Manufacturers will soon have to pay for cost of recycling in Ontario

Big changes could be ahead for municipal recycling programs across Ontario. The province's Waste-Free Ontario Act will soon force manufacturers to take on the full costs of recycling their own products.

Municipalities currently shoulder 50 per cent of recycling costs

Cities that struggle to find room for garbage and pay for it's collection could be getting a bit of a breather. Ontario's Waste Diversion Act is now forcing manufacturers to carry the costs of recycling their products. (Kate Porter/CBC)

Big changes could be ahead for municipal recycling programs across Ontario.

The province's Waste-Free Ontario Act will soon force manufacturers to take on the full costs of recycling their own products.

Municipalities currently carry half the cost of blue box recycling programs.

Sudbury's director of environmental services Chantal Mathieu says the new rules will be a huge financial boost for cities, and will change for the way businesses look at the manufacturing process.

"The province is saying no, no, no. Back up here a little bit. When you're making the product, make it last longer," Mathieu said.

"Think about where it ends up once its not usable anymore by your consumers."

Mathieu says that Sudbury has between 20 and 30 years of capacity left in its landfill, but other municipalities have far less time and space.

"It's expensive to run compost and recycling programs, but it's double the amount to site a new landfill. Nobody wants a new landfill in their backyard. We want to avoid that," she said.

She adds that there's currently a lot of financial pressure on cities to deal with waste.

"Right now we spend millions of dollars as a municipality managing these companies' products, and we can't afford it anymore."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.