In 2024, responsibility for blue box recycling collection and processing will transition from Peterborough County to producers of packaging and paper products.   

What is Producer Responsibility
Producer Responsibility means producers – the companies that design, create and market products and packaging – are fully responsible for managing and paying for the life cycle of their products and packaging. Producer Responsibility looks at the entire life-cycle of a product to ensure effective production and management of packaging to reduce overall waste. 
Why is this being implemented in Ontario? 

The province’s intention with this shift is to make recycling easier for people and to ensure that the recycling program remains viable over the long-term by: 

  • Ensuring a common collection system, province-wide 

  • Creating a standard list of materials that can be recycled across the province 

  • Saving taxpayers money by transitioning recycling programs from municipal management to producer management 

  • Promoting waste diversion by setting province-wide targets 

  • Innovating new and alternative collection methods to divert materials that currently can't be recycled in the blue box 

Timelines 

Peterborough County will transition on January 1, 2024.

The transition to Producer Responsibility in Ontario began July 1, 2023, with producers becoming fully responsible for providing recycling services province-wide by the end of 2025.  

The province has set out timelines for when each municipality will transition during this period. When our transition occurs next year, we will work closely with producers to ensure the seamless provision of recycling services for Peterborough County residents. 

In 2026, there will be new enhancements to the blue box program, including: 

  • Ontarians will be able to recycle more types of materials and this list of materials will be the same across the province for the first time 

  • There will be free blue box collection for schools (public, separate, and private that teach Kindergarten to Grade 12), non-profit retirement and long-term care homes, and multi-residential buildings (e.g., apartments and condos) that are not currently receiving blue box collection 

Who will be responsible for blue box collection? 

As of January 12024 in Peterborough County the companies that produce blue box materials sold in Ontario will be responsible and held accountable for collecting these materials and recycling them into new products. 

These companies, also known as Producers, will fulfill their regulatory obligations collectively through Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs). The PROs have come together to run a single, new, province-wide common collection system. The approved common collection system administrator is a non-profit company called Circular Materials. 

Circular Materials will be responsible for the collection of blue box materials from homes and residential buildings across Ontario, including the residential portion of mixed commercial and residential properties. 

Circular Materials will hold contracts with collection companies to pick up the blue box material. Details are still being worked out on which company will be the collection contractor in Peterborough County.

Keep an eye on Circular Materials' website for future information regarding collection.

How will this impact my recycling collection? 

Producers will be responsible for the collection of materials currently going into your blue boxes. The province has indicated that, once producers are fully responsible for the program, Ontarians will experience the same or improved access to recycling services across the province. Peterborough County will be communicating with residents throughout 2023, as more information becomes available, to support seamless transition of the local recycling system to producers by January 1, 2024. 

With this transition, Peterborough County will no longer directly offer blue box recycling services. The only change residents will see through the transition period is a new contact to call when you have questions, or concerns with your blue box pick up or when you need a new blue box. 

Stay tuned for future updates on the collection contractor and contact information.

Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional properties 

Industrial, commercial, and institutional (IC&I) waste is regulated separately from residential waste in Ontario. 

The producer led blue box program applies to residential and other eligible properties including schools, and non-profit long-term care and retirement homes, but excludes non-eligible sources such as businesses, places of worship, municipal buildings, daycares, commercial farms, charities, and campgrounds and trailer parks. These types of properties will not receive blue box collection funded by the producers under the new blue box program. 

Peterborough County Council has decided to continue to operate blue box collection for the non-eligible properties that the County has historically collected from. Peterborough County will continue to oversee blue box collection at these properties.