Each year, WDO requires municipalities to complete the Municipal Datacall in order to be eligible for funding for the Blue Box Program. 


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


The 2014 Datacall can be accessed here.


February 26, 2015 – 2013 Residential Waste Diversion Rates


The 2013 residential waste diversion rates based on Municipal Datacall submissions to WDO are now available (see links to spreadsheets below). The residential waste diversion rate is the percentage of Blue Box and other residential material reported to WDO that is kept out of landfill.


The annual Municipal Datacall online reports for 2013 were submitted last year by 226 municipalities, recycling associations and First Nations, representing over 400 municipalities or 98 per cent of Ontario’s total population. Municipalities are required to complete the Municipal Datacall to be eligible for Blue Box Program funding.


In addition to Blue Box data, in order to calculate the residential waste diversion rates, WDO asks municipalities to also report in the Datacall the weights (in tonnes) of all other residential waste materials they collect locally, including hazardous or special waste, electrical and electronic equipment, organics, garbage, and other recyclables such as scrap metal.


The residential waste diversion rates for all participating municipalities are listed in the following two spreadsheets:

The 2013 Ontario Residential Waste Diversion Rates report includes the method for calculating the rates and trends in residential waste diversion over the last five years.


For 2013, the following municipalities all achieved a residential waste diversion rate of at least 50 per cent, meaning they diverted more materials than they sent to landfill:

  • City of Guelph (69.15%)
  • City of Orillia (63.75%)
  • Municipality of Meaford (61.11%)
  • Regional Municipality of York (58.58%)
  • City of Owen Sound (58.30%)
  • Township of West Grey (57.79%)
  • County of Simcoe (55.73%)
  • City of Kingston (55.60%)
  • County of Oxford (55.07%)
  • City of Peterborough (54.71%)
  • Township of Dysart et al (54.66%)
  • Region of Halton (54.60%)
  • Region of Durham (53.75%)
  • Town of Latchford (53.38%)
  • Township of Madawaska Valley (53.16%)
  • City of Toronto (52.63%)
  • Municipality of Grey Highlands (52.59%)
  • Regional Municipality of Waterloo (52.28%)
  • Regional Municipality of Niagara (51.77%)
  • Town of Perth (50.14%)


In 2013, the overall residential waste diversion rate for Ontario was 47.3 per cent, almost the same as the 2012 rate of 47.2 per cent. Since 2008, this rate has increased by just over five percentage points.


The number of people in Ontario with access to any type of residential organics program (kitchen organics and/or leaf and yard waste) increased by 345,962 in 2013 over 2012, or 3% of Ontario’s population. Thirteen of the municipalities with a residential waste diversion rate in 2013 of at least 50 per cent operate a kitchen organics program.


If all households in Ontario with a Blue Box Program also had access to curbside collection of organic waste, an estimated 530,000 tonnes more organic material could be diverted from landfill, representing an estimated increase of nine percentage points in the province’s overall residential waste diversion rate.


For over 10 years the Municipal Datacall has tracked residential waste diversion statistics and trends across the province.  It is continuously modified and improved to make it easier for municipalities to use and to adjust for the ever-changing industry, including the shift to lighter materials for products and packaging. We are monitoring the Datacall as we consider how to ensure we adequately capture all activities that fall under the three “Rs” and the quantities of all Blue Box and other designated materials recycled.


To ensure that residential waste diversion rates are calculated fairly, WDO has annually adjusted every Datacall. WDO adjusts some reported amounts of garbage, including for programs that report no garbage, an unreasonably low amount of garbage, or incomplete garbage tonnes for some privately-serviced multi-family households (with at least six units per building). Adjustments are also made where municipalities without a Green Bin program report a questionable amount of organics, and in cases where they report an unreasonably high amount of “other recyclables” (e.g., residential scrap metal, brick, wood, and textiles). In 2013, WDO made a total of 105 adjustments to the 2013 Datacall submissions.   


As we consider the next updates to the Datacall, we will continue to look to municipalities for suggestions. Datacall remains the most comprehensive – and perhaps only – tool for measuring residential waste diversion progress in Ontario and one of the best in North America.


February 26, 2015 - Updated Blue Box Payout Model


In December 2014, we advised municipalities that we had updated the Payout Model to include the specific amounts of the remaining 2014 Blue Box payments (December 2014 and March 2015) based on the arbitrator’s decision on the 2014 steward obligation. Following February 18th Board approval, we are further updating the Payout Model to include InKind Program and arbitration cost adjustments to the Blue Box payments for March 2015. The revised Payout Model is available here.

Municipal Datacall Update:  Deadline for 2013 Data is Friday, April 25


System Redesign Changes Working

WDO’s recent Municipal Datacall redesign is being well received as Datacall users enter information under the improved system for the first time in their 2014 reporting of 2013 statistics. Municipal Datacall users are noticing that less time and data are now required to report. For example, municipal programs previously needed to report data by each contract for all non-Blue Box services. Now, only the total amount recycled (in tonnes) of each non-Blue Box material is required.


In late March and earlier this month, WDO’s Data Manager Lori Andrews and Blue Box Oversight Analyst Will Mueller attended the Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF)/Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Outreach Sessions to present an overview of the Municipal Datacall changes. These sessions were held in London, Peel, Smiths Falls, Dryden, and North Bay. Lori and Will participated in the first three sessions in person, and via webinar for the Dryden and North Bay sessions.


Content Changes Next

WDO’s CEO Michael Scott recently met with a number of municipal waste management staff in their own communities. The feedback from these sessions included more suggestions to improve the Municipal Datacall, such as incorporating other residential recycling initiatives (e.g., reuse) and changing the metrics used to report. As a first step in addressing these ideas, we will soon hold an informal roundtable discussion with municipal waste management operators.


We will advise everyone about our next steps to involve all stakeholders in identifying potential changes to Municipal Datacall that would help us to tell Ontario’s complete residential waste diversion story.


Datacall Deadline Reminder

Municipalities, recycling associations and First Nations that operate a Blue Box program and report residential waste diversion statistics annually to WDO have until Friday, April 25, 2014 at 4 pm (EST) to submit their 2013 data. As in previous years, this remains a firm deadline.


Please contact Lori Andrews (loriandrews@wdo.ca; 416-226-5113, ext. 294) if you have any questions about how to complete and submit your Municipal Datacall report.

The 2013 Municipal Datacall submission deadline is April 25, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. A copy of the Certification Document is due on May 2, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

Login:  https://www.wdodatacall.ca/datacall2013/login.aspx


In addition, WDO requests the submission of tonnage data for all other waste materials it oversees, including hazardous or special waste, electrical and electronic, organics, garbage, and others. The data provided to WDO regarding these additional materials are valuable for calculating and analyzing diversion rates in Ontario.



If you require assistance with submitting your data, WDO provides online or phone support. A WDO representative will assist you in navigating the annual Datacall. WDO will also provide a limited number of onsite support visits between late February and the end of March. During these support visits, a WDO representative will review with you your general ledger records, invoices, contracts, cost allocations, and other data. To request online or onsite support, please email datacall@wdo.ca by February 21, 2014.

Late Completion Policy

MIPC has established the following late submission policy:

  • Within 2 days of the submission deadline, WDO will notify a program of the missed deadline by fax and registered mail.
  • A 10% late penalty will apply if the Datacall is submitted within 5 business days of the date of the WDO correspondence.
  • If the Datacall is not received within 5 business days of the date of the notification by WDO, the program will not be eligible for funding in 2015.

February 11, 2014:  WDO Improves the Municipal Datacall


Today, WDO announced the completion of the Municipal Datacall redesign project involving 11 Ontario test municipalities and resulting in several user and data improvements. To view the announcement click here, and to see the accompanying Municipal Datacall Backgrounder, click here.