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County continues to monitor significant changes to blue box operations

Prince Edward County will continue joining in on consultations on provincial government changes to make producers of waste responsible for blue box operations and costs.

Changes are poised to be significant, but are to be unnoticed by residents putting their boxes curbside.

The government’s changes transition to an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system that makes producers of packaging pay for collecting and marketing blue box recyclables, instead of municipalities.

Last summer’s government report noted citizens want to reduce waste and packaging and are concerned that up to 30 per cent of what is put into the blue box ends up in landfill anyway.

It states municipalities and producers agree that producers are best suited to find innovative and cost-effective ways to divert printed paper and packing they use.

Transition is to occur over a six-year period, through to 2025.

Council, at today’s Committee of the Whole meeting, supported municipal staff’s recommendation to continue to participate in consultations with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Quinte Waste Services and other industry associations.

The County is part of a nine-member waste services board of management that, in collaboration with Quinte Waste Solutions, addresses waste management needs on a collective and an area-wide basis.

Quinte Waste Solutions has been involved in the consultations for the transition plan since the enactment of the The Waste Free Ontario Act in 2016.

The waste services board was to meet to discuss the current Blue Box Resolution deadline date of June 30th, 2020, however, the pandemic caused that meeting to be postponed.

A full transition date of Aug. 4th, 2025 to full producer responsibility was recommended for all of the nine-member municipalities as this date would align with existing service agreements, including Prince Edward County.

In her report to council, Tanya Delaney, the County’s Environmental Services and Sustainability Supervisor, stated this would also allow Prince Edward County to align with City of Belleville and City of Quinte West to collaborate on curbside solid waste and organic collection for better pricing for the municipality in future contracts.

“It would also allow for Quinte Waste Solutions to align its service provider contracts and update any processes at the material recycling facility that may be needed. Additionally, it would allow for the waste services board to learn from earlier municipal transition processes and take advantage of any new best practices.”

Filed Under: Local News

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