In response to a storm of criticism over retailers charging incorrect “eco-fees” on household cleaners and paints in July, Minister Gerretsen suspended the collection of fees pursuant to the Consolidated Phase of the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste Program (or “Orange Drop Program”) for 90 days. The suspension of fee payment obligations is effective until October 19, 2010, and was implemented by regulation (O. Reg. 298/10), which suspended the application of section 31(1) of the Waste Diversion Act, 2002. During this 90-day period, the Ministry of the Environment is examining options for program re-design.

The pre-existing Phase I of the Orange Drop Program remains in effect, and fees remain due and payable for Phase I materials such as paint and single-use batteries. Phase I material definitions remain in force, but the new higher fees that took effect as of July 1, 2010 are now being applied to Phase I materials. Stewardship Ontario has delayed the deadline for Phase I reporting and fee payment for the third quarter of 2010 from July 31 to September 30. For further information on Phase I reporting and fee payment please see Stewardship Ontario’s e-Lert at: http://www.stewardshipontario.ca/corporate/eLert/2010/08/23a.html