Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) has launched a program to divert 160,000 additional tonnes of electronics waste (e-waste) over the next five years.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) program includes a network of collection sites for consumers and businesses to drop off unwanted electronics. The electronics will be recycled according to North American environmental standards.
The OES WEEE program handles fax machines and televisions as well as desktop and laptop computers, including monitors, desktop printers, mice, keyboards, and disk drives. Eventually, the program will expand to include cell phones, cameras and other electronics.
Funding for the program comes entirely from fees paid by electronics’ brand owners, first importers in Ontario, and assemblers of the products designated in the first phase.
Consumer branding for the OES WEEE program will be shared under the Do What You Can banner of the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) program, which was launched in January 2009. Under the MHSW program, consumers can go online to find nearby collection locations for e-waste.
Businesses in the province are also getting involved in the initiative.
As of April 1, 2009, Salvation Army Thrift Stores across 37 locations in southwestern, central and eastern Ontario will accept all of the program’s designated products. Starting May 1, 2009, 17 STAPLES Canada locations in southwestern Ontario will also operate as drop-off points for computer devices and peripherals with a 90-day pilot run. Sears Canada has also gotten on board to host an electronics ‘take-back’ day in the parking lots of 14 stores across Eastern Ontario on April 25, 2009.
Although 25,000 tonnes of electronics in Ontario are collected annually through public and private sector programs, OES Executive Director Carol Hochu said that too much e-waste still winds up in the garbage or shipped off to countries with unsafe health and environmental standards.
More information on the program is available at OES website:
This news item first appeared in our affiliate environmental news service EcoLog.com (4/2/2009 11:56:00 AM)