Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) CEO Michael Scott has penned a comparison of the province’s e-waste program versus that of Texas, the second-largest state in the U.S.
In conjunction with Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) WDO is now in its fourth year of e-waste recycling, Scott says.
In 2012, OES collected 75,702 tonnes of old electronic equipment, more commonly known as “e-waste”.
“It's hard to put 75,702 tonnes into perspective unless we compare it to something that everybody understands,” Scott wrote in the February 28, 2013 comparison. “For example, 75,702 tonnes is the equivalent of about 2.8 million televisions, or 605 million cell phones. It's also the weight of over 25,750 empty Zamboni ice resurfacing machines.”
read Scott's full piece here.
In mid-February 2013, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced that in 2012, Texans turned in more than 43.8 million pounds of electronics for recycling, or 19,867 tonnes.
“Consider that the current population of Texas is 26.1 million, compared to Ontario's population of 13.5 million,” Scott wrote. “This means that Ontario, with about half the number of people, was able to collect almost four times more e-waste in 2012 than Texas!”
Scott notes that in Texas computer monitors, hard drives, laptops, keyboards and mice are collected by computer manufacturers, who also “voluntarily” collect televisions and other electronics. Although Texas is working on it, Scott says, there isn't a program in place that would make it mandatory for television manufacturers that sell in Texas to collect and recycle television equipment.
“Meanwhile, in Ontario, e-waste accepted for collection includes 44 different items ranging from cell phones, cameras and radios to computers, televisions and copiers,” Scott wrote.
In addition to a greater range of accepted items, Ontarians have more options for dropping off their e-waste. A network of almost 700 OES-approved collection points and affiliated sites operates throughout Ontario and across the municipal, non-profit and retail sectors. Eighty-five percent of Ontarians live within 25 km of an OES collection site or event.
Back in Texas, Scott wrote, people have only one option: Turn in their electronics directly to computer manufacturers.
In 2011, OES paid over $1 million in collection fees and raised funds for more than 80 not-for-profit and community organizations.
“If you're wondering how Ontario is doing on a more global scale — in 2012 alone, 5.61 kg/capita of e-waste was collected in Ontario, exceeding the European Union standard of 4 kg/capita. (The weight of 5.61 kg is equal to about 12.4 pounds, the size of a large Easter ham.) We've come a long way in only one year — in 2011, we collected 3.96 kg/capita of e-waste,” Scott wrote.
Enter your postal code here to find out exactly where to take your e-waste in Ontario.
Michael Scott is CEO of Waste Diversion Ontario (www.wdo.ca), which oversees Ontario's recycling programs for electrical and electronic equipment, used tires, Blue Box material, and household hazardous waste. As part of its oversight role, WDO monitors program sustainability, effectiveness and efficiency.