New guidance on changing Blue Box service levels during transition

As part of the transition of the current Blue Box program operated by Stewardship Ontario, the Authority has developed an approach to assist municipalities and First Nation communities in determining if changes they plan to make to their Blue Box service levels will be eligible for funding under the current program.

The Authority has worked with stakeholders through the Municipal Industry Program Committee (MIPC) Transition Subcommittee to develop the following guidance:

  • Updated Datacall User Guide to reflect new conditions for cost eligibility where changes to programs lead to cost increases (e.g. changes in collection type, method and frequency, and accepted materials). This applies to changes made to services on or after January 1, 2020.
  • A new “pre-approval” option to enable municipalities and First Nation communities to confirm cost eligibility prior to implementing a change to Blue Box services. Municipalities and First Nation communities that are contemplating changes to Blue Box services may submit their proposed changes to RPRA (via Blue Box Service Change Assessment Form) for assessment of potential funding impacts.

The Authority will also closely monitor any changes to programs that do not generate cost increases but may impact the consumer experience and report the data through its annual Datacall report. This will be implemented in 2021, reviewing the trends of the 2020 operational year.

Municipalities and First Nation communities that have questions related to changes in Blue Box services can contact the Datacall Team at datacall@rpra.ca.

Datacall Training Tool

We’ve developed a new Training Tool to assist you with the completion of the Datacall. This tool is for anyone new to Datacall or who would like a refresher.  You can walk through the tool before you begin filling out the Datacall, or you can have it open in a second window while you complete each Datacall section.

Need more help? If you need more help completing your Datacall submission, review the Datacall User Guide.

What is the Datacall?

The Datacall is the source of data for determining the net Blue Box system cost and for allocating funding under the Blue Box Program Plan. Each Ontario program (municipality, recycling association or First Nation) providing recycling services must complete the Datacall to be eligible for Blue Box funding.

We also use the Datacall to determine residential waste diversion rates by program and the province overall.

Who completes the Datacall?

A program should complete the Datacall if it provided Blue Box collection (curbside or depot) and/or processing services to its residents in the previous year and if all the tonnes, costs and revenue associated with these services are not reported by another program.

Programs should also report the following municipally-managed residential solid waste management services (if applicable) in the Standard Datacall:

  • Other (non-blue box) recyclable materials collection and/or processing
  • Organic collection and/or processing
  • Municipal hazardous or special waste collection
  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment collection
  • Garbage collection and/or disposal

What is the Short-form Datacall?

The Short-form Datacall is a shorter and streamlined version of the Standard Datacall introduced in 2016 and available to all programs with a population under 30,000. Eligible programs using the Short-form Datacall do not have to report any non-Blue Box information.

While the Short-form Datacall collects the necessary data for calculating the municipal Blue Box funding, programs that would like to have their diversion rate calculated will need to complete the Standard Datacall.