By the fall of 2020, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks hopes to release drafts of new and amended regulations setting up a digital reporting system for the storage, movement and disposal of hazardous waste. The system will be managed by the Resource Productivity & Recovery Authority, the organization charged with managing Ontario’s waste diversion programs.
A discussion paper, “Modernizing Hazardous Waste Reporting in Ontario”, outlining the proposal is open for public comment until August 18, 2020.
The ministry is hoping to begin creating user accounts in the summer of 2021, and to launch the digital reporting service on January 1, 2022.
Ontario already has an online reporting platform for hazardous waste, known as the Hazardous Waste Information Network, but its use is not mandatory. Most of the hazardous waste industry still uses hard-copy manifests and forms because the online system is cumbersome. As a result, the hazardous waste generators, carriers and receivers file, and the ministry sifts through 450,000 paper reports every year.
Ontario wants a new Hazardous Waste digital reporting service that will include electronic manifests, refusal reports, short-term storage notices, and on-site management reports.
Under the new system, it may be possible to enter data using a mobile application, allowing businesses to report activity in real time. For areas of Ontario with inadequate mobile or online service, users may be able to enter their information while offline, and upload it to the system when there is sufficient connectivity.
Ontario believes that the new digital system will lead to stronger and more efficient compliance monitoring.
The new digital platform could also serve other needs. The discussion paper raises the possibility of using it for generator registration and renewal, and for setting and collecting fees.