Komorowksi’s Korner – Ontario Government Scraps Eco Fees – Cornwall Ontario – October 20, 2010

Cornwall ON – Following the recent public outcry about the so-called eco-fees, designed to divert hazardous waste from landfill sites, the government has decided to scrap the new program.

The program, introduced last July 1, put what was in effect an “environmental tax” on certain potentially hazardous goods, such as dish soap and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Apparently lacking from the program, however, was an exact fee for each item, leaving it to the discretion of the retailer to charge whatever they wanted, with no visible assurance that the cash collected would ever be used for its purpose.

Provincial environment minister John Wilkinson today confirmed the permanent scrapping of the program.
However, fees which were in place prior to July 1, 2010 will continue as before. These goods include electronics, tires and household hazardous wastes such as paint and single-use batteries.

Importantly, the province will begin to provide funding to municipalities to properly manage, recycle and dispose of fire extinguishers, rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, needles, mercury-containing devices and pharmaceuticals.

“These changes will ensure that Ontario strikes the right balance between consumer protection and effectively managing waste that is harmful and hazardous to our families.”

What do you think Ontario?  You can post your comments below.
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4 Responses to "Komorowksi’s Korner – Ontario Government Scraps Eco Fees – Cornwall Ontario – October 20, 2010"

  1. smee   October 19, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    ” the province will begin to provide funding to municipalities to properly manage, recycle and dispose of fire extinguishers, rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, needles, mercury-containing devices and pharmaceuticals”

    A showing that the fees will somehow be collected, They have downloaded and in some cases to incompetent municipal governments.

    We could take a lesson from other countries including the emerging third world, if a company manufactures it must provide the funding to recycle or disposal.

    Here it is always the end user.

  2. Richard Komorowski   October 19, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    To Smee:

    You said: “We could take a lesson from other countries including the emerging third world, if a company manufactures it must provide the funding to recycle or disposal.

    Here it is always the end user.”

    Smee, it doesn’t matter who provides the funding for hazardous waste disposal, in the long run, it’s always going to be the end user, whether as the actual user, or the tax payer. If a company is held responsible for safe disposal of its product, the cost is going to be passed onto the customer. Whether or not that company does dispose of its hazardous product safely, or keeps some of the disposal money for its CEOs or shareholders, is another matter.
    If the company can’t or won’t dispose of its product safely, then the task becomes the government’s. Again, whether or not the government spends the disposal money properly is another matter.
    And again, not all big companies are even forced to take responsibility for their pollution. Are Domtar and Courtold’s held responsible for the highly toxic pollution they’ve left around Cornwall? Are the big oil companies held liable for all the tons of lead they dispersed into the atmosphere for most of the 20th century. Are the coal companies held responsible for the tons of lead, mercury, cadmium, thorium, radon, uranium etc. they spew out of chimneys on a daily basis. The answer is NO. If they were, nobody would be able to afford their products.

  3. Stan   October 20, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    Let me see if I can get this right……as long as I pay the ECO fees and taxes to the government, they won’t let the big companies poison me!

  4. smee   October 21, 2010 at 6:57 AM

    Look into it a little more Richard. End user fees the way we run them are a North American issue. We here are dumb enough to stand and take all the billing fees the government applies.

    Yes the cost of goods will go up if industry carries the primary cost and responsibility of what they produce, however if costs sky rocket we will not be able to purchase the goods thus making industry improve their standards to sell a product. It would actually provide the solution People like CCRI and the like are trying to achieve. Look at where most products are manufactured and what the costs are. It already seems a little askew.

    Right now CEO’s are already reaping the benefits of the so called Green Initiative. How much money do you think is earned by places like Food Basics, or Maynard’s on a simple product such as the bags needed to carry groceries, they re–coop that portion of their operating cost. Then we have tire recycling, Oil changes. We already pay for most of it at purchase and have for some time
    Do you think that GMC has a recycling plant or something similar to re use the scrap metal? Datsun and Hyundai (I believe was the two companies in the early 70’s 80’s) in their infancy had that kind of structure. Here we pay to have it recycled and it is sent to the wrecking yard and yet again sold for scraps. So fear not CEO’s are running the show still as government refuses to take a stand for fear of loosing votes.

    In Europe and yes Asia they manufacture cars and technology to last. Their processes are years ahead of us as well. That is a result of restrictions by government to follow a concept we are still trying to understand, Reuse Recycle Reduce. How long does your average North American product last? Here they produce disposable everything because they are not held accountable and yes because in North America it is always someone else’s fault responsibility and we are relatively ignorant.

    Another prime example of how poorly we run the money in Canada, When you purchase gasoline the taxes which about 14.7 cents per litre of unleaded gasoline plus 5% additional fees. The range varies by province from $0.09C to $020 and 7% to over 21% in additional taxes. If you run diesel it is slightly cheaper. Yet Imagine earning about 250 in taxes on one truck for every full up. Now take a look at how busy our roads are. Those taxes and fees are to be used for transportation issues. If we pay that much why are our roads in such poor condition.

    Another showing of how we are misled in the new green initiatives. We recently updated our home to gas, and the whole gambit for efficiency. I wanted to install a tank less water heater. The cost was about $3000 and the person installing claimed because they are relatively new they are not all the dependable. 30 years ago I was visiting family in Europe on the wall just beside the shower was a tank less water heater about the size of a show box. Why do we extort money from Canadians doing what the rest of the world has been doing for decades?

    Where in lies our environmental issues, government and the populous of Canada . Government refuses to dictate policy and pass it down to the public and we are dumb enough to accept it as status quo.

    If the CEO makes enough money for himself he spends the rets of it on business which in turn employs people. If we continue to pay fees to gevernment who knows where the money goes.

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