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[GreenYes] As of Feb 2007 - Deposits on wine & liquor in Ontario


Ontario to start deposit-return system for all liquor, wine containers next

Keith Leslie

Canadian Press

Sunday, September 10, 2006

BRAMPTON, Ont. (CP) - Premier Dalton McGuinty had few details Sunday as he
announced Ontario would start charging deposits on all liquor and wine
containers sold through Liquor Control Board stores as of next February.

McGuinty said the deposit-return system would apply to all liquor and wine
bottles, cans and soft-sided containers sold through the LCBO and wine
stores, and that empties would be returned to local Beer Stores for a

"It's simple, it's straightforward," he told staff at the Beer Store
distribution centre in Brampton. "We're going to take advantage of a Beer
Store infrastructure. It'll be consumer friendly, and it'll be great for the

McGuinty couldn't say how much of a deposit would be charged on liquor and
wine containers, but said it would be comparable to other provinces -
between 10 and 40 cents a container, depending on the size.

He also couldn't say how much the Beer Store would be paid to handle all of
the empty liquor and wine bottles, cans and cartons, but admitted they
wouldn't be doing it "out of the goodness of their hearts" because of the
costs involved.

"The single most important thing that Ontarians need to know is that we have
come kicking and screaming out of the dark ages when it comes to LCBO
containers," he said.

"It's the concept here that's really important to Ontarians."

The Premier also couldn't say if the LCBO will have to keep paying $5
million a year towards the blue box program, which was in lieu of having a
deposit-return system for empties.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario - whose members split the cost
of the blue box program with companies like the LCBO - applauded the new
deposit-return system Sunday.

AMO estimates Ontario property taxpayers pay about $23 million a year to
collect, process and market glass containers sold by the LCBO that end up in
blue boxes.

"An LCBO deposit-return makes good sense environmentally and economically,"
said AMO president Doug Reycraft.

Environment Minister Laurel Broten said the new plan for LCBO containers
could divert up to the equivalent of about 80 million bottles from landfills
each year.

"We're on the right track," she said. "The environmental benefits are

Opposition leader John Tory said Sunday he likes the idea of a
deposit-return system for liquor bottles, but criticized the Liberal
government's plan as poorly thought out.

"This is a death bed repentance because of the impending Michigan garbage
crisis - a problem Dalton McGuinty's lack of leadership has created," Tory
said in a telephone interview.

"Mr. McGuinty can't answer even the most basic questions about this program,
which proves it's just another PR stunt. Liberals have done nothing to keep
their promise of increasing waste diversion to 60 per cent, and we've seen
no progress reports."

McGuinty dismissed claims the new plan could halt construction of a proposed
glass recycling plant in the Toronto area, saying it won't be reducing the
amount of glass available in the marketplace.

Unlike beer bottles, which are returned to be refilled, the empty liquor and
wine bottles will be separated so the valuable clear glass doesn't get mixed
up with less desirable coloured glass. That's what happens now when bottles
are placed in blue boxes and break, resulting in most of the glass going to
landfill sites instead of being recycled.

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