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GFL forms Resource Recovery Alliance, acquires Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance

The moves position GFL to capitalize on Canada’s EPR legislation and mandates.

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GFL Environmental Inc., a waste and recycling services provider based in Vaugh, Ontario, has announced the formation of the Resource Recovery Alliance (RRA) in response to Ontario's extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulation requiring product and packaging producers to operate and fully finance Ontario's Blue Box program. RRA will become a producer responsibility organization (PRO) under the new legislation and will be vertically integrated within GFL's service offerings. 

GFL also has announced that RRA has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance (CSSA), which is an organization that provides support services for packaging and printed paper stewardship organizations across Canada. RRA says it will be a comprehensive resource recovery and compliance solution for producers in North America. The group will use GFL's existing capabilities in the collection, sorting, processing, marketing and reporting of Blue Box material in Ontario. 

"Ontario has ushered in a new wave of extended producer responsibility in Canada, bringing increased responsibilities for producers, along with new opportunities to innovate and drive greater efficiencies and environmental outcomes," says Patrick Dovigi, GFL founder and CEO. "RRA will combine GFL's extensive international footprint and depth of experience in North America's resource recovery sector with CSSA's leadership in compliance and administration of recycling programs across Canada. CSSA's in-depth understanding of producers and the new and much more rigorous regulatory needs makes them an ideal partner for GFL in the creation of this PRO."

According to a news release from GFL, producers will get a proven, reliable and experienced environmental services partner that can leverage economies of scale and efficiencies. This will allow producers to meet their responsibilities under the modern and consolidated Blue Box Program, which will phase in between 2023 and 2025.

"RRA will bring the experience and expertise of GFL, CSSA and producers together and provide consumer brands with sustainable solutions they can trust," Dovigi says. "RRA will establish a Producer Alliance Council and directly involve producers in designing the new program. RRA will work collaboratively with the council to identify, define, monitor and meet the new and ambitious program expansion, standardization and recovery targets designated by the government of Ontario." 

"This new model of resource recovery announced by the government of Ontario will be a catalyst for change in the province and other jurisdictions across the country looking at extended producer responsibility programs," says John Coyne, CSSA Executive Chair. "GFL's coast-to-coast operations and diversified service offerings coupled with CSSA's compliance and administration expertise presented an exemplary partnership opportunity. Together, we will support producers in meeting their new obligations in Ontario while also ensuring seamless transition and harmonization with new EPR regimes anywhere in Canada, and North America, in the future."

The acquisition of CSSA, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, GFL says.