Before Ontario further considers stewardship plans for spent paint and batteries, Ontario’s new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change wants public consultations to consider the potential impact to human health and the environment, as well as the recycling marketplace.
Minister Glen Murray directed Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) to orchestrate the battery consultations before it decides the fate of two separate industry stewardship plans (ISPs) that have been proposed. The directive comes as Murray works to reintroduce a new waste and recycling Bill that died on the order paper when the 2014 Ontario election was announced.
One of the stewardship proposals being considered by WDO is from Call2Recycle regarding used single-use batteries; the other proposal is from the Product Care Association for used paints and coatings.
Minister Murray cited the following concerns in his July 17, 2014 letter to WDO. He asked how the proposed stewardship plans would:
1. affect the ongoing success and financial viability of the existing waste diversion programs, including impacts from the fragmentation of the programs
2. affect any transition of the programs from the existing Waste Diversion Act to the new framework
3. affect the collection, recycling and reuse of waste in Ontario
4. affect consumer uptake and protection
5. affect fairness in the post collection marketplace
6. adversely affect the environment and public health.
“As a reference point for the consultations, we will shortly be distributing a report for all stakeholders to use, that summarizes the public consultations that have occurred over the past year on these ISPs, the issues that arose and how the ISPs addressed them,” WDO Chair Robert Gordon wrote on July 23, 2014, in response to the province’s directive.