Monday, January 05, 2009

Ontario magazine publishers face 53% blue box fee increase

Magazine publishers in Ontario are this year facing a whopping 53% increase in the fees they pay to cover their 50% share of blue box recycling. Stewardship Ontario has released its 2009 fee schedule and it says that participating publishers will be paying 3.37 cents a kilogram. Last year, the cost was 2.182 cents per kilo. Since 2003, the cost to magazine publishers has increased from 0.081 cents to 3.373 cents.
All publishers who have more than $2 million in gross Ontario revenue are required to register, inform the program of the weight of their "contribution" to the blue box and to pay a quarterly fee based on the annual fee schedule. The fees are calculated based on a formula that is supposed to reflect the actual cost of recycling the magazines (as well as newsprint, packaging, glass, plastic and other materials) and the revenues obtained by selling the materials.

[UPDATE] Magazines Ontario CEO Mark Jamison has sent a letter to the Ontario environment minister decrying 2000% accumulative increases over the past few years and demanding that Stewardship Ontario freeze rates at the 2008 level until a current study on waste diversion is complete and implemented.
It is clear, given the current economic situation that Stewardship Ontario’s unilateral move demonstrates, again, how out of touch this agency is with market realities.

Further, there is no evidence that foreign publishers will begin to contribute in 2009.

Magazines Ontario’s view is that, at this stage, only Ministerial intervention can arrest these damaging approaches – approaches that appear to be driven by the inefficiency of the blue box program where, in fact, magazines and other print material represent an opportunity to generate revenues and by a failure of governance at Stewardship Ontario.

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