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Circular Innovation Council believes solutions for greater resource efficiency and environmental protection is to advance the circular economy, which decouples economic activity from production and consumption of finite resources. We are inclusive and collaborative among supply and value chains; and seek to advance circular business models, products, and services that deliver redefined values to equate social, environmental, and economic benefit. Throughout our history we have played a lead role in uniting stakeholders across entire value and supply chains, and utilize expertise and experience of our diverse membership. We leverage collaborative efforts to fully understand priority and realize potential. In doing so we are strategically positioned as a resource organization that all actors can use to develop and implement their strategies.

Our Story

We were first established as Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) in 1978 focused on a more environmental and economical way of redefining waste and reintegrating it back into production as valued resources. We were created to help Ontario’s struggling recycling operators co-operatively market the newspapers, glass, and metal cans, which they were collecting from community recycling depots and door-to-door drives.

Our Impact

Canada’s resource-based economy depends on the ability to preserve the value of finite resources and natural capital for success. By putting circular economy concepts into action through collaboration and inclusion we discover solutions through circular business models that design waste out of production and consumption.

Respects the
Full Value of
Beyond Just Recycling


Jo-Anne St. Godard

Jo-Anne St.Godard

Executive Director

416.657.2797,ext3 [email protected]

Shannon Lavalley


416.657.2797,ext202 [email protected]

Katie Motta


416.657.2797,ext 6 [email protected]

Andrew Telfer


[email protected]

Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith

Director of Operations

[email protected]

Shirley Ouellette


416.657.2797,ext 203 [email protected]

Caitlin Perry

Program Manager

416.657.2797,ext22 [email protected]

Audrey Manuel

Resource Development & Outreach Co-ordinator

416.657.2797,ext4 [email protected]

Alicia Advincula

Communications Manager

[email protected]

Rachel Wynes

Research & Project Coordinator

[email protected]

Maggie Bain

Program Manager

[email protected]

Alexia Petit

Pilot Coordinator

[email protected]

Valentina Adelola

Co-Op Communications Assistant

[email protected]


Gilles LeVasseur


University of Ottawa

Wendy Potomski

Vice Chair

Managing Partner Brookstone Strategy Group

Andrew McLachlin


Senior Vice President General Counsel, Corporate Secretary
BGIS Global Integrated Solutions

Ryan Dyment


Director of Finance and Administration
Ecoschools Canada

Isabelle Faucher


Manager Director
Carton Council of Canada


Sahra Shojaei


Business Development
Resource Recovery Environmental Division
Walker Industries

Cindy Coutts


President and CEO at Encorp Pacific (Canada), Return It

Neil Menezes


Packaging Sustainability Policy Manager
General Mills

Erwin Pascual


Manager, Waste Planning
Region of Peel


Michael Leering


Director Environment & Business Excellence Standards
CSA Group

Emily Robinson


Food Education Manager and Academic Advisor, University of Guelph


Full Cost Accounting

We believe that the cost of goods and services should be determined according to the principles of full cost accounting. Full cost accounting means that goods and services are priced to include their true environmental costs from all phases of production, transportation, distribution, use, reuse, recycling, composting and disposal.

Shared Responsibility

We believe that responsibility for minimizing environmental and economic impacts must be shared by all parties that benefit from and/or impact on the production, distribution, use, and/or disposal of products and packaging or delivery of services. In sharing responsibility, the parties should have the authority and ability to influence those policies and practices that affect them.

Regulatory and Legislative Initiatives

We believe that governments should intervene using regulatory and/or legislative mechanisms where voluntary initiatives are not in place or fail to adequately protect the environment.

Non-Regulatory Initiatives

We support non-regulatory environmental protection and remediation initiatives implemented on a voluntary basis providing there are mechanisms to monitor performance and that there are consequences for non participants and/or failure to meet established performance standards.

Level Playing Field

We believe that government(s) should support environmental policies and practices that ensure equitable participation through the introduction of incentives, disincentives or if necessary, regulations.

Economic Instruments

We believe that financial incentives / economic instruments should be used to encourage the development and implementation of environmentally sound programs and practices. Moneys generated through these instruments should be used to support such programs and practices.


We believe that federal / provincial / municipal environmental policies and programs should be harmonized where possible and practical. Any harmonized approach should meet or exceed the highest environmental protection standards currently in use.


We believe that participants in both voluntary and regulatory environmental programs and practices should be continually monitored and held accountable for meeting established goals, targets or standards. Monitoring data and analyses should be publicly available.

Communication and Education

We believe that stakeholders should be adequately informed and educated as to their respective roles and responsibilities in environmental programs and the results and effectiveness of their participation in these programs.

Public Participation

We believe that all stakeholders should have the opportunity to participate in the development of environmental policies and the monitoring of environmental programs and practices. RCO believes that adequate resources should be made available to ensure such participation.

Operational Efficiency

We believe that environmental policies and practices should promote the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness through the use of ‘Best Available Technology’ and benchmarking.


Become a Member

We offer collaborative opportunity and inspiration to redefine value in communities across Canada through showcase opportunities and putting circular economy concepts into action.

We Invite You to Join Us

Become a Member

As the Circular Innovation Council we leverage our history to advance waste elimination and strengthening its connection to low-carbon production and consumption.

Our transition to Circular Innovation Council also provides exciting and timely opportunity to expand our focus beyond end of life and waste issues to a broader mandate that promotes circular production and consumption models designed to reflect the true value of resources.

Through the long-standing support of Members, we make far reaching and meaningful impacts to reduce waste, and through collaboration we can work together to inspire greater sustainability across Canada and put circular economy concepts into action.

Stay Connected With Circular Innovation

Sign up for periodic updates of our activities and circular innovations happening across Canada and around the world.

Our Story

In the 1980s, we began to host conferences and seminars to discuss a wide range of recycling issues from technology and subsidies for recyclers, to government policies and public education. RCO had an active role in the development and introduction of a test Blue Box program in Kitchener, Ontario in 1981. At a United Nations dinner during the 1989 Our World Summit on the Environment in Toronto, the United Nations Environment Program presented an Environmental Leadership award to RCO for our contribution and leadership with the Blue Box program.

In the late 1990s, RCO was appointed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to lead the Roles and Responsibilities forum facilitating discussions between industry and municipalities. These discussions led to the adoption of Ontario’s first stewardship legislation, the Waste Diversion Act, which required brand owners to be responsible, physically or financially, for the end-of-life management of their products and packaging. 

Throughout the 2000s RCO continued to be an active stakeholder in waste reduction and recycling across Ontario and beyond: we took a lead role organizing and leading annual Waste Reduction Week in Canada campaign that debuted in 2001; designed Canada’s first procurement-based extended producer responsibility program for fluorescent lights as Take Back the Light in 2008; developed Canada’s only waste certification program for the Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional sector in 3RCertified in 2011.

In 2020, we rebranded to Circular Innovation Council, and continue to develop programs and pilots to advance the circular economy in communities across Canada through our actions.

Our Impact

The circular economy re-engages consumption and production beyond the linear model by decoupling economic growth from resource use. Circularity has the ability to improve the value of natural resources, reduce carbon emissions, and eliminate waste. It encourages innovation in product design and business delivery systems. Transitioning to a circular economy doesn’t balance economic, environmental, and social priorities in isolation: it delivers them simultaneously.

We invite you to join us as a Member to advance circular economic outcomes in communities across Canada, and help us redefine value by adopting circular economy business models that remake how we produce and consume products and services.