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July 03, 2007

Ontario’s 3Rs Regulations: Ramping Up Inspections of Businesses for 3Rs Compliance

Ontario’s MOE is hiring 10 new environmental enforcement officers to “focus on waste diversion” in business and industry.

In 2006 the MOE ramped up inspections for compliance with the 3Rs regs, inspecting 260 companies (finding 92.7% non-compliance). The 10 new provincial officers will be focused on compliance in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors with waste audit and workplan regulations and source separation regulations. These regulations were passed in 1994, but ignored for more than a decade.

In its 2006 actions, the MOE used a voluntary approach. Letters were sent to the non-complying companies. Those who did not respond were issued provincial officer orders. Several companies, that failed to comply with the orders were referred to Investigations and Enforcement (IEB) for potential prosecution.

The tone of the latest press release suggests that this voluntary compliance approach will likely continue for some time.

Companies who want to minimize government intervention should review compliance with O. Reg. 102/04 (Waste Audits and Waste Reduction Workplans www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Regs/English/940102_e.htm.pdf and 103/04 (Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Source Separation Programs www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Regs/English/940103_e.htm).

This new emphasis on diversion follows the formal proposal in June by the province to adopt 60% diversion as official government policy.

Resources:

MOE report on 2006 IC&I 3Rs Inspections (June 2007)www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/publications/6307e.pdf

MOE guidance documents on waste audits, workplans and IC&I Source Separationhttp://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/publications/forms/index.php#AuditandReduction.