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McGuinty Government Takes Action To Reduce Landfill Waste In Ontario

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McGuinty Government Takes Action To Reduce Landfill Waste In Ontario

New Container Return Program Means Cleaner Environment, Savings For Municipalities

Office of the Premier

Consumers will soon be able to return wine and spirit containers for a refund, which will mean less waste going to landfills and lower recycling costs for municipalities, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced today.

"Ontarians have shown a tremendous dedication to the Blue Box program," said Premier McGuinty. "This new container return program is an important step forward in our commitment to work with Ontarians and our partners in government and industry to build clean, healthy, vibrant communities across the province."

In February 2007, Ontario consumers will begin paying a deposit when they purchase wine and spirits. They can then return empty wine and spirit containers to The Beer Store for a full refund. The Beer Store already operates one of the most successful container return programs in the world.

This program will help divert about 25,000 to 30,000 additional tons of glass from landfills. That's equivalent to about 80 million bottles The new container return program will also free up space in Blue Boxes, giving municipal governments the opportunity to expand recycling programs.

"On the 25th anniversary of the Blue Box, we're pleased to be moving forward with this important new environmental initiative," said Laurel Broten, Minister of the Environment. "We know Ontarians want to contribute to a clean, healthy environment and this is a great way for them to do that."

"LCBO deposit return makes good sense environmentally and economically," said Doug Reycraft, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. "This initiative will enhance environmental protection in Ontario and improve the efficiency of the Blue Box program."

"The Recycling Council of Ontario applauds Premier McGuinty for demonstrating leadership, especially at this time when we need to increase waste diversion and decrease materials sent to landfill," said Joanne St. Godard, Executive Director of the Recycling Council of Ontario. "Deposit-return systems have proven their worth when it comes to maximizing the reuse and recycling of bottles. The Recycling Council of Ontario believes the proposed deposit-return system is a good step towards extended producer responsibility in this province."

Introducing a new container return program is just one way the McGuinty government is working on the side of Ontario families who want a cleaner environment and strong, vibrant communities.

Other initiatives include:

  • Creating Ontario's Greenbelt, which protects 1.8 million acres of greenspace for families to enjoy for years to come
  • Closing down the coal-fired Lakeview Generating Station -- the equivalent of removing 500,000 cars from our roads
  • Bringing forward environmental penalties legislation to make polluters pay for spills.

"Finding ways to reduce waste is one of the most important issues facing municipalities across Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "We're going to continue to work with our municipal partners to boost waste diversion efforts so Ontario families can enjoy living in healthy communities for generations to come."

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