A Tim Hortons executive is rejecting a proposal from a Toronto city councillor to impose a tax on non-recyclable coffee cups.

"This would only polarize people; it's absolutely the wrong way to go,'' Nick Javor, senior vice-president of corporate affairs for the chain, told the Toronto Star.

The chain's current cups cannot be processed through Toronto's recycling systems because they have an incompatible wax lining.

On Wednesday, Toronto councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker said the city should place a 25- or 30-cent tax on companies that sell coffee cups and containers that are not made out of recyclable material.

Javor blamed the problem on the variance in the recycling programs of various cities throughout Ontario. Currently, Windsor and Hamilton are able to process the cups.

He said Tim Hortons has made progress on different fronts by composting coffee grounds and selling coffee for 10 cents less to people bringing in a mug.

The company is now testing cups lined with corn starch but Javor said he wasn't sure if they'll hold up or if they'll be in full supply.

"We're not a waste-management company," he said. "Our product is very price-sensitive."

Baeremaeker said he hopes to have a major initiative in place by the end of the year.

"We're working with people like Tim Hortons to say, `You're not in the blue box program yet -- you have to come into the system,'" he told the Star on Wednesday.

"Tim Hortons wants to be good citizens. They're voluntarily coming here and saying, `We want to recycle; we don't want our cups to be in the garbage or into your local parks or into your local streams.'"