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Erin council endorses system for deposit on plastic bottles

by Phil Gravelle

With hopes of reducing the amount of plastic in waterways, oceans and landfills, the Town of Erin will urge the Ontario government to institute a deposit system on plastic beverage containers.

The motion from councillor John Brennan passed without opposition on Oct. 2, despite lobbying by the Canadian Beverage Association (CBA), which says deposits could harm the blue box system.

“In the end we will have a self-financing system to remove plastic beverage containers from trash and current blue box home recycling programs,” said Brennan.

“Removing even 50 per cent of the plastic beverage containers currently going into landfills will have a positive impact on extending the life of landfill sites, thereby saving tax dollars.”

The initiative had been debated for several months, and Brennan originally proposed a 20-cent deposit, plus a one cent surcharge on manufacturers to fund the system. The final motion was not specific on these amounts.

The town has no authority over plastic bottles or the pumping of groundwater, but Brennan’s motion notes the town does derive a financial benefit from water taking, with Nestlé paying a voluntary levy on its Hillsburgh well operation.

The CBA has helped pay for new recycling bins throughout Erin and is running an education campaign called Recycle Everywhere. The town has contributed to the project using Nestlé funds.

Wellington County Solid Waste Manager Das Soligo had told council a deposit system, which could include aluminum cans, would significantly increase recycling rates and reduce litter, but be less convenient for consumers, more costly to operate and would slash revenue that currently supports the blue box system.

Brennan said with the province currently changing the system to make container producers fully responsible for recycling, revenue is less of an issue for municipalities.


October 12, 2018


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