Municipal Datacall

New Documents Section:

Select to view Municipal Information on:

Accepted Materials

Blue Box – highlights, summary, and category details

Municipal Funding

Program Highlights and Data

Residential GAP Diversion Rates

June 27, 2016 – Update

The 2015 Municipal Datacall verification, which involves WDO staff reviewing each municipal 2015 datacall submission, is now well underway. We appreciate the assistance of the municipalities that we have contacted to date, and hope that we will be able to complete this by early Fall. In the Fall, the WDO Board will then select an auditor after which the Municipal Industry Program Committee selects those municipalities who will have their 2015 Datacall audited.

April 28, 2016 – REMINDER: 2015 Datacall due this Friday (April 29)

The deadline to submit 2015 Datacall reports to WDO is this Friday, April 29, 2016 at 4 p.m. (E). The Certification Document signed by the Clerk, Treasurer or CFO/CAO as proof of accuracy of reported data must be received by WDO by 4 p.m. on Friday, May 6, 2016.    

Our Datacall team is ready to help you complete your 2015 Datacall submission. Please do not hesitate to contact them at or 1-888-936-5113 ext. 297 for assistance, or to book an appointment. The Datacall team is available today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Should you need assistance after hours, please email the team to set up a meeting.

For help completing the Datacall, you may also consult the 2015 Datacall User Guide available on the Datacall main page after log-in.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to receiving your municipal program’s 2015 Datacall submission.

April 21, 2016 – 2014 Residential Waste Diversion Reports

The 2014 Ontario Residential Waste Diversion reports are now all available on our website. These reports are based on data submitted to WDO last year in the annual Municipal Datacall by 237 municipalities, recycling associations, and First Nations (“municipal programs”).

The residential waste diversion rate is the percentage of Blue Box and other residential materials reported to WDO that are kept out of landfills or Energy-from-Waste facilities.

Please refer to WDO CEO Michael Scott’s blog here, which explains the many variables that can affect the final residential waste diversion rates.

To view the reports based on information submitted in the 2014 Datacall, please click on the report titles below:


March 10, 2016 – 2015 Datacall Training Session Replays and Survey  

WDO hosted two Datacall online training sessions for new and returning Datacall users on February 29 and March 8. 

During these identical sessions, we walked Datacall users through the 2015 Datacall reporting form and answered questions from participants. We also highlighted recent administrative updates to the Datacall.   

If you were not able to attend either session, replays of both sessions are available here:

February 29, 2016 Session

March 8, 2016 Session

Common questions/answers from both sessions will be added to the FAQs found on the Datacall log-in page.

If you attended one of the training sessions, we would appreciate receiving your responses to a short survey available here. Please complete the survey by Thursday, March 24.

For additional help with completing your 2015 Datacall submission, please consult the 2015 Datacall User Guide available on the Datacall main page after log-in, or contact WDO at

February 10, 2016 – Municipal Datacall Update

To be eligible for Blue Box funding, Ontario municipalities, recycling associations and First Nations that provide Blue Box services must complete the annual Municipal Datacall. In cases where the tonnage, costs and revenues associated with these services are being reported by another municipal program, completion of the Datacall is not required.

Datacall users may access the 2015 Datacall here.  

Ÿ• The 2015 Municipal Datacall submission deadline is April 29, 2016 at 4 p.m. A late penalty will be applied after the deadline.
• A copy of the Certification Form is due on May 6, 2016 at 4 p.m.

In addition to Blue Box financial and tonnage data, WDO requests the submission of tonnage data for all other waste materials the municipal program oversees, including Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste, organics, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), organics, residential garbage, and other recyclables such as scrap metal.

Each year, WDO uses the data collected from municipal programs through the Datacall to determine residential waste diversion rates for each municipal program, each municipal group, and the province overall. It is also used by WDO to generate several analytical reports and spreadsheets.

For more information on the Datacall, please see our Fact Sheet here

Datacall Assistance

If you would like assistance, please consult the 2015 Datacall User Guide available on the Datacall main page after log-in, or contact WDO at

December 17, 2015 – Recycling tonnages on the decline while participation increases

The Municipal Datacall is Ontario’s comprehensive online reporting system and database primarily for the residential waste overseen by WDO. Each year to be eligible for Blue Box Program funding, municipalities must complete the Municipal Datacall.

In the Datacall, municipalities report the tonnages (i.e., weights) and financial information for Blue Box materials collected from local residents. In addition, WDO asks municipalities to submit tonnage data for all other non-Blue Box materials the municipality oversees, including hazardous waste, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, organics, garbage, and other materials.

In 2014, 237 municipalities, recycling associations and First Nations submitted information to WDO through the Datacall. This information is being used to develop the annual 2014 Datacall series of reports that include:

•  2014 Blue Box Tonnage Highlights (Residential);
•  2014 Blue Box Program Cost & Revenue;
•  2014 Non-Blue Box Recyclables Trends (Residential);
•  2014 Organics Trends (Residential); and 
•  2014 Residential Waste Diversion Rates by municipal program, municipal grouping, and the province overall.

The first report, “2014 Blue Box Tonnage Highlights (Residential)”, is available here. This report lists the tonnes of recyclables marketed (i.e., the amounts sold after residues have been removed following collection) for a defined list of printed paper and packaging materials. It includes links to two spreadsheets with information on municipal program breakdowns of the 2014 Blue Box tonnages and types of Blue Box materials marketed in 2014 by municipal program.

In 2014, the total amount of Blue Box materials marketed across Ontario declined by about two per cent when compared to 2013 (884,504 tonnes versus 900,135 tonnes). This is mainly due to reductions in all paper categories, including newsprint, as well as decreases in the amounts of glass and steel packaging marketed.

Meanwhile, over the past five years, the amount of plastic packaging marketed in the province has risen by over 50%. This increase can be attributed to municipal programs accepting a wider variety of plastics, this is an important factor given the significant reduction in the weight of many plastic packages. For example, the current weight of the half-litre plastic water bottle has decreased by 50% over the past 14 years.

This “evolving tonne” is significantly affecting our province’s recycling performance. Ontario will likely continue to experience overall lower recycling tonnages for printed paper and packaging because:

•  Product packaging is becoming thinner, smaller, and lighter (“light-weighting”);
•  Packaging is shifting from heavier to lighter materials (e.g., glass to plastic); and
•  Newspapers and magazines are moving to an online format.

Fortunately, lower recycling tonnages are not by any means a reflection of recycling behaviour. People in communities across Ontario continue to embrace and participate enthusiastically in the Blue Box Program. Their recyclables simply weigh less, and their efforts are not being reflected in the tonnages reported of marketed Blue Box materials. The “evolving tonne” has to do with increasing volume and significantly decreasing weight (tonnes). This makes it more and more difficult to accurately portray the real picture of our progress on residential waste diversion using the current weight metric.

WDO’s Blue Box Cost Containment Panel has recommended that we complete an Ontario “Implications of the Evolving Tonne on the Ontario Blue Box Program” study to identify the cost implications of the changing Blue Box material mix over time. In addition, the Panel concluded that “a methodology is needed to report on volume, as well as weight.”

We will share next steps on these and other Panel recommendations.

October 6, 2015 -WDO Board Selects PwC to Conduct 2014 Datacall Audits

On September 23, the WDO Board reviewed responses to the August 19th RFP and selected PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to audit the Blue Box sections of the 2014 Datacall submissions of 20 municipal programs. The 20 programs to be audited are identified in the RFP.

This year, municipalities/recycling association were selected for an audit due to one of four reasons:
  • Significantly high costs with a population of under 5,000;
  • An increase of at least 5% in total residential Blue Box costs (including operational, Promotion & Education, material handling, collection, and processing costs), compared to their 2013 Datacall results;
  • A large year-over-year increase in net cost per tonne, compared to other programs within their own municipal grouping; or
  • Computerized random selection.

During the audit PwC will review the Blue Box sections of the 2014 Municipal Datacall submissions to determine if:

  • Costs were entered correctly in the Datacall online form;
  • Costs entered match the municipal program's financial records (i.e., General Ledger);
  • The appropriate costs were removed for both non-Blue Box waste (other recyclables and disposed waste) and Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) material, which is not funded as part of the Blue Box Program; and
  • Collected and/or marketed Blue Box tonnes and the corresponding allocations for IC&I recyclable materials are accurate.

WDO aims to return the audit reports to municipalities before the submission of the following year's Datacall. This allows the applicable municipalities to improve their Datacall reporting based on the auditor's findings.

June 18, 2015 -WDO Board of Directors' Decision on 2015 Blue Box Funding for Municipalities

To view the WDO Board of Directors' Decision on 2015 Blue Box Funding for Municipalities, please click here.