Ontario’s new Orange Drop program to reduce waste

SOSignOff.gifTorontoStewardship Ontario, the industry organization responsible for the Blue Box program and the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program, has launched Orange Drop, a new program designed to help make managing hazardous and special waste materials easier for Ontario consumers to understand and to do.

In addition to including 22 waste materials that have been designated for collection and recycling or safe disposal, the program intends to make “the drop” more accessible for consumers by adding more drop off options and locations.

International Recycle Symbol
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“Our mandate”, says Stewardship Ontario CEO, Gemma Zecchini, “is to develop, implement and continuously improve recycling programs that are both environmentally and economically sustainable.”

Orange Drop builds upon the original 2008 MHSW program, which introduced nine waste material categories, including products such as paints and solvents that were designated for environmentally safe recycling and disposal.

As of July 1, 2010, thirteen new categories, covering thousands of products,  have been added to the Orange Drop list which now includes: batteries, pharmaceuticals, sharps and syringes, aerosol containers, antifreeze, drain cleaners and other corrosives, spot removers and other irritants, fertilizers, fire extinguishers, fuels and other flammables, fluorescents, moth balls and other leachate toxics, thermometers and other mercury containing devices, oil containers, oil filters, paint and coatings, pesticides, pressurized containers, metal powders and other reactives and adhesives and other toxics.

“Orange Drop is designed to raise awareness about what is considered a hazardous or special waste and to encourage Ontarians to make returning these items part of their regular recycling routine,” said Lyle Clarke, Vice President, Operations, at Stewardship Ontario. “This new program makes it easier for consumers to properly dispose of these waste materials by expanding both the number of materials and the number of drop-off locations.  Several new retail partners have joined the program as collection sites or “drop zones” for specific materials such as batteries, paint and pharmaceuticals. As well, we will have more collection events designed to accommodate under serviced areas.”

Ontarians will now have access to:

  • 92 municipal recycling depots  – collecting all 22 materials
  • 238 retail collection sites  – for paint and batteries
  • 500 retail collection sites  – just for batteries
  • 2700 pharmacies  – for pharmaceuticals, sharps and syringes

Approximately 217 collection events have also been organized across the province in the coming months to give consumers other opportunities for returning these materials,
“The Orange Drop program is the most comprehensive hazardous and special waste program in North America. By collecting a variety of materials under one umbrella, we are able to take advantage of economies of scale and achieve more cost effective and performance driven processing and recycling, “adds Clarke.

Items collected through the Orange Drop program will be sent to designated centres to be reprocessed into new materials. Items that cannot be recycled will be disposed of in the most safe and environmentally friendly way.

To help educate Ontarians about the Orange Drop program, a mobile education tour will be travelling the province talking to consumers at lifestyle events and fairs.

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