Ontario's updated blue box program to be phased in starting in 2023

blue box

Ontario has finalized its plans to expand the list of items accepted in blue boxes as it moves to standardize recycling programs across the province.

Environment Minister Jeff Yurek announced the government has concluded consultations and will move forward with a plan that has been in development for years.

It will standardize the blue box program across more than 250 municipalities and shift the cost to operate it from communities to waste producers - a move it estimates will save $156 million a year.

Yurek says the program will also now mean additional items will be accepted in blue boxes including plastic cups, foils, trays and bags.

Single use items such as stir sticks, straws, cutlery and plates will also be permitted in blue bins under the proposal.

The program will be phased in starting in 2023 in Toronto, London, Kenora, and the Town of Hawkesbury.