What We Do

We play a leading role in supporting the Government of Ontario’s strategy for building a circular economy and achieving a waste-free Ontario.

Our primary responsibility is to enforce the requirements for producers to be responsible and accountable for their products and packaging at the end of their life cycle, as outlined in the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016.

We are also responsible for overseeing the ongoing operation of current waste diversion programs and the orderly wind up of those programs and associated industry funding organizations under the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016. Read our Wind-up Guide to learn more.

Learn more about Ontario’s Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario and the current waste diversion programs we oversee:

Strategy for a Waste-free Ontario

Ontario continues to generate more and more waste—nearly a tonne of waste per person every year—75% of which ends up in landfills. To change how we manage waste, we must change our thinking.

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Blue Box Waste

Recyclable materials—such as paper, glass, plastic, and aluminum—are collected from residences in over 240 municipalities and First Nations communities as part of Ontario’s Blue Box program. Stewardship Ontario is the not-for-profit, industry-funded organization that operates Ontario's Blue Box program on behalf of industry stewards (first importers, brand owners or franchisors) of products and packaging that end up in residential blue boxes.

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Electronic Waste

End-of-life electronics, from smartphones and tablets to photocopiers and desktop computers, are managed through the Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment Program operated by the Ontario Electronic Stewardship. The program allows residents and businesses to safely dispose of electronics at authorized collection depots, return-to-retail locations and at special collection events.

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Hazardous and Special Waste

The Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste Program we oversee allows Ontario residents to safely dispose of household products that require special handling, such as single-use batteries and propane tanks. We also oversee Industry Stewardship Organizations responsible for recovering additional hazardous waste products, including automotive materials, paints, and solvents.

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Automotive tires in landfills pose a significant risk to public safety and to the environment. We oversee the Used Tires Program operated by Ontario Tire Stewardship to keep passenger and light truck, medium truck and off-the-road tires out of landfills so that they can be reused and recycled.

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