Please note that effective September 15, 2022, Circular Materials acquired the operations of the Resource Recovery Alliance.

As we transition, updates will be provided.  In the meantime, the reporting resources posted on this website are still available and are in the process of being redirected to the Circular Materials website.  If you have any questions, please contact us at

CSSA News and Updates – October 2014

A Message from John Coyne

It has been my honour and great privilege over the past year to work on your behalf as Executive Chair of CSSA.

In the past year, CSSA has moved from a start-up faced with extremely high expectations from the steward community, to a fully operational, resourced, and structured organization designed to deliver one-stop service to help our stewards meet their EPR obligations in Canada. We have overcome some challenges along the way – but have also made great progress towards a national, harmonized approach to EPR.

We’ve had some very real accomplishments this past year that are worth celebrating. Of course, it is the natural instinct of all of us as stewards to focus on fees and the burden and complexity of reporting. However, it is important to step back and look at the ‘higher purpose’ to consider why we participate in stewardship programs. Certainly, we are obliged to comply with EPR laws, but more broadly, we participate to contribute positively to the reputation of our brands and to showcase our commitment to positive change – to living in a world where waste is a resource. Through our contribution and our efforts, the business community demonstrates that it can, should and will assume a responsibility to contribute meaningfully to addressing the environmental challenges that face all Canadians. If we look beyond operational tasks and focus on what we are really achieving, including the service we are providing to Canadians, we have a lot to be proud of. Not only are we enabling Canadians to manage packaging waste in an efficient and responsible way, but we are enabling the extraction of economic worth from discarded packaging – moving us toward a more circular economy.

With the introduction of two new stewardship programs for packaging and printed paper, Multi-Material BC (MMBC), which launched in May, and Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW), launching in January, 2015, CSSA’s family of recycling organizations now spans across four provinces. The realized savings of sharing administrative resources amongst our family of recycling organizations has saved stewards $3.6 million in stewardship fees in 2014, with a projected savings of $6.3 million annually by 2017.  CSSA expects these savings to increase exponentially as our national model continues to grow.

Together, we can make a positive difference in how Canadians recycle and provide greater access, availability and consistency across the country. On behalf of our stewards, CSSA is committed to building a sustainable future for all Canadians.

Second Annual Steward Meeting – Recap

Our second Annual Steward Meeting took place on October 15, 2014. With over 550 participants, both via webcast and in-person, this meeting was an opportunity to review:

  • CSSA’s accomplishments over the past year, including cost savings realized through harmonization;
  • Year over year program performance;
  • Implementation status for the MMSW program in Saskatchewan;
  • 2015 material fee schedules for MMBC, MMSW, MMSM, and directional fee scenarios for SO; and
  • Updates on progress in other provinces that are preparing to implement EPR programs for packaging and printed paper.

CSSA has achieved a substantial amount over the last year in its journey towards harmonization:

  • One-stop shop reporting and payment portal (WeRecycle Portal) for stewards;
  • National Steward Services call centre;
  • Ongoing steward training and information sessions;
  • National standards and benchmarks;
  • National material list;
  • A shared administrative back office to receive, review and pay service provider claims for all programs;
  • A national voice on EPR programs.

Materials from Annual Steward Meeting:

CSSA’s presence also continues to grow across Canada, and come January 1, 2015, with the launch of the MMSW program:

  • CSSA’s stewards will represent 1.2 million tonnes of packaging and printed paper put into the residential marketplace;
  • CSSA’s stewardship programs will serve 17.5 million people, or 50% of Canada’s population;
  • CSSA’s programs will achieve an average recycling rate of 67% across all provinces.

CSSA Welcomes New Board Members

In 2014, CSSA expanded its Board of Directors to include broader regional representation. CSSA welcomes Paul Hazra, VP of Corporate Services for Overwaitea Food Group, and Trevor Carlson, Director of Environmental Affairs for Federated Co-operatives Limited, to its Board ofDirectors. CSSA also welcomes Krista Scaldwell, VP of Public Affairs and Communications at Coca Coca Refreshments Canada, who is replacing Dave Moran who has served on the board for the last two years. Click here to read more about CSSA’s Board of Directors.

MMBC Update

The MMBC program officially launched on May 19, 2014. With four months of operations under its belt, MMBC is proud to announce that it is now servicing 1.25 million curbside and multi-family households (80% of BC households) and 20 communities in BC are now receiving curbside recycling for the first time.

  • Click here to view MMBC’s slides from the annual steward meeting
  • Click here to download the pre-read document
  • Click here to review MMBC’s fee schedule

Fall Advertising Campaign

MMBC will run a short advertising campaign (3 weeks) focused on specific materials in some areas where service is directly delivered by MMBC (Prince George, Quesnel, Trail, Castlegar, Vernon) using radio, digital and online.

BC Government Publishes Small Business Definition

As some stewards may be aware, MMBC has been waiting for the publication of a policy interpretation from the BC Ministry of Environment (MOE) regarding the definition of small businesses, particularly as it impacts franchisors/franchisees.

We will shortly be sending you more information about this, but in the meantime, you can read the government’s document, available here.

The Policy Interpretation: Small Producer Definition provides businesses with the information they need to help determine the following:

  • Are you a small business exempted from the Ministry’s regulation?
  • Are you an obligated business, but eligible to report as a low volume steward?
  • Are you an out-of-province franchisor, with franchisees in BC?
  • Are you a franchisee in BC who needs to let its out-of-province franchisor know about their obligation?

MMBC Small Business and Low Volume Steward Assessment Tool

To help stewards determine an estimate of the tonnage they supply into the BC residential waste stream, MMBC has developed an easy-to-use online assessment tool:

MMSW Update

MMSW is currently preparing for the launch of its program on January 1, 2015 – less than two short months away. To date, MMSW has 370 member stewards and 314 municipalities that have signed funding agreements.

  • Click here to view MMBC’s slides from the annual steward meeting
  • Click here to download the pre-read document
  • Click here to review MMSW’s fee schedule

Small Business Policy

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment  is currently conducting consultations on the proposed small business policy (click here to review the proposed policy). For more information, please or contact Stephanie Walton at: or 306-787-2916.

MMSM Update

In 2013, MMSM collected 10,000 more tonnes of material than in 2012 – a significant increase in the amount being recycled in the province. The recycling rate also rose from 54% to 63%, serving over 498,000 households in Manitoba.

  • Click here to view MMSM’s slides from the annual steward meeting
  • Click here to download the pre-read document

Promotion & Education

  • MMSM launched Bag up Manitoba – Plastic Bag Round up Challenge. For the fifth consecutive year, MMSM has partnered with “Take Pride Winnipeg!” and challenged students to recycle as many plastic bags as possible. From September 30 to November 1, students will collect plastic bags and bring them to school where they will be picked up and recycled into new products. Each school will receive a garden box for participating and 14 lucky schools will win a school bench made out of plastic bags. Last year over 37,000 students participated and more are expected to compete this year.
  • MMSM is proud to announce the 2014 Northern Community Clean-up Winner: Cormorant, Manitoba.  MMSM staff recently traveled up to Cormorant to host a celebratory BBQ for the winning community. Cormorant also received a blue box for each household.
  • MMSM partners with We Day Manitoba for the second consecutive year – On October 29, 2014, Free the Children will travel to Manitoba to host We Day 2014. MMSM will participate as a bronze sponsor. MMSM will also be including a mini blue box in each of the swag bags given to the 15,500 students in attendance, helping to spread the word about recycling and keep it front-of-mind.

Stewardship Ontario Update

In 2013, Stewardship Ontario saw an increase in its recycling rate from 62.8% to 65.8%, continuing to exceed the government mandated 60%. Stewardship Ontario’s Blue Box program currently serves over 5.2 million households across Ontario, representing 97% of the province.

  • Click here to view Stewardship Ontario’s slides from the annual steward meeting
  • Click here to download the pre-read document
  • Click here to review Stewardship Ontario’s fee setting scenarios

Arbitration Update

For the second year in a row, Stewardship Ontario is unable to produce a definitive fee schedule due to the unfinished arbitration over the methodology used to calculate the steward obligation. The dispute is centred on two things: whether the steward obligation is 50% of reported net costs, or 50% of the net cost calculated using best practice cost bands; and whether the use of ‘in-kind’ contributions by newspapers is permissible under the Waste Diversion Act.

The arbitrator is expected to issue a ruling before the end of the year. Stewardship Ontario presented two scenarios for fees at the annual steward meeting – click here to see the scenarios. Scenario 1 is based on the arbitrator agreeing with Stewardship Ontario’s position that stewards should pay to best practice cost, and scenario 2 is based on the arbitrator ruling in favour of stewards paying to municipal reported costs. The arbitrator could, however, rule somewhere in the middle of these scenarios. Therefore, these two scenarios are directional only. Once a decision is made, Stewardship Ontario will publish a finalized fee schedule for stewards.

Promotion & Education

Stewardship Ontario ran a number of awareness campaigns throughout the Fall, including:

  • Plastics Campaign
    • Campaign runs September -October, with adverts appearing on GO Transit trains and on radio stations across the province.  The campaign encourages consumers to recycle more plastic containers such as margarine tubs, laundry detergent bottles and plastic egg cartons
    • To listen to the radio ads, click here
  • Paper Campaign
    • Campaign runs August – October. Stewardship Ontario partnered with Central Ontario municipalities to encourage consumers to recycle more paper recyclables typically found in the bathroom, such as toothpaste tube boxes or toilet paper rolls
    • To listen to the radio ads, click here.

Looking Ahead: Alberta and Nova Scotia

Looking ahead, there are two provinces in Canada with movement towards EPR regulations – Alberta and Nova Scotia.

CSSA’s Executive Chair, John Coyne, recently visited Alberta and participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Recycling Council of Alberta. He noted a great deal of interest from stakeholders with respect to EPR legislation for packaging and printed paper; however, there are still a number of issues that require further consultation before a final recommendation can be put forward to Cabinet. For the time being, the Alberta government has decided that the upcoming changes to the Recycling Regulation will not include EPR requirements for packaging and printed paper. CSSA will continue to monitor developments and in the event that Alberta decides to move forward with EPR for packaging, it will advocate for a number of key elements, including:

  • A very clear description of all the parties’ roles and responsibilities – government, municipalities, stewards
  • Harmonization with other provinces on key program elements – eg. obligated parties, obligated materials
  • The need for government to allocate resources for enforcement of the regulation to ensure a level playing field

In late May, the Ministry of Environment in Nova Scotia released a consultation document on proposed changes to the Recycling Regulation. CSSA anticipates the release of a draft regulation sometime in 2015. CSSA has provided feedback to the Nova Scotia government on the proposed changes to the Recycling Regulation, again emphasizing the need for harmonization with other provincial programs across as many program elements as possible in order to ease the administrative and financial burden on stewards.


As ever, if you have any feedback or suggestions on what you’d like to see in future CSSA newsletters or any feedback in general, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line: