Skip to Main Content Scroll to the top Icon

Warden Statement on the 2026 Provincial Recycling Change

Midhurst/February 27, 2024 – As we’ve been sharing with our residents over the past year, the Provincial Government has moved to make producers of recyclable products (paper products and plastic packaging), fully responsible for the costs associated with the lifecycle of recyclable products (collection, hauling, processing and marketing).

The County will continue to collect garbage and organics long-term, and run landfill programs, although fees will be required for recycling drop-off at our sites as of 2026.

I speak for County Council and our staff, when we share that this is a great thing. If producers bear the full costs, it will hopefully lead to a reduction in the amount of packaging, plastics, and cardboard that we encounter each day.

For this we commend the Provincial Government for their actions. However, as a County Council, we have seen gaps in the program that will potentially leave many of our small local businesses, non-profit organizations and those that we refer to as the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) sector, without convenient recycling options as of January 1, 2026.

Currently, and until January 1, 2026, the County collects curbside recycling from these business, non-profit or IC&I locations, such as family-owned businesses in our downtown cores. Through the legislation, we are not regulated or mandated to collect any form of waste from the business sector, just residential units. However, this is a “value-added” service that Council felt was important for our communities and to support local small businesses and downtown cores.

As of January 1, 2026, the consortium representing recycling producers are not planning to collect recycling from business locations as this is not a requirement stipulated through the Provincial Blue Box Regulation 391/21.

County Council believes this will not only impact businesses but could potentially have a negative impact on diversion and ultimately the environment.

We have evaluated initial costs to continue to provide the service at the County level; however, under the new regulations, the burden of the costs on our local taxpayers would be too significant, among other logistical challenges once the new program takes effect.

While it is important to emphasize that there is no impact until 2026, we continue to work with our partners at the Ontario Ministry of Environment to ensure they are aware of this potential issue, and we are hopeful they will reconsider this decision and continue to provide our businesses with recycling collection long-term.

We will do what we can to support our businesses and will be connecting with BIA, Chambers and other business organizations over the coming weeks.

More details are available at

~ Warden Basil Clarke