The Town of The Blue Mountains will continue with status quo blue box collection during the period of time when the service transitions from a municipal responsibility to a producer responsibility.
At its committee of the whole meeting on June 27, council approved a staff recommendation that the town not sign a blue box collection contract with Circular Materials Ontario (CMO) during the transition period that starts in the fall of 2023 and finishes at the end of 2025.
In 2021, the provincial government passed a regulation that will switch responsibility for blue box collection from a municipal responsibility to a full producer responsibility. The regulation provides a transition period from October 2023 to the end of 2025 for the service to be switched over.
Producers across the province have signed on with Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs), which will have responsibility for collection of recyclables in the future. CMO is the largest of those organizations and has been approaching municipalities about them contracting with it for the collection services during the transition.
Manager of Sustainability and Solid Waste Jeff Fletcher explained to council that the town’s contract with Miller Waste, its current blue box collection contractor, expires at the end of September 2023. This aligns with the beginning of the transition period. As a result, The Blue Mountains does not need to sign a contract with CMO. Rather, that organization can approach Miller Waste directly to continue services in town during the transition.
“It’s very likely Miller Waste will continue doing our blue box collection,” said Fletcher, who said this is good news for the community. “They know our area. They know our routes. They are good at collecting blue box material.”
Residents across the province should not experience any service changes during the transition.
“During the 2023-2025 transition period, producers are obligated to maintain all existing components of municipal recycling programs unless approval is obtained from the municipality to alter them. For example, weekly recyclables collection using blue boxes vs. bi-weekly and potentially different containers,” Fletcher said in his report. “Post-transition however, producers will have full authority to modify recycling systems however they choose while ensuring that curbside collection remains where it currently exists. This means that if residents receive curbside collection now, the producer system cannot change to a depot-based program.”
Council approved the staff report in a 6-0 vote (Coun. Jim Uram was absent) with little comment.
Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca