Item - 2018.PW28.9
- This item was considered by Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on April 11, 2018 and was adopted with amendments.
PW28.9 - Review of Single-Serve Coffee Pods in the City of Toronto's Waste Diversion Programs
- Decision Type:
The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee:
1. Requested the General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services to continue to work with the producers of recyclable coffee pods, Stewardship Ontario, and other industry stakeholders towards an agreement that would allow for the recycling of coffee pods in the City of Toronto.
This report responds to direction from the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee to explore the impacts of including single-serve products, including coffee pods, in the City of Toronto's waste diversion programs, specifically the Blue Bin Recycling or Green Bin Organics Programs. The report also provides a jurisdictional scan of how other municipal waste management programs manage coffee pods; a legislative and policy review; and describes work undertaken on market research and a potential pilot test.
Based on the above, staff are not recommending the addition of coffee pods to the City's waste diversion programs at this time for the following reasons:
- Ongoing issues with Blue Bin contamination continues to result in increased processing costs and reduced revenues from the sale of recyclable materials. Adding coffee pods risks worsening this problem by further increasing contamination, further increasing processing costs and further reducing revenues;
- Early consultation on the Amended Blue Box Program Plan has indicated that Stewardship Ontario would not accept Coffee Pods in the Blue Bin under a future extended producer responsibility model citing additional contamination and financial concerns with the material;
- There is the potential for significant resident confusion around recycling and composting as a result of a lack of standardization in coffee pod material formats and inconsistency between various brand owners' instructions to recycle or compost used pods; and,
- There is a clear lack of evidence to suggest that coffee pod users will follow the multi-step process to properly manage the pod after use.
However, given that this type of packaging is constantly evolving and manufactures are working on new and innovative ways to further mitigate some of these concerns, Solid Waste Management Services will continue to engage and work with industry stakeholders and the public on ways to evolve product and packaging policy and design to drive waste reduction and diversion.
Attachment 1 - Jurisdictional Scan
Attachment 2 - Stakeholder Consultation, July 19, 2017, Attendees and Responses
Attachment 3 - Stakeholder Consultation, February 22, 2018, Attendees and Responses
Mary-Anne Champoux-Guimond, Keurig Canada
Chris McKillop, Club Coffee LP
Claudio Gemmiti, Club Coffee
1. The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee request the General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services to continue to work with the producers of recyclable coffee pods, Stewardship Ontario, and other industry stakeholders towards an agreement that would allow for the recycling of coffee pods in the City of Toronto.