The Regional Municipality Of York


A step in the recycling direction: York Region continues to support a waste-free future in Ontario

Region advocates for improvements to the municipal Blue Box program

Newmarket – .The Regional Municipality of York reaffirmed its commitment to pursuing a zero-waste future as set out in the Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016 by advocating for early transition to full producer responsibility before the current provincial target of 2023.

The Act includes plans to divert even more waste from landfills by reexamining what gets recycled through municipal Blue Box programs and how they are managed.

“York Region and other stakeholders have been advocating for improvements to the Blue Box Program for a number of years,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “While the new legislation will make producers fully responsible for managing their products and packaging, it may also motivate these companies towards more sustainable choices such as reducing the amount of packaging they use, or incorporating more recycled content into their wrapping before it lands in the Blue Box.”

Currently, the cost to operate the Blue Box Program in Ontario is split 50/50 between municipal governments and the companies that produce the packaging and paper products placed in the Blue Box for recycling. The current model costs Ontario municipalities about $130 million a year to operate.

The proposed changes set out in Ontario’s Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016, intend to:

  • Encourage more innovative packaging design
  • Reduce packaging waste and overall environmental impact
  • Result in cost-savings for municipalities
  • Improve the recycling program experience

“York Region continues to lead among large municipalities in Ontario for waste diversion and recently ranked highest overall in the province with a diversion rate of 65 per cent,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of Environmental Services. “As the plans for a provincial waste strategy continue to take shape, York Region remains committed to a smooth and timely transition to full producer responsibility, which fully engages our residents and supports a healthy environment.”

Residents throughout York Region communities continue to demonstrate strong commitment to waste diversion efforts by supporting the many programs and initiatives that have been put in place.

York Region will continue to engage and work with our local cities and towns the province to provide a Regional perspective on issues related to the Waste-Free Ontario Act while delivering a Blue Box Program that meets the needs and best interest of our communities.

For information on waste reduction initiatives in York Region, please visit and to learn about reuse, recycling and disposal options for unwanted items, visit

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 51,000 businesses with 620,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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Media Contact:
Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Corporate Communications,
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone:  1-877-464-9675 ext. 77272 or
Cell: 905-251-6416

York Region; waste; The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release