On November 30, 2016, Waste Diversion Ontario transitioned to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) proclaimed as part of the new Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016 that received Royal Assent in June. This means that RPRA, a new oversight, compliance, and enforcement organization, is now in operation under the direction of RPRA’s initial board of directors.
In the coming months RPRA will be developing a new website. In the meantime, stakeholders can find historical WDO documents and the Municipal Datacall information that were on the WDO website at https://rpra.ca. The old WDO website has now been closed.
The Waste Free Ontario Act is intended to be enabling legislation. As a consequence, it does not provide any details on the operation of diversion programs under the new scheme. This information vacuum makes it impossible for municipalities to pursue any definitive direction at this point in time. However, many municipalities have already recognized the need to prepare for change by exploring a variety of scenarios designed to generate a better understanding of the likely implications on their existing operations.
For some, this means examining the ultimate ownership of their collection/processing operations and assets and the appropriateness of making further capital investments during the transition period. For others it means rethinking planned changes to program operations, such as expansion of diversion services or new capital investments. (E.g. converting their program to autocart collection). At the very least, most municipalities have heard the CIF’s message that now, more than ever before, they need to understand their detailed program costs allocated by material and service. To assist municipalities, CIF reserved funds for EPR support projects and eight applications for funding were submitted under the 2016 REOI.
Applying financial analysis to operations
Evaluation of, and strategic planning for, individual programs and services is not practical at this time. However, many municipalities are seeing value in the cost allocation models being developed by CIF and have sought assistance in applying this sort of financial analysis to their operations. Others are seeking assistance in doing collective strategic planning.
The eight projects submitted break out into three broad categories:
- Business Case Strategies
- Full Cost Accounting Templates
- Toolkits For Transition
Full cost accounting templates were given top priority on the basis that they will have widespread utility and value in future program decision making regardless of a municipality leaning toward either retaining or exiting recycling operations. Other projects will deliver additional templates and tools to assist programs with valuation of assets and business case evaluations.
Much more to come
Five projects are now underway and the deliverables from those will be modified into standardized tools and made available for use by all Ontario municipalities.
During 2017, CIF has ambitious plans to publish many more additions to the Center of Excellence web pages including pages for EPR transition support. Stay tuned, we will notify you when the EPR pages go live and in the meantime, we are happy to receive your suggestions of what to include on those pages that will help you through the transition.
Contact CIF Staff
CIF staff is always ready to help. We encourage you to contact any member of the team to discuss your issues and questions or to help you find what you need.