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Waste-Free Ontario Act Proclaimed

On November 30, 2016, the Ontario Government proclaimed the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) and the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016 (WDTA), enacted by the Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016 (WFOA).

The legislative package also includes a companion discussion paper entitled, “Draft Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy“.

The RRCEA and the WDTA replace the Waste Diversion Act. This legislation establishes a new Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (the Authority), which replaces Waste Diversion Ontario. The Authority will act as the overseer of new and existing programs. The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has appointed the initial board for the Authority, and the biographies of the new board members are available here.

A number of WDTA regulations have also been filed, three of which pertain to Stewardship Ontario’s programs as follows:

  • O. Reg. 386/16: Blue Box Waste: Stipulates that the blue box waste consists of glass, metal, paper, plastic and textiles, (which is unchanged from the previous Waste Diversion Act).
  • O. Reg. 387/16: Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste: Replaces Ontario Regulation 542/06 but is materially the same as that regulation in that it retains the existing material definitions of the MHSW Program and requires cost recovery fee setting on a quarterly basis.
  • O. Reg. 388/16: Stewardship Ontario: This revised governance regulation requires that Stewardship Ontario hold a board election by the end of March 2017; and reduces the number of industry directors from 14 to 9 and the number of independent directors from 2 to 1.

What does this mean for Stewardship Ontario and its stewards?
Stewardship Ontario will continue to operate the Blue Box and Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste programs during a transition period. The newly established Authority is now responsible for overseeing Stewardship Ontario and the other industry funding organizations (IFOs) and has assumed the existing program agreements.

In the near future, the MOECC is expected to finalize its Draft Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy for consultation. In addition, the Minister may introduce regulations for consultation that will define obligated materials and parties, as well as to set out their roles and responsibilities under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act.

Stewardship Ontario will keep our stewards updated as more information becomes available. If you have any questions, please contact us at or 1-888-980-9549.

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