Today, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario released ‘Beyond the Blue Box: Ontario's Fresh Start on Waste Diversion and the Circular Economy’, a Special Report to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
The ECO states that Ontario has a waste problem. Every year, Ontario produces nearly one tonne of waste per person, and three-quarters of this waste ends up in landfills. The government’s new Waste-Free Ontario Act and Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario set an ambitious goal of a circular economy that sends zero waste to landfill.
Beyond the Blue Box acknowledges that Ontario’s new law and strategy are a significant achievement, but calls on government to get serious about making it work. The first steps: get food waste (organics) out of landfills and get businesses to pull their weight.
Ontario is rightfully proud of the Blue Box, which recycles paper and packaging from homes. But the Blue Box diverts less than 8% of Ontario’s total waste. For real impact, the province needs action on other significant waste streams – organics and industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) wastes – that have been ignored for far too long.