Volume of valuable materials from Ontario’s IC&I sector ending up in landfills is growing despite waste diversion efforts

Ontario Materials Marketplace pilot aims to develop and scale new reuse and recycling market opportunities for the IC&I sector

TORONTO, Ontario – Today, the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR), thanks to funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada, is pleased to announce the official launch of the Ontario Materials Marketplace pilot (https://ontario.materialsmarketplace.org/), which is being developed in partnership with United States Business Council for Sustainable Development, the creators of the Materials Marketplace, and Pollution Probe.

Today, roughly 7.5 million tonnes of material from the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) sector in Ontario is generated each year, of which about 6.6 million tonnes is incinerated or landfilled in the province, Michigan or New York. This means only 12% is diverted and recycled.

The Ontario Materials Marketplace pilot has been designed to connect the province’s IC&I and recycling sectors to help find new solutions to improve the recovery of valuable plastics and other materials, and to create reuse opportunities in the economy for those materials. This will help participants in the IC&I sector reach their recycling and broader sustainability goals.

Recycling companies can use the Ontario Materials Marketplace pilot to identify new customers and buyers for collected/processed material, to explore novel end-markets and to test the appetite for specific service offerings for materials before making large infrastructure investments.

Over 2,000 businesses and organizations — large and small — are using other Materials Marketplaces across the United States. Once launched, the Ontario pilot will connect to these marketplaces, with a focus on Michigan and Ohio, creating the foundation for a Great Lakes circular economy and a future without plastic and other waste, a priority for CGLR.


“The loss of valuable materials from the IC&I sector to Ontario landfills is significant despite waste diversion efforts. The Ontario Materials Marketplace pilot is an easy-to-use solution that will help the sector close the loop at a time when the province’s landfill capacity is becoming increasingly limited, and as we pursue a variety of zero-waste and circular economy strategies in Canada ,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region.

“The Ontario Materials Marketplace will help usher in a new wave of growth and scale for reuse and recycling market development in the region. Circular economy presents a massive economic opportunity for Ontario’s industrial, commercial and institutional sector – the Materials Marketplace can help connect the dots across the Great Lakes to accelerate the market transformation.”

— Andrew Mangan, co-founder and Executive Director, United States Business Council for Sustainable Development

“Ontario’s Blue Box program has received a lot of attention and significant efforts are being made to improving it. Yet, the IC&I sector is responsible for the majority of waste generated in Ontario and has significantly lower diversion rates than residential programs. The Ontario Materials Marketplace is a positive step forward in closing that gap and moving us closer to a zero waste, circular economy.”

— Christopher Hilkene, CEO, Pollution Probe

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region

Established in 2013, the Council is a binational, member-driven, non-profit corporation that is dedicated to deepening the United States-Canada relationship in the Great Lakes economic region. It focuses on creating stronger, more dynamic cross-border collaborations in harnessing the region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes watershed for future generations. It achieves this by connecting regional leaders through the annual Great Lakes Economic Forum and sector dialogues, exploring key trends shaping the region and proposing solutions and strategies that move the region forward through public policy research, and acting as a strong voice for the region’s varied socioeconomic and environmental interests.

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