On May 25, 2007, Waste Diversion Ontario ("WDO") submitted the first phase of the planned Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste ("MHSW") program to the Ministry of Environment ("MOE") for approval. Phase I of the program targets, at a minimum, a 50% diversion rate for the following waste categories:

  • paints and coatings, and containers in which they are contained;
  • solvents, and containers in which they are contained;
  • oil filters, after they have been used for their intended purpose;
  • oil containers that have a capacity of 30 litres or less;
  • single use dry cell batteries;
  • antifreeze, and containers in which they are contained;
  • pressurized containers, such as propane tanks and cylinders;
  • fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides, and the containers in which they are contained.

The remaining Municipal Hazardous or Special Wastes as listed under O. Reg. 542/06 are intended to be phased in, in accordance with future program requests from the Minister of Environment.

Currently, diversion rates for the various categories range from less than 5% (single use batteries) to approximately 47% (paints) where (often rudimentary) municipal programs are already in place to deal with the specified waste category. As such, in an effort to expand programs already in place and to promote the development of new ones, a common plan element for all waste categories is simple promotion and public education.

Ultimately, all phases of the program target waste from homes in addition to small quantity waste from industrial, commercial & institutional (IC&I) businesses, and focus on reduction, reuse and recycling (3Rs) approaches so as to divert these wastes from disposal in Ontario landfills. This is intended to greatly contribute to the overall 60% waste diversion goal the province has set for itself by the end of 2008. The comment period for both the program plan and the accompanying consultation documents closed on July 11, 2007 and the MOE is currently in the process of reviewing the comments received in an effort to decide whether or not to approve the program plan.

Additionally, proposed new regulations required to address Stewardship Ontario's new governance structure that would result if the Minister approves the MHSW program, were posted for comment on the Environmental Registry. Specifically, the draft regulations address the composition of the Stewardship Ontario Board of Directors, such that the Board includes, at a minimum, representatives from the eight waste categories affected in Phase I of the program.

To view the program plan, the consultation documents and the draft regulations, visit the Environmental Registry at:

www.ontario.ca/environmentalregistry, registry number 010-0558 .