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Letting no can go to waste

New homeowner Sarah Daly was in a quandary over where to dispose of her half-empty paint cans.

New homeowner Sarah Daly was in a quandary over where to dispose of her half-empty paint cans.

She knew she could — but shouldn’t — throw the cans in the trash or her home recycling bin.

“We were at a loss of what to do with them,” said the 33-year-old, who will soon learn she can take it to the store.

Later this week, Ontario residents will learn the details of a $28-million program that will take the headaches out of getting rid of such waste. It’s part of a new program aimed at diverting more than 32,000 tonnes of household and hazardous waste from landfills over the next five years.

Ontario’s Do What You Can program allows people to take back waste, such as paint and used non-rech­argeable batteries, to participating home renovations stores. The program will later be expanded to include items such as aerosol conta­i­ners, fluorescent light bu­lbs and switches that contain mercury, while a third phase will deal with waste such as contact cement and corrosive cleaners.

While the first phase of the recycling push began in July, it has taken time for Stewardship Ontario to get retail operations involved, Environment Minister John Gerretsen said. A news conference is planned for Thur­s­day to announce expanded retail collection sites and the program’s website.

The program’s cost will be borne by the makers or importers of paints, engine cool­ants and batteries, for example. The companies pay fees to Stewardship Ontario based on the amount and type of materials they sell in the province. At least 330 firms, including Honda and Procter & Gamble, are now involved. The program does not cost the government a penny and not a cent from it will end up in government coffers, added Gerretsen.

 
 
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