News

Toronto may kill polystyrene recycling program: CPIA

The City of Toronto is on the verge of killing its polystyrene recycling program, according to the Canadian Plastic...


Print this page

October 27, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

The City of Toronto is on the verge of killing its polystyrene recycling program, according to the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA).

According to the CPIA, the city may back away from its promise to collect all forms of polystyrene in blue bins.

“It will effectively destroy the program for all of Ontario,” said the association. “Other municipalities — even those who are currently participating — will no longer be able to recycle this material in Ontario.”

Over 115 municipalities across Ontario collect and recycle polystyrene, and the CPIA believes any move to kill the recycling program would lead to 20,000 tons of polystyrene in the waste stream.

“What a shame,” said Joe Hruska of the CPIA’s Environment and Plastics Industry Council (EPIC). “This is an enormous loss for the environment and a huge waste of taxpayers’ dollars.”

The CPIA notes that the private sector has invested nearly $21 million in polystyrene recycling facilities in Ontario, on top of the provincial government’s $500,000 in funding for research. Without Toronto, the companies will no longer be able to accept municipal box shipments, and will have to switch entirely to industrial recycling.

“Twenty years and millions invested in research and development have made Ontario a leader in polystyrene recycling,” said the Canadian Polystyrene Recycling Alliance’s (CPRA) president and CEO Sam Alavy. “But if Toronto decides not to recycle both used protective and food polystyrene packaging, that will be the end of the program.”

Toronto will move to recycling polystyrene in its blue bin program starting in 2009. City Councillor Glenn De Baeramaeker responded to the CPIA’s allegations, calling them “bizarre.”

Also, the Toronto Star quoted the city’s general manager of solid waste, who said that talks are currently in progress with two bidders.

Receive the latest news about the Canadian plastics industry in your inbox every Tuesday! Sign up for Canadian Plastics‘ free weekly newsletter.