The City of Thunder Bay currently operates one full time Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) depot at the Solid Waste and Recycling Facility for residential use only. The depot is open the same operating hours as the Solid Waste and Recycling Facility.
Stewardship Ontario is the Industry Funding Organization responsible for the development and implementation of the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program for Waste Diversion Ontario and provides funding for the collection, transportation and processing of household hazardous waste materials. The program was structured in three phases, with Phase 1 materials of the program being implemented on July 1, 2008.
On December 8, 2008 City Council approved the City of Thunder Bay to enter into a Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste Shared Responsibility Agreement with Stewardship Ontario, which was in effect from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2011 for reimbursement of post collection costs associated with Phase 1 materials (i.e. the cost of transporting, recycling and/or disposing of the materials). Under Phase 1 of the program, the City of Thunder Bay was still responsible for the cost of collecting Phase 1 materials (i.e. cost of operating our depot) and the full cost of managing Phase 2 and 3 materials .
On September 22, 2009 the Minister of the Environment approved the Consolidated Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste program plan. This new plan was to be implemented on July 1, 2010 and would make Stewardship Ontario fully responsible for collection and post collection costs of all Phase 1, 2 and 3 materials. As a result of the controversy surrounding ‘Eco-Fees’ being charged to certain products at retail outlets after the program launched, the Minister of the Environment cancelled the Consolidated Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste program plan on October 12, 2010. Following the ‘Eco-Fee’ controversy, the Province indicated it would cover the costs for managing Phase 2 materials, municipalities would be responsible for Phase 3 and the Stewards (i.e. the companies that manufacture and market MHSW products) would remain fully responsible for Phase 1 materials.
In June, 2011, the “New Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste Services Agreement” for the collection of Phase 1 materials was provided to municipalities, including the City of Thunder Bay. This agreement was to provide municipalities payment of a per hour rate to collect Phase 1 materials at their depots or special events. Due to the concerns raised by Municipalities and Industry Organizations about key terms and language contained within the agreements, Stewardship Ontario extended the deadline to which municipalities had to sign the agreements. Stewardship Ontario refused to negotiate non-financial terms with individual municipalities, but agreed to negotiate these terms with a negotiating team comprised of members of the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario (RPWCO), Municipal Waste Association (MWA) and Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).
As a result of those negotiations, an “Amending Agreement - New Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste Services Agreement” was received by the City of Thunder Bay on March 6, 2012. The Amending Agreement addressed a number of the key concerns raised by municipalities, including reporting and payment timelines, confidentially language, and termination rights. The Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario (RPWCO), Municipal Waste Association (MWA) and Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) have recommended to its members to sign the New MHSW Agreement and the Amending Agreement. Together, both these agreements outline the municipality’s obligations under this program. The City’s legal counsel has reviewed these agreements on behalf of the City of Thunder Bay and has no concerns.
Stewardship Ontario has indicated to municipalities that in order to receive reimbursement for MHSW services performed between July 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011, and to secure future funding for collection costs for Phase 1 materials, one original signed copy of the New MHSW Agreement and signed Amending agreement if desired, must be submitted to Stewardship Ontario. The City of Thunder will be paid retroactively to July 1, 2011 at the rates set out in the new agreement.