Happy #WasteWarriorWednesday !

Its the last full work week of 2019 and business operations are in full swing to close sales and push products out before some of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Sustainability targets are often forgotten in this flurry of activity. This blog post serves as a friendly reminder to track the supply of your packaging materials into regulated stewardship provinces.

Gift-wrap and extra packaging can heavily increase your reportable tonnage. Blue box (packaging and printed paper) reports are due in Q2 of 2020 for BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. New Brunswick will be developing its new program in 2020. Steward Wise is developing an in-person course on how-to report to blue box stewardship programs. Learn more and register here for early bird specials.

Stewardship Ontario has been busy in 2019, working with stakeholders on a mediation for the Blue Box Wind-Up and developing The Municipal Hazardous & Special Waste Wind-Up Plan.

Funny story, my father thinks wind-up is a terrible term. He read it out loud to me as “wind” – up, as in, blowing wind.. While some waste warriors can certainly be filled with hot air, that’s not what wind-up means, or how its pronounced. Its pronounced as /ˈwīndˌəp/ and is defined by Google/Oxford as “an act of concluding or finishing something.”

In a nut shell, a wind-up is the careful dismantling of Ontario’s regulation that appoints one major recycling system administrator. Since around 2002, that administrator has been Stewardship Ontario for blue box and household hazardous wastes. In the future, Ontario will operate like some European countries and allow recycling businesses and other organizations to compete for industry members. Generally speaking, the services they will offer is the collection, transportation, treatment, reuse, recycling and disposal of the regulated materials and products that you sell. These businesses are called “producer responsibility organizations,” or PROs, for short.

This fall, the new Ontario Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority was blazing trails all over the province engaging with hazardous waste stakeholders on how these changes will affect industry, municipalities, citizens, recycling businesses and more. The Authority launched their registry in late 2018, operating it in full swing in 2019 for the tire recycling program launch. In the fall, the Authority presented on Individual Producer Responsibility, a compliance option that allows for Ontarian businesses to comply with new regulations without working with a PRO.

The Authority also approved the wind-up plan for Ontario Electronic Stewardship in 2019. OES has ceased charging environmental handling fees to their members, due to a taxation ruling by the CRA that refunded the organization a whole “tonne” of cash. OES is using that cash to fund its continued operations until its final day, about one year from now, December 31, 2020. Until then, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has got their hands full drafting (and redrafting?) the proposed Electronics, Electrical Equipment and Battery regulations under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016. PROs, industry members, recycling companies, municipalities and citizens have had an eventful consultation period.

Alas, now 2019 is drawing to a close. We can all reflect on our wins and losses for the year, the ups and downs. Maybe you had a change of job and my jargon is all new to you. Maybe you are a young professional in sustainability and can’t be more excited to change the world. Maybe you are a hardened executive just looking to define your legacy in the world. Maybe you are a civil servant. Whomever you are reading this, I do hope you can return to work in 2020 with a positive attitude and a refreshed mindset. 2020 is the start of not only a new year, but a new decade.

What will you have accomplished by 2030?