What is CSSA?

CSSA is a national stewardship organization representing Canadian businesses for the products they sell to consumers. CSSA works on behalf of its stewards to operate effective, efficient, accessible and convenient recycling programs for consumers. CSSA is a non-profit organization founded to deliver recycling services, and implement a shared and harmonized administrative and customer service business infrastructure for stewards of extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs and provincial producer responsibility organizations in Canada.

Why is CSSA needed?

CSSA is the first national organization to provide Canadians with packaging and printed paper recycling solutions across several provinces on behalf of stewards. As a national organization, CSSA is also able to offer stewards a harmonized way to manage multiple recycling programs across jurisdictions whether fully or partially-funded by industry.

CSSA`s goal is to make it easy and seamless for businesses to meet their stewardship obligations across Canada. In 2013, CSSA began the process of harmonizing the administration of stewardship program requirements across provinces. A national material list has been developed, and steward reporting takes place through one electronic portal. The four packaging and printed paper programs include British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario – under a single administrative umbrella, in addition to Ontario’s Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste and Automotive Materials Stewardship Programs.

CSSA is also the first organization to develop national standards and benchmarks for controlling steward costs and take measures to align various provincial programs across standard financial and other performance benchmarks.

Who backs CSSA?

CSSA was founded by leading Canadian retailers and manufacturers and is industry led and industry funded. CSSA works on behalf of businesses and in partnership with provincial and local governments, and the waste management sector, to provide packaging and printed paper recycling services to nearly 20 million Canadians.

What is the organization’s aim?

CSSA has developed a streamlined infrastructure to enable stewards to fulfill their corporate social responsibility obligations, as well as their legal and financial obligations under the stewardship programs they belong to. As part of this effort, CSSA is helping to establish and build more convenient and environmentally sustainable ways for consumers to dispose of their packaging and printed paper.

CSSA also works towards advancing the harmonization of EPR programs nationwide, and advocate for a nationally harmonized approach to EPR policy and regulations.

How will CSSA benefit its stewards?

CSSA delivers environmentally and financially sustainable recycling programs that are accessible and convenient for Canadian consumers, clearly demonstrating to consumers the commitment stewards have to helping them recycle more easily. In addition, CSSA provides one-stop-stop convenience for registration, reporting and payment of stewardship obligations. Businesses need interface with only one national organization to discharge all their provincial legal and financial obligations, saving considerable time, money and resources. CSSA will also work to develop national standards and benchmarks for controlling steward fees and take measures to align various provincial programs across standard financial and other performance benchmarks.

What is CSSA going to do to make recycling easier and more convenient for Canadians?

CSSA delivers clear and useful information to Canadians about their recycling services, ensuring Canadians gain a better understanding of how companies are taking responsibility for recovering their printed paper and packaging after use. Economies of scale achieved through a nationally coordinated recycling program allows for research and investment in technologies that will result in consumers being able to recycle a wider variety of materials through the recycling system.

What will happen to the provincial organizations currently responsible for recycling programs

Provincial organizations still exist and are CSSA’s on-the-ground operational support. Most stewardship programs are provincially mandated and regulated, so local stewardship organizations will still be responsible for fulfilling provincial compliance obligations.  Each province still has a dedicated local office whose primary responsibility will be to interface with local stakeholders and regulatory authorities, as well as manage supply chain and recycling program operations on the ground. CSSA provides the primary interface with stewards and provincial offices with administrative services and support to ensure provincial stewardship organizations are able to deliver their EPR program obligations as effectively as possible.

What’s the relationship between CSSA and the provincial organizations?

CSSA is a shared services organization with a traditional head office/branch office model. Each of the provincial offices is a member of the CSSA family of recycling organizations. This model allows CSSA to focus on delivering more convenient recycling options to Canadians, managing strategy, process and administrative harmonization, and allows the provincial stewardship organizations to focus on supply chain execution, local promotion and education activities, and regulatory affairs.

Will costs to stewards be increased with CSSA taking over provincial programs?

CSSA is designed to deliver administrative harmonization and simplification for stewards including one-stop-shop convenience for reporting and payment obligations. This streamlined approach to fulfilling multiple stewardship obligations results in financial savings which are accrued to the stewards. An estimated $3.6 million a year can be saved by businesses involved in stewardship programs through the sharing of front and back office activities among all stewardship programs in Canada. Added to this is an additional cost avoidance of $1.5 to $3 million per new program coming online.

Why isn’t EEQ part of CSSA?

While EEQ is not currently a member of CSSA, CSSA is committed to ongoing dialogue with EEQ in the hopes that the benefits delivered by CSSA in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia might soon be extended to Quebec.

For further information, please email info@cssalliance.ca or call 1-888-980-9549.