NGO letter to Premier to move ahead with waste policy - July 2015

In July, TEA and a number of environmental organizations from across Ontario submitted a joint letter to the Premier of Ontario urging her to move ahead with new waste legislation. 

Read the letter here

July 15, 2015

The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, MPP
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Wynne,

Re: Waste Reduction and Resource Recovery Act

The undersigned environmental and health organizations fully support your government’s desire to move forward with a new Waste Reduction and Resource Recovery Act. We have been actively participating in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s stakeholder consultations regarding the proposed policy framework for a new Waste Reduction and Resource Recovery Act. Based on the information shared by the Ministry on this proposed legislation, we believe it will not only benefit the environment and human health, but also help build a strong circular economy in Ontario.

We believe the proposed policy framework is an important first step in the right direction. We are writing to urge your government to move forward on drafting and tabling new waste policy for the Province of Ontario on this urgent environmental and climate change issue.

As we have outlined in previous submissions from Ontario’s active environmental and health community on waste policy, we are looking for fundamental principles for a new Waste Reduction and Resource Recovery Act:

  • Clear hierarchy of waste reduction and resource recovery that pushes for the highest and best use of materials and resources
  • Producers be made fully responsible for reducing, reusing and recycling wastes associated with their products
  • Producers be made subject to strictly enforced environmental performance targets and standards
  • Transparency and public accountability of any delegated administrative authority 
  • Ministry of Environment & Climate Change retains inspection and enforcement functions as opposed to transferring them to a delegated administrative authority
  • Polluter pays – individual producer responsibility with no transfer of liability
  • Producers are responsible for addressing waste from all sectors and all geographical regions across Ontario
  • We support the use of disposal bans, levies and deposit-return systems to achieve the highest and best use of all resources and reduce waste disposal

We see many of these principles reflected in the proposed policy framework, except the principle that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change should retain inspections and enforcement functions, and urge the government to move forward with developing an act that incorporates these principles.

To further elaborate on these principles, and the urgency on moving on this legislation now, the undersigned groups request a meeting at your earliest convenience. Please contact Emily Alfred, Waste Campaigner for the Toronto Environmental Alliance at 416 596 0660.

We look forward to the draft legislation, and working with the Government to ensure that environmental and public health interests are protected in this crucial legislation.


Toronto Environmental Alliance (Emily Alfred, Waste Campaigner)
Canadian Environmental Law Association (Ramani Nadarajah, Counsel)
Citizens’ Network on Waste Management (John Jackson, Coordinator)
Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario (Derek Coronado, Coordinator)
Environmental Defence Canada (Keith Brooks, Director, Clean Economy Program)
Environment Hamilton (Lynda Lukasik, Executive Director)
Greenpeace Canada (Joanna Kerr, Executive Director)
Ontario Zero Waste Coalition (Liz Benneian, Founder)
Recycling Council of Ontario (Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director)

Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
Ontario Liberal MPPs