Deposits for wine & liquor bottles in Ontario?

On November 28 on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning radio program, Ontario’s new Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky responded positively to a suggestion from the province’s Environment Commissioner Gord Miller for a deposit-return system for wine and liquor bottles.

Here’s the transcript.

JILL DEMPSEY (HOST): Ontario’s Environment Minister says she would encourage a deposit-return system for wine and liquor bottles. Leona Dombrowsky is responding to concerns from the province’s Environmental Commissioner about recycled glass. Gord Miller released his annual report yesterday. In it, he raises concerns about the amount of glass in blue boxes ending up in landfills. Jean Carter has that story.

JEAN CARTER (REPORTER): The whole idea of putting glass in blue boxes is to keep it out of landfills. But Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner says that’s not happening as much as it should. Gord Miller says recyclers find they’re getting too much glass that’s dirty and inferior.

GORD MILLER: If you want to trap clean glass, deposit return is a good way to do it, as we know very well with the beer system in Ontario.

CARTER: For years, governments have resisted doing this. The LCBO has complained it would cost too much to set up its own system. But the new Environment Minister, Leona Dombrowsky, seems open to the idea.

LEONA DOMBROWSKY: That is something that I would like to encourage.

CARTER: Toronto currently gets about $800,000 from the LCBO to take its empty bottles. Councilor Jane Pitfield is the Acting Chair of the City’s Works Committee. She says the city is happy to have the LCBO fund the blue box program, but…

JANE PITFIELD: At some point it would be wonderful to have the manufacturers take responsibility and to be able to return it to the source.

CARTER: She says the beer industry’s recycling success rate is about seven per cent. It’s a simple system: recycle, refill. Jean Carter, CBC News, Toronto.