The way in which Ontario’s recycling programs are funded is predicated on the idea that fifty percent of contributions are supposed to come from private industry – the same companies whose packaging choices eventually find their way into the blue boxes of Torontonians and their intraprovincial confreres.
Why this little surcharge isn’t being applied instead to companies using non-recyclable packaging is a bit of a mystery in itself, since taxing more responsible industries would seem to encourage binding products in cheaper styrofoam and number 3 plastics. But this pickle is best left for another post.
What’s encouraging is the news today that Queen’s Park and its recycling compradore, Waste Diversion Ontario, seem to have finally managed to get the responsible companies to ante up a little more this year, actually putting industry well over the fifty per cent donation to which it agreed many, many years ago.
While the total cost of all Ontario blue box programs this year is estimated at $117.5 million, industry has agreed to pony up some $59 million, while the LCBO is feeling generous to the tune of $5 million. Add to that the free advertising that the province’s newspapers have donated to the cause, and the funding for local waste diversion is looking very robust, indeed.