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Province Takes Action on Eco Fees

Archived News Release

Province Takes Action on Eco Fees

McGuinty Government Committed To Keeping Household Hazardous Waste Out Of Environment

The eco fees on consumer products that came into effect on July 1st have now been eliminated as the McGuinty government stepped in today and took action. While the Orange Drop program will continue, consumers will not pay fees that retailers have been adding to their bills.

Orange Drop locations and municipal collection depots will continue to accept these household hazardous materials for proper disposal.

On July 1, Stewardship Ontario expanded the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste program (Orange Drop) to include more waste, such as household cleaners, unused prescription drugs, and light bulbs. This important program is good for our environment, but consumers and retailers were not well informed about how the program works or the fees some retailers charged.

The McGuinty government has listened to consumers concerns about eco fees. As a result, it will work with businesses and Stewardship Ontario over the next 90 days to develop a new system that works for consumers and works to protect our landfills and waterways from dangerous materials.

In addition to eliminating these eco fees, the province will use a consumer-protection hotline effective tomorrow that Ontarians can call (1-800-889-9768 or TTY: 416-229-6086 or 1-877-666-6545) to report unfair fees.  

The government will also seek consumer input on the design of a new program.

Quick Facts

  • Stewardship Ontario is an industry-based, not-for-profit organization created in 2002 that established, funded and implemented the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste program.
  • This program has been diverting more than 20,000 tonnes of hazardous and special materials per year. It started in July 2008 to divert products like paints, solvents, used oil filters, anti-freeze and batteries from landfills and waterways.
  • On July 1, 2010, Stewardship Ontario expanded its program to include more wastes, such as aerosols, cleaners, thermometers, fluorescent lights and pharmaceuticals.


“I want to thank Ontarians for doing their part every day by recycling and composting. We all have a role to play in keeping dangerous materials out of our environment by diverting waste - but not at the expense of consumers' trust. That is why we are taking action now to address fees, increase consumer protection and completely review the program.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment

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