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End to new eco fees

Statement from Ontario Minister of the Environment John Wilkinson on Oct. 12 at 3 p.m.:
“On July 1st, a new program run by Stewardship Ontario took effect to divert household hazardous waste from landfills. Ontarians quickly recognized that the program was flawed because it applied to some products that made little sense to consumers — and forced consumers to pay fees, in some cases inconsistently, on some routine household purchases.

The Ontario government has listened to the concerns of families. The government is permanently ending the household waste program that took effect on July 1. The end of the program means the end of any consumer fees being charged to pay for that particular program.

Programs that existed prior to July 1, 2010, which currently divert, recycle and dispose of electronics, tires and household hazardous wastes such as paint and single-use batteries, will continue. To help ensure these programs are fair and transparent, and that money is used solely to keep hazardous waste out of landfills, the province will:

* Establish a special team that will investigate incorrect or misleading fees being charged by retailers to Ontarians
* Request that consumer representation sit on the independent boards that deliver waste diversion programs
* Improve oversight by including provisions for both increased reporting and third-party audits.

Ontario will continue to make progress in diverting hazardous waste from landfills to protect our water and land for future generations. The province will begin to provide funding to municipalities to properly manage, recycle and dispose of fire extinguishers, rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, needles, mercury-containing devices and pharmaceuticals.

These changes will ensure that Ontario strikes the right balance between consumer protection and effectively managing waste that is harmful and hazardous to our families.”

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    This “program” was a classic case of sleight of hand – introduced on the same day as the HST in the hope that we apparently dumb consumers wouldn’t notice it. Of course signing on to the HST was not part of the Liberal’s last election platform either, so their concern for Ontario consumers is touching.

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