I appreciate the opportunity to respond to several aspects of your editorial column on Ontario’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) program.
We are proud of the fact that in a little over a year, OES has put in place more than 600 approved collection points across Ontario where people can drop off unwanted electronic items for recycling. That has led to more than 17,000 tonnes of potentially harmful electronic waste (including more than half a million TV sets) being diverted from landfill to OES-certified processors, who adhere to a set of stringent rules which ensure that this material is handled in an environmentally responsible manner.
Our mandate is to ensure that electronic waste — and the toxic components it can contain — doesn’t end up in Ontario’s landfills or shipped overseas for dumping with little or no regard to harm caused to people and the environment.
We are making solid progress toward our goal. This spring, we have already seen a 30 per cent increase in our monthly collection volumes. And, we have recently significantly expanded the range of unwanted items people can bring in to include cell phones, digital cameras and mp3 players, just to name a few.
We recognize that there are areas for improvement in the electronic waste recycling program’s operation, and that is why we are in the midst of a consultation with our processor partners and other service providers. We will soon put forward proposals for new incentives and other improvements to the system, so that we can collect and recycle even more electronic waste and ensure that it doesn’t end up being dumped here in Ontario or anywhere else in the global environment.
Individuals and businesses who want to ensure that their electronic waste is being safely and responsibly recycled should go to www.dowhatyoucan.ca/electronics to find their nearest OES-approved collector.
Carol Hochu, Executive Director
Ontario Electronic Stewardship