Businesses have the choice to recover the cost of recycling their products by incorporating those costs into the overall cost of their product (as they do with other costs, such as materials, labour, other regulatory compliance costs, etc.) or by charging it as a separate fee to consumers.

Environmental fees on batteries, electronics, hazardous and special products or tires are not mandatory and are applied at the discretion of the business charging them, including the amount of the fee.

Consumer protection laws in Ontario require that the purpose of a visible fee cannot be misrepresented. This means that if a business decides to charge an environmental fee on batteries, electronics, hazardous and special products or tires, the fee:

  • must reflect the business’ actual cost of recycling the product; and
  • cannot be presented as a government tax, an RPRA fee or something similar.

There are additional rules in the tires regulation about visible fees related to recycling tires. For information about the rules for charging recycling fees on tires, refer to the compliance bulletin Charging Tire Fees to Consumers.

There is no set environmental fee for any product. The amount of the fee charged is decided by the business and must reflect the actual cost of recycling that product.

The tires regulation has specific rules about how a visible fee is communicated to consumers, and how tire retailers and producers must document and report on their use of visible fees. Refer to the compliance bulletin Charging Tire Fees to Consumers for details.

No. An environmental fee is not a government tax and cannot be represented as mandatory, a regulatory charge, or an RPRA fee. It is a fee charged at the discretion of a business to recover their costs related to recycling the product.

If you are a consumer and believe that the purpose of a fee is being misrepresented, contact the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services directly at 1-800-889-9768.

If you are concerned about the fee you were charged, you should contact the business that charged you the fee to request a more detailed explanation of how the fee was determined.

If you are concerned about a tire handling fee, you can contact the Compliance and Registry Team at and our team will review to ensure that the rules for charging tires fees were followed.