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About Stewardship Ontario

 The Blue Box and Orange Drop Programs

We’re a not-for-profit organization funded and governed by the industries that are the brand owners, first importers or franchisors of the products and packaging materials managed under our recycling programs. We operate the:

  • Blue Box – the curbside recycling program for printed paper and packaging
  • Orange Drop – the recycling and safe disposal program for hazardous or special waste

We touch the lives of Ontarians every day—whether they are putting something in their Blue Box or returning unused paint or spent batteries to a depot or retail partner. We work hard to keep many materials out of landfill, and to recover as much value as possible from these materials at the end of their useful life.

We strive to find new ways to turn today’s waste into tomorrow’s consumer products. As a recycling company, it is our social responsibility to drive the future of recovery, collection and recycling initiatives in Ontario. It is not enough for us to concentrate our energies exclusively on collecting and sorting paper, packaging and hazardous or special waste. We must also facilitate recycling partnerships. It’s why we do everything we can to ensure that the materials collected under our programs are transformed into new products right here in Ontario.

By taking this systemic view, we close the loop, the supply chain becomes circular instead of linear and, in the process, we create new green economy jobs. We also develop valuable business opportunities that benefit our province and our country, and we lower the cost of recycling for all involved. Plus, we conserve resources, reduce Ontario’s carbon emissions, cut toxicity and improve the health of our citizens.

Who Pays for Stewardship Ontario’s Programs?

Stewardship Ontario collects fees from Industry Stewards—the companies that are the brand owners, first importers or franchisors of the products and packaging materials that end up in curbside Blue Boxes or that are classified as household hazardous or special waste. These fees help to fund the costs of collecting, transporting, recycling and safely disposing of waste across the province. Stewards share responsibility for the Blue Box Program with municipal governments, contributing approximately $100 million per year (half the cost1). Stewards are fully responsible for the Orange Drop Program, which cost Stewardship Ontario $42 million in 2011.

What Makes Stewardship Ontario Accountable?

Stewardship Ontario operates the Blue Box and Orange Drop Programs under the authority of the Waste Diversion Act, 2002 (WDA). The organization receives no funding from government or taxpayers. Stewardship Ontario is designated in legislation as an “Industry Funding Organization” in order to make it clear that it is the responsibility of industry to fund stewardship programs for various wastes. Stewardship Ontario is accountable to Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO), a non-crown corporation, and must meet a series of targets ranging from waste diversion to financial performance. An annual report provides detailed performance results along with an audited financial statement for public review. Learn More

Part of Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance Inc. (CSSA)

Stewardship Ontario is part of Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance Inc.’s. (CSSA) family of recycling organizations. CSSA is a national, non-profit steward founded and owned organization established to harmonize packaging and printed paper stewardship programs across the country, providing consumers with better recycling options and stewards a seamless way to meet their stewardship obligations under a single administrative umbrella. For more information visit: www.cssalliance.ca.

While we’re on the subject…

1 s.25(5) of the Waste Diversion Act (WDA) states: A waste diversion program developed under this Act for blue box waste must provide for payments to municipalities to be determined in a manner that results in the total amount paid to all municipalities under the program being equal to 50 per cent of the total net costs incurred by those municipalities as a result of the program.