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Eco tax on TVs, other e-waste

Ontario residents will be required to pay an eco fee likely ranging from $5 to $45 when the purchase televisions, c...


Ontario residents will be required to pay an eco fee likely ranging from $5 to $45 when the purchase televisions, computers and printers under a recycling plan now being developed. The minister has designated e-waste as a priority waste stream for diversion from landfill.

The fees are to be used exclusively to cover recycling costs.

Currently, less than one per cent of televisions and only about two per cent of computers are diverted from landfill in Ontario, according to one study. The provincial government has not set the e-waste recycling targets it wants to achieve. The fees haven’t been set but they are expected to be similar to those in western Canada. (Alberta and Saskatchewan already have some electronics recycling in place and British Columbia’s program starts in August. Those provinces charge fees to consumers when they buy new televisions [$15 to $45] computers [$5 to $22] and printers [$8]. A mix of permanent drop-off depots, occasional community collection events and some specialized pickups are used to get discarded products back from consumers and businesses and into the recycling stream.

No decisions have been made about Ontario’s program yet, but its expected to be similar to existing ones. The earliest a program could be underway in Ontario is 2009 and, if theres political or consumer backlash, it could take even longer. There is a provincial election October 10.

Broten has given Waste Diversion Ontario until February to develop the first phase of the recycling plan. Then Broten has to publicly post it for comment and approve it. It will likely be another year or more before the program is operating.

Phase one includes desktop and notebook computers, monitors, printers and televisions. Sometime later, telephones, radios, stereos, recorders, speakers and cameras are to be included.


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