Regulatory Affairs
March 23, 2021

UPDATE – ON: Government recycling regulation – Stray cylinders

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As members were recently informed, on February 11, 2021 the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks posted the proposed Hazardous and Special Products (HSP) regulation, under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act to transition the Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste Program to full producer responsibility.

As part of this proposal, and reflective of the CPA’s advocacy efforts on industry’s behalf, the ministry is considering exempting refillable propane cylinders from significant aspects of the new regulatory regime. 

The proposed regulation sets out four defined categories of hazardous and special products, as well as different responsibilities that the producers of these products must undertake. Propane cylinders are captured in Category A or B as follows:

Product Categories Products Producer requirements
Category A
  • Oil filters
  • non-refillable pressurized containers
  • Consumer accessibility
  • Promotion and education
  • Management targets
  • Properly recycle or dispose of any Category A products collected.
Category B
  • Antifreeze (including factory-fill antifreeze)
  • Empty oil containers
  • Paints, pesticides & solvents
  • Refillable pressurized containers
  • Consumer accessibility
  • Promotion and education
  • Properly recycle or dispose of any Category B products collected.*

*The ministry is proposing to exempt propane (Category B) that is marketed in refillable pressurized propane containers from collection, management or promotion and education requirements in recognition of their long lifespan (refilled and reused for many years) and existing closed-loop collection system for these products. They continue to seek input and feedback to better understand the current management and recovery of these products and implications if these products were to be exempt from regulatory requirements.

Before going forward to exempt refillable pressurized containers, the ministry is requesting more information on how Ontario propane businesses manage propane cylinder exchange and end of life disposal.

As well, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario contacted the CPA on March 4, 2021, looking for answers on how the industry will be managing “stray” cylinders collected by municipalities. The association’s extrapolated estimates from municipal site operations show approximately 170 tonnes (170,000 kg) of refillable propane cylinders were collected through municipal sites in 2019.  The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority’s  2019 Annual Report indicates that Stewardship Ontario collected 415 tonnes of refillable pressurized containers.

CPA’s proposed “Stray” Cylinder Plan:

In order to demonstrate good stewardship management practices to the ministry and to ensure the Association of Municipalities Ontario supports our proposal for the exemption, the CPA will be proposing member businesses a management plan to present to the minister. The CPA will engage members and will also continue to inform the Association.

If unsuccessful, this will lead to our industry having to be responsible for managing all pressurized containers. The regulation proposes a ‘hierarchy of responsible producers’ based on resident status in Canada and Ontario as follows:

  1. Brand holder – resident in Canada
  2. First importer – resident in Ontario
  3. First marketer – resident in Ontario
  4. Marketer (if no resident in Ontario) – Based on the ERO posting, this would include out-of-province retailers that supply HSP to consumers through the internet.

Obligations can be passed up or down the hierarchy if there is a written agreement between a producer and a volunteer organization. While this provides producers with flexibility to meet obligations, the legal liability remains with the first producer under the hierarchy.

We will be seeking your input on the management plan. The plan will be shared with members doing business in Ontario. Please share your ideas and comments with by March 26, 2021.

The regulation is available here.

The CPA continues to ask members to provide Riddell with a brief description of their current operating practices for cylinder reuse, recycling and end of life disposal to present to ministry representatives. Please send your feedback to Riddell by March 26.


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