Improving the Blue Box Program

Published on October 19, 2020

Minister Yurek kicked off Waste Reduction Week by announcing proposed regulations to improve and expand the blue box program. These proposed changes come after over a year of consultations with working group members that included municipalities, producers, and the waste management sector.

Ontario is taking action to improve recycling across the province and address the serious problem of plastic pollution and litter, as part of our commitment in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.

Standardizing and increasing the list of materials accepted in the blue box including paper and plastic cups, wraps, foils, trays, and bags and other single use items such as stir sticks, straws, cutlery and plates.

Transitioning the costs of the program away from municipal taxpayers by making the producers of products and packaging fully responsible for costs, resulting in an estimated savings of $135 million annually for municipalities.

Expanding blue box services to more communities, such as smaller, rural and remote communities, including those under 5,000 people.

Setting the highest diversion targets in North America for products such as beverage containers, glass and paper, that waste producers are expected to recycle, encouraging innovation such as better product design and the use of new technologies for better environmental outcomes.

We are proposing a new regulation that makes recycling easier for Ontarians by standardizing what goes in the blue box and expanding services to more communities across the province.

We are also proposing legislative changes that would make producers of products and packaging fully responsible for the waste they create.

This full producer responsibility model will improve recycling across the province by creating a more consistent and reliable Blue Box collection service with the highest diversion rate targets in North America.

These tough but fair targets will ensure that producers reach a diversion rate that’s going to be effective and encourage innovation, competition and help create a better collection system for all communities.

We will continue to look to all stakeholders and the public for their input to ensure the Blue Box Program is convenient for the public, affordable for producers and right for municipalities and Indigenous communities.

For news release, click here