Electronics & retail industries ready to get started on 3Rs waste diversion plan for computers, televisions and other electronics



    Plan aims to divert 17,000 new tonnes in first year

    TORONTO, July 10 /CNW/ - With the Environment Minister's approval of the
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Program Plan today, Sean
DeVries, chair of Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) said this new program
will fuel growth in the electronics reuse and refurbishment sector, boost
recycling and ensure end-of-life information technology and consumer
electronics will be managed in an environmentally responsible manner.
    The industry-developed plan maps out how programs will be put in place to
divert 17,000 new tonnes of computers, monitors, printers, disk drives,
keyboards, mice, fax machines and televisions from landfill in the first year.
At the end of five years, the target recovery is 75,000 tonnes, which is 60%
of available materials.
    "Our plan will significantly increase the number of collection locations
for WEEE over the next five years to ensure that people in all parts of
Ontario have access to convenient collection programs," said DeVries, who is
the environmental manager for Panasonic Canada, Inc.
    OES's first priority will be to promote the 3Rs hierarchy (reduce, reuse
and recycle), encouraging consumers who have electronics that are still useful
to take them to reuse and refurbishment organizations. End-of-life electronics
that are directed to recycling will be taken to processing facilities that
will be required to meet strict environmental, health and safety standards to
ensure that these materials won't find their way into the environment.
    "This program is a huge win for the environment and for all Ontarians,"
DeVries said. "It will give both business and consumers the tools to ensure
waste electronic equipment is managed properly and that valuable components
are recycled into new products, not dumped in landfill sites."
    OES is the not-for-profit organization formed by leading retail,
information technology and consumer electronic companies to implement the WEEE
plan under the Waste Diversion Act. The plan requires brand owners, first
importers and assemblers to pay fees to OES that will be used to operate the
program. The obligated companies will pay 100% of the program costs, estimated
to be $62 million in year one, for collection, transportation, consolidation,
processing, administration, public education, research and development, and
continuous improvements in technology and program implementation. The
government will not receive any of the fees from OES or from WEEE stewards.
    Under the requirements of the program, OES will develop a tracking and
auditing system for the WEEE materials from the point of collection through to
the final destination, including verifying that the processing is managed in
an environmentally responsible manner. It will be accountable for program
performance and costs to Waste Diversion Ontario, an organization set up by
the Minister of the Environment to oversee waste diversion programs in
Ontario.
    OES estimates that Ontario homes and businesses annually produce 91,000
tonnes of computers, monitors, fax machines, printers and televisions.
    Industry's role includes working directly with reuse and refurbishment
organizations, municipalities, retailers, charitable and other non-profit
organizations, and with recyclers to increase the public's access to
collection events and depots.
    "The brand owners, first importers and assemblers of these products are
the first to say that province-wide waste diversion programs are needed to
ensure we keep this equipment out of landfill sites. We believe we have the
central role in seeing to it that our products are properly managed at their
end of life. That includes making sure that recovered equipment isn't exported
to countries where environmental, health and safety standards may be lower
than in Ontario," De Vries said.
    "We are proud of this electronics stewardship plan," he said. "It
incorporates best practices that we've learned from the programs we've already
put in place in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. Through this
plan we are accepting our responsibility as stewards to ensure our products
are managed in an environmentally sound manner at the end of their working
life."

    Note: OES is an industry organization whose members comprise electrical
and electronic equipment brand owners, first importers and assemblers. It was
incorporated by Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) as the body to work
co-operatively with WDO to develop and implement the waste electrical and
electronic equipment (WEEE) diversion plan. WDO is the non-crown corporation
created under the Waste Diversion Act, 2002 to oversee development,
implementation and operation of programs to increase the diversion of
materials designated under the Waste Diversion Act including Blue Box
recyclables; municipal hazardous or special waste; and electrical and
electronic waste.

    Backgrounder can be viewed at:
    www.ontarioelectronicstewardship.ca

    The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Program Plan can be viewed
at: http://www.ontarioelectronicstewardship.ca/program.html

    OES website: www.ontarioelectronicstewardship.ca

    WDO website: www.wdo.ca





For further information:

For further information: Barbara McConnell, OES, (647) 777-3362, Cell:
(416) 452-2373, after-hours (613) 471-1816

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Ontario Electronic Stewardship

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