For immediate Release: 8 September, 2015
The decision of Minister Younger to delay for ‘at least one year’ a decision on the proposed “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR) regulations under development by his predecessor, Minister Delorey, suggests that the Minister is taking the advice of only one stakeholder as he relegates the province’s once world-leading recycling program to second-class status.
“The proposed regulations would have had the effect of encouraging greater levels of recycling at lower cost and of creating local jobs in the recycling sector*,” said Mark Butler, Policy Director at the Ecology Action Centre. “We understood that there were some design challenges with EPR, but the Minister after meeting with CFIB has effectively buried the program without hearing from other stakeholders who are supportive or at least open to making EPR work.” EPR programs are now up and running in Ontario, Quebec and BC and have the support of most stakeholders in those jurisdictions.
The result of the Minister’s announcement is that more waste will go to landfills, and the opportunity will be lost to reduce the costs of - and taxes associated with - waste management, including recycling. EPR is a cornerstone of modern, successful and cost effective recycling and already underpins recycling programs such as the electronics recycling program in Nova Scotia.
At a forum implemented by the Ecology Action Centre in July 2015 the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) stated that its members could live with the proposed EPR regulations if they included a reasonable phase-in period and provisions to minimize impact on the smallest businesses - both of which the Ecology Action Centre supported and continues to support.
Mr. Butler noted that the Department of the Environment had implemented a wide-ranging and detailed consultation with stakeholders across Nova Scotia since the spring of 2014 concerning the proposed EPR regulations. He further noted that national industry stakeholders had expressed support for the main elements of the proposed regulations, and that if local businesses were not aware of the proposed regulations it was because the entities that represent them - such as CFIB - had failed to communicate with their members.
Mr. Butler expressed hope that the Minister would meet with all stakeholders and/or convene a meeting of all stakeholders to come up with a solution that didn’t involve ‘at least a year’s’ delay.
For further information:
Mark Butler, Policy Director, Ecology Action Centre-902-429-5287 or 266-5401(cell)
Doug Hickman-Solid Waste Expert, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Up to 850 jobs and 150 million in revenue could be created if NS recycled rather than disposed of waste.
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