On April 1, 2017, Ontario companies that supply automotive materials to the Ontario market — such as antifreeze and antifreeze containers, empty oil containers and oil filters — will have the option to join Automotive Materials Stewardship’s (AMS) new Industry Stewardship Plan (ISP).

This new ISP was approved by the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (formerly Waste Diversion Ontario)1, on August 10, 2016, in an effort to transition the end-of-life management of the above-noted automotive materials to the newly established, non-profit industry funded AMS.

Like Stewardship Ontario’s Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) program, the AMS program will use stewardship fees paid by obligated industry stewards to collect, transport and recycle these automotive materials.2

What does this mean for automotive stewards in Ontario?

Up until now, Stewardship Ontario’s ISP covered the management of automotive product stewardship in Ontario under the MHSW program. With this announcement, AMS and Stewardship Ontario have committed to working together to ensure a smooth transition for those stewards looking to make the switch.

Why should automotive stewards shift to the AMS ISP?

For now, stewards have the choice of remaining with Stewardship Ontario until the MHSW program is wound down, or transitioning to the AMS ISP by signing a letter of intent with AMS.3

However, by staying with Stewardship Ontario, automotive stewards will miss out on the benefits provided by the AMS ISP, which include (as noted by AMS) 4:

  • Published and predictable fees to make budget forecasting easier for stewards (e.g. unlike Stewardship Ontario, the AMS is not subject to Ontario Regulation 11/12, which imposes a quarterly cost recovery methodology to finance the program; the new ISP allows for the publication of an annual fee table to members in advance of each program year);
  • Significant cost savings due to AMS being able to claim input tax credits for HST (conversely, the Canada Revenue Agency has made a ruling that prevents Stewardship Ontario from claiming input tax credits for HST paid – this means that fees charged by stewards under Stewardship Ontario’s program include the HST paid by Stewardship Ontario); and
  • Because Stewardship Ontario’s MHSW program will eventually be wound down, stewards participating in the AMS ISP will be well-prepared to meet their regulatory obligations under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (which recently replaced the Waste Diversion Act, 2002).

Next steps for automotive stewards

After signing a letter of intent with AMS, stewards will be sent a membership agreement to confirm their participation in the new AMS ISP.

As part of the transition, stewards must confirm their compliance with Stewardship Ontario’s Rules for stewards and the MSHW program, and that they intend to continue to meet those obligations up until the effective date of the AMS ISP (April 1, 2017).