April 12, 2018, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change issued direction to Stewardship Ontario to wind up the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program by December 31, 2020. Upon wind up, materials collected under the MHSW Program will be managed according to an individual producer responsibility (IPR) framework under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016.

On December 11, 2018, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) amended the timelines for the wind up of single-use batteries, stating the waste diversion program for single-use batteries would cease operation on June 30, 2020 to allow for coordination with waste electrical and electronic equipment.

On July 2, 2019, Stewardship Ontario received further direction from the MECP regarding the wind up of the MHSW Program. The new direction letter amendments are summarized below:

  • The program to manage all designated materials except single-use batteries will now cease operation on June 30, 2021 instead of December 31, 2020.
  • The program to manage single-use batteries will continue to cease operation on June 30, 2020.
  • Stewardship Ontario is to develop a proposal to return surplus funds to Ontario consumers of MHSM in its proposed Wind Up Plan:
    • For MHSM categories whose recovery is managed by Stewardship Ontario, the plan will set out rules governing a fee elimination during the wind up period;
    • For MHSM categories that are managed through industry stewardship plans, the plan will include options to return surplus funds to MHSM consumers, for example, through a consumer rebate program.
  • Stewardship Ontario is to submit a revised Wind Up Plan to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) by September 30, 2019.
  • The Minister anticipates RPRA will approve the Plan no later than December 31, 2019.

On December 20, 2019, The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has issued a new direction letter to Stewardship Ontario and the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) clarifying how MHSW residual funds should be managed once the program winds up on June 30, 2021.

The Minster’s direction letter clarifies that all residual funds remaining once the program ceases operating and all financial obligations have been accounted for should be returned to stewards. This applies to stewards managed by Stewardship Ontario, and those managed through industry stewardship plans.

Approved MHSW Wind Up Plan

Plan Approval Conditions

RPRA’s approval comes with the following conditions:

Changes to Deadlines for Steward Adjustments

  • New deadlines have been established for stewards to submit adjustments to prior reports. These deadlines were revised to align adjustment request deadlines with RPRA’s data submission requirements.
  • Batteries: Final adjustment requests for single-use batteries for data related to 2019 and earlier have been revised to February 14, 2020 from May 31, 2020.
  • Paint, Automotive Materials, Pressurized Containers, Pesticides & FertilizersFinal adjustment requests for all other MHSW materials for data related to 2020 and earlier have been revised to February 12, 2021 from May 31, 2021.
  • Please note: these revised dates are now reflected in the published MHSW Wind Up Plan.

Ministerial Direction on Residual Funds

  • New Ministerial direction received on December 20, 2019 directed Stewardship Ontario to develop an addendum to the approved MHSW Wind Up Plan to return residual funds to stewards once the program is in its final wind up phase in 2022.
  • Stewardship Ontario developed a draft proposal for the use of residual funds and RPRA hosted a consultation webinar the proposal on January 22, 2020.
  • Following the consultation and feedback period, Stewardship Ontario submitted its addendum on February 4 for RPRA’s approval.
  • RPRA approved the addendum on February 21, 2020. Click here for more details.

Other Conditions

  • If required by RPRA, Stewardship Ontario will update the plan to address operational and implementation issues.
  • Stewardship Ontario will provide any information that is required to assist RPRA in performing its duties under the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016.

The approved MHSW Wind Up Plan also includes some clarifying amendments to reflect additional conflict of interest provisions and a new management structure implemented at Stewardship Ontario following submission of the plan in September.

MHSW Rules for Stewards

With the approval of the Wind Up Plan also comes the approval of the Rules for Stewards (Appendix A of the plan). The Rules outline steward reporting and payment obligations for the period commencing January 1, 2020 until wind up of the MHSW Program.

Next Steps

Stewardship Ontario will now implement the approved MHSW Wind Up Plan, with the program for single-use batteries terminating on June 30, 2020, and all other MHSW material programs terminating on June 30, 2021.

During the transition period, Stewardship Ontario will continue to operate the MHSW Program without disruption. Any questions around wind up operations can be sent to mhswwindup@stewardshipontario.ca.

Information about the new program that will replace the current MHSW program will be posted on RPRA’s website as it becomes available. Questions can be sent to RPRA at info@rpra.ca.

Relevant Links

Rules for Stewards

ISO Surplus Fund Transfer Addendum

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority’s (RPRA) Board of Directors approved Stewardship Ontario’s ISO Surplus Fund Transfer Addendum to the MHSW Wind Up Plan.

The addendum outlines the amount of surplus funds to be transferred to the Industry Stewardship Organizations (ISOs) as a lump sum and the process for Stewardship Ontario to recover reasonable unexpected costs related to the materials managed by the ISOs in the event of a delay in wind up of the MHSW Program.

RPRA’s approval came with the following conditions:

  • The Addendum shall be updated to apply a reserve share allocation methodology based on current membership and market share using reported tonnage supplied to the Ontario market in the last full year.
  • The Addendum shall be updated with respect to how tonnage is attributed to stewards: the reserve share allocation methodology used to determine the SO-ISO share of a material reserve attribute tonnage supplied by a steward who has transitioned to an ISP during the applicable data year to that steward’s current program operator.
  • The Residual Funds Addendum shall be amended by adding a fifth clause stating that “Residual funds must be returned to Stewards or ISP Members in the form of a payment and not as a credit that can be accessed at a later date, if requested by a Steward or ISP Member.”
  • RPRA may serve a decision-making role in the SO-ISO Surplus Fund Transfer Agreement, with respect to reasonable unexpected costs recoverable by Stewardship Ontario from ISOs in the event of a program extension, on terms that are acceptable to RPRA’s CEO.

Background

In response to new Ministerial direction, Stewardship Ontario consulted on amendments to the management of surplus funds during the wind up of the MHSW program. In April, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks sent Stewardship Ontario a letter directing the organization to develop amendments to the approved MHSW Wind Up Plan which would return 100% of material-specific surplus funds to Industry Stewardship Organizations (ISOs) in one lump sum transfer.

In a second letter received April 29, 2020, the Minister granted an extension for submitting the amendments to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) to June 5, 2020 in order to allow sufficient meaningful consultation with stakeholders given the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consultation on Surplus Fund Amendments 

Two consultation webinars were held on May 12 and 13, 2020 to review Stewardship Ontario’s proposal for disbursing existing surplus funds to ISOs pursuant to surplus fund transfer agreements that:

  • Outline how ISOs are to return surplus funds to Industry Stewardship Plan (ISP) stewards “in the form of fee reductions for the maximum benefit of consumers” and;
  • In the case that there is a delay in the transition of the MHSW program under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016, allow Stewardship Ontario to recover “reasonable unexpected costs related to the materials managed by the ISOs.”

Consultation Materials

Single-use Battery Program Wind Up - June 30, 2020

The program for single-use batteries wound up on June 30, 2020.

For information related to the new single-use battery framework and regulations, please visit the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority’s website. Producers must register with RPRA by January 31, 2021. More information is available here.

DECEMBER 14, 2020: Please read this important notice regarding final steward invoices and fee reductions.

WEBINAR: Final information and fee reduction update for single-use battery stewards

WEBINAR: Final wind up steps for single-use battery stakeholders

WEBINAR: Fee reduction process for single-use battery stewards

Pressurized Container Program Wind Up - June 30, 2021

The program for pressurized containers will wind up on June 30, 2021.

October 2020 pressurized containers fee reduction update: Read here

WEBINAR: Fee reduction process for pressurized container stewards

Automotive Materials Wind Up - June 30, 2021

The programs for oil filters and oil containers will wind up on June 30, 2021.

WEBINAR: Fee reduction process for automotive material stewards

Wind Up Plan Consultation Materials

PHASE 1 CONSULTATIONS

Two stakeholder-specific webinar consultations took place on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. During these webinars, Stewardship Ontario reviewed:

  • The key objectives for winding up the MHSW program;
  • The proposed exit transition approach;
  • An overview of MHSW financing and the projected wind up budget;
  • Key wind up dates and reporting schedules for program participants; and
  • Other steps and elements Stewardship Ontario is proposing to wrap up the MHSW program in a manner consistent with ministerial direction and regulatory requirements.

Steward-focused consultation

Municipality, First Nations communities and service provider-focused consultation

Feedback

Feedback was to be submitted by May 1, 2019 and was extremely valuable as we finalized our proposed Wind Up Plan.

PHASE 2 CONSULTATIONS

We consulted on MHSW Wind Up Plan proposals consistent with the July 2 direction from the Minister in August. Topics included new timelines for the program’s termination, the implementation of a fee elimination for some MHSW categories and proposed options for the return of surplus funds to Ontario consumers of MHSM.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Click here to view the Q&A from both consultation webinars.

Feedback

Feedback was accepted until Friday, August 30, 2019 in order for Stewardship Ontario to finalize its MHSW Wind Up Plan and submit to the RPRA by the Minister’s September 30, 2019 deadline.

Key Dates

  • April 2, 2019 – Phase I consultation webinars with MHSW stakeholders.
  • May 1, 2019 – Stakeholder feedback on the content of the MHSW Wind Up Plan due.
  • August 14 & 20, 2019 – Phase II consultation webinars with MHSW stakeholders.
  • August 30, 2019 – Stakeholder feedback on August consultation webinars due.
  • September 30, 2019 – Stewardship Ontario submits proposal for MHSW Wind Up Plan to RPRA for approval.
  • December 31, 2019 – As per Ministerial Direction, anticipated date by which RPRA will approve the MHSW Wind Up Plan.
  • February 29, 2020 – Minister expects RPRA to approve Stewardship Ontario’s revised residual funds proposal.
  • June 5, 2020 – Surplus funds amendments due to RPRA for approval.
  • June 25, 2020 – Minister expects RPRA to approve surplus fund amendments.
  • June 30, 2020 – Program termination date for batteries.
  • June 30, 2021 – Program termination date for remaining MHSW materials.

Documents

Communications


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