CSR opposes LCBO deposits

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CSR:Corporations Supporting Recycling has recently issued two news releases expressing opposition to, and concern about, the Province of Ontario’s decision to place LCBO wine and liquor containers on deposit, starting in the New Year. Details about the new deposit program are explained in recent news items in Headline News at the website for Solid Waste & Recycling magazine: www.solidwastemag.com
CSR says that the deposit system will harm the blue box curbside recycling programs and investment in glass recycling infrastructure. The CSR’s point of view differs from that of various other organizations, including those that represent the interests of municipalities (Association of Municipaities of Ontario, or “AMO”) and also the province’s recycling coordinators (Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators, or “AMRC”) who administer the blue box progam. AMO and AMRC, as well as other entities like the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) and the Municipal Waste Integration Network (MWIN) have published formal position papers supporting the idea of placing LCBO containers on deposit. I’ve reproduced the CSR news releases below (click on the green link) so that readers may view them.

Attention News Editors:
Provincial plan to take LCBO glass out of blue box jeopardizes new glass processing capacity, industry recycling representative says
TORONTO, Sept. 9 /CNW/ – The Provincial Government’s proposal to take LCBO wine and spirit bottles out of the municipal “blue box” program and put them on deposit, is jeopardizing a major municipal-industry joint venture that was about to create new glass processing capacity for up to 80,000 tonnes of glass collected in municipal recycling programs in and around the GTA.
An industry organization, CSR, that extensively monitors the operations of the municipal residential blue box system, said today the joint venture, which has been in the works for two years will be lost given the uncertainty created by this sudden announcement and because municipalities will not now be able to commit to providing the amount of glass that is needed.
In the joint venture, Unical of Montreal was about to sign a contract to secure land in the GTA to build the glass processing facility when the government made its announcement. When fully operational in 2007, it was expected to take more than 50,000 tonnes of glass from municipal blue box programs in southern Ontario to create high value construction products and to provide much needed competition in the glass recycling market. Unical has been advised not to proceed with its investment because of the potential negative impact of the government’s plan on blue box glass.
The municipal partners involved in this arrangement — Toronto, Durham, York, Peel as well as Hamilton and Guelph — all had agreements from their councils to proceed and to commit glass recovered through their blue box programs.
“The benefits of this new facility would be an alternative market for glass food and beverage jars and bottles coming out of the blue box and greater market competition,” said CSR’s President, Damian Bassett.
A second venture with a company called Poraver of Barrie is creating a new, high value, annual market for an additional 30,000 tonnes of blue box glass from Ontario municipalities. It is building an innovative new facility to manufacture light weight, industrial ceiling tiles with glass from the blue box system.
Bassett noted that securing additional stable, higher value markets for municipalities for their blue box glass would lead to reduced municipal program costs. These investments are now in question.
For further information: Damian Bassett, President & CEO, CSR, Office: (416) 594-3457, Outside Office Hours: (905) 479-7480; Barbara McConnell, Communications, CSR, Office: (647) 777-3362, Outside Office Hours: (613) 471-1816
Attention News Editors:
Blue Box glass is recycled, not landfilled, recycling organization says
TORONTO, Sept. 9 /CNW/ – Recent claims published in the media that glass bottles and jars collected in Ontario’s blue box recycling program are landfilled are ridiculous, says an industry organization that extensively monitors blue box recycling operations.
The incorrect statements are being made in connection with the provincial government’s proposal to put LCBO wine and spirit bottles on deposit. “To suggest that the glass bottles and jars people faithfully put in their blue boxes to be recycled go to landfill instead is categorically untrue,” said Damian Bassett, president of CSR. For the past 20 years CSR has helped municipalities to develop the highly successful and popular blue box recycling program in Ontario.
“In Ontario in 2005, municipalities marketed 861,000 tonnes of all recyclables, 128,000 tonnes of which were glass bottles and jars. A very, very small percentage-between 5% and 7% of what was collected, only some of it glass, was not marketed because of material losses during processing,” he said. These numbers are independently verified through Waste Diversion Ontario, the organization established by the Province of Ontario to develop waste diversion programs.
“Let’s be clear about this so every household knows that the effort they are putting into recycling is paying off — all of the glass you put into your blue box gets recycled except for a small amount that is lost during the sorting process. And even then, efforts are underway to look for opportunities to put this material to alternative uses as well,” he said.
Bassett also noted that every year in the last decade the amount of glass people have been recycling has increased between 4% and 5%, which is higher than the population growth of the province. The system is getting better every year.
“To suggest that our popular and convenient blue box recycling system is somehow a failure ignores the facts,” Bassett said. “Because it collects a wide range of materials beyond simply beverage containers, it is a very effective and cost efficient method of recovering recyclable materials. Last year, we captured 58% of the recyclables across the province, which is very close to the provincial target of 60%.
Bassett said his organization is very worried about the possibility that the province will impose deposit return on LCBO and possibly other beverage containers.
He noted that a recent City of Toronto study (City of Toronto Works Committee Report, March 6, 2006) supported the blue box by reporting that “waste audits of a random sample of single-family homes in the City indicate that the recovery rate for beverage containers in the City’s curbside recycling program is comparable to the recovery rate in deposit return jurisdictions. Based on the waste audits, the recovery rate for the beverage containers in the City’s curbside Blue Box program is 88% for PET plastic beverage bottles, 77% for HDPE plastic beverage bottles, 82% for aluminum cans and 97% for LCBO glass containers.”
Bassett said: “It is ridiculous to now ask the citizens of this province to stop putting their wine and spirit bottles into the blue box and instead to drive them to the nearest beer store while trucks continue to collect newspapers, magazines, metal cans, plastic bottles and glass jars from their homes every week. Why would we saddle the consumers of wine and spirits with tens of millions of dollars of additional costs each year to run a parallel system operated by a private corporation?”
For further information: Damian Bassett, President & CEO, CSR, Office: (416) 594-3457, Outside Office Hours: (905) 479-7480; Barbara McConnell, Communications, CSR, Office: (647) 777-3362, Outside Office Hours: (613) 471-1816

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