Waste Diversion Ontario Applauds Approval of The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Plan

    TORONTO, July 10 /CNW/ - Ontario residents will soon have more
opportunities to safely and responsibly donate for reuse or recycle their old
electronics following the provincial government's approval of the Waste
Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) program, Glenda Gies, Executive
Director of Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) said today.
    While there are now just 167 waste electronic collection sites across the
province, within five years that number will increase to over 650 under the
WEEE Program.
    "The Ontario government's approval of the WEEE program is great news for
Ontario's environment and will put the province at the forefront of
environmental stewardship and the promotion of reducing, reusing, and
recycling" said Gies.
    The WEEE program will consist of multiple phases. The Phase 1 Plan will
address desktop and portable computers, computer peripherals, monitors,
printers, fax machines and televisions. A plan for second phase materials,
such as phones, cameras and audiovisual equipment, will follow approximately
12 months later.
    "Diverting these materials through available 3Rs activities contributes
to sustainable development and reduces the environmental footprint of WEEE
consumers and the Province of Ontario," said Gies. "The program will also
ensure end of life electronics from Ontario consumers are processed in an
environmentally sound manner."
    An estimated 91,000 tonnes of computers, monitors, printers, fax machines
and televisions are generated each year in Ontario with a current collection
rate of 27%. The remaining waste is now either being landfilled or exported to
overseas locations with unknown environmental and human health implications.
Many electronic products contain materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury,
which if not handled properly, could have environmental impacts and cause
health and safety concerns.
    Collection options may include municipal collection depots and events,
sponsored WEEE 'Round-Up' events, reuse and refurbishment organizations,
charitable organizations, processors, waste haulers and recyclers,
return-to-retail programs as well as recycling programs offered by electronics
manufacturers. Sites will be located across the province to ensure the
greatest possible access for householders and businesses.
    WDO developed the WEEE program over the past year in co-operation with
Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES), representing the manufacturers and
importers of the Phase 1 products. To produce the best possible program for
Ontario, WDO consulted with stakeholders across Ontario and incorporated best
practices used by programs in other Canadian provinces and other countries.
    "Ontarians have shown themselves more than willing to participate in the
diversion of materials from disposal through the 3Rs when given the
opportunity," said Gies. "Through the WEEE program, the government has given
them another opportunity to dramatically increase the amount of electronic
equipment that is collected, reused and recycled across Ontario."

For further information:

For further information: Glenda Gies, Executive Director, Waste
Diversion Ontario, (416) 226-5113 ext 296

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Waste Diversion Ontario

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