Northumberland County is pleased to announce the successful negotiation of a contract with Circular Materials Ontario (CMO) to extend its blue box pickup program until the end of 2025. This contract authorizes Northumberland County to continue administering the recycling collection program alongside waste collection services during this period, providing curbside and deposit collections for the Blue Box program on behalf of CMO.
The County initiated this contract in response to the forthcoming province-wide transition of responsibility for the recycling system, where municipalities and First Nations will transfer over their responsibilities for the Blue Box program to the producers of packaging and paper products. Extended Producer Responsibility is a framework in which producers – the businesses that supply paper and packaging for products —are fully responsible for funding and management of the entire lifecycle of these materials. CMO is the administrator of the common collection system established on behalf of all producer responsibility organizations operating in Ontario. Provincial plans for the transition to ‘Producer Responsibility’ are to be fully implemented by 2026.
“We have secured a fee for service contract, ensuring that Northumberland County remains the sole provider for the collection of recyclable materials during this transition,” commented Associate Director of Operations for Public Works Adam McCue. “With the County continuing to have accountability for management of waste services, County Council agreed that pursuing a contract with CMO to manage all collection during this period made the most sense for residents. With this contract in place, residents will not notice any changes to the curbside collection program for waste and recycling during this period. It will be a seamless transition to producer responsibility.”
Under the terms of the contract, the County will receive funds to continue promoting and educating residents about recycling practices, providing accessible support via telephone and web channels, and facilitating curb-side pickup of recyclable materials, as well as collection and transfer of recyclable materials at all County Community Recycling Centres (CRC).
“By securing this contract until the end of 2025, we ensure that residents can continue benefiting from the curbside collection services they have come to expect and rely on from Northumberland County,” remarked McCue. “The County’s continued collection of recycled materials will guarantee the uninterrupted recycling efforts of our community and contribute to diverting valuable resources from landfills while the transition to producer responsibility is being finalized.”
With the provincial transition to producer responsibility beginning in 2023, the County conducted a competitive procurement process earlier this year for the sale of its Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Grafton, in accordance with the new regulations. In March, the County announced a conditional offer of purchase from Emterra Environmental.
All conditions of the offer have now been met and Emterra Environmental will take over ownership and operation of the MRF effective January 5, 2024. Emterra Environmental will use the Grafton facility as a receiving facility for recycling materials collected from residents in and around the County, and they will continue to explore opportunities to increase the volume of recyclable materials they manage at this facility in the future.
Northumberland County’s Blue Box collection program has played a crucial role in the County’s waste management efforts. Over the past 26 years, this program has successfully diverted over 300,000 tonnes (660 million pounds) of recyclable materials from ending up in landfill.
With the transition of responsibility for the Blue Box program to Producers, the province has committed to ensuring that the program remains convenient, affordable and consistent for communities, and that the transition is done smoothly, and without interruptions to service for residents.
More information about this transition is available on the County’s website at Northumberland.ca/ProducerResponsibility and through the province at Ontario.ca/page/producer-responsibility-ontarios-waste-diversion-programs.