The Minister of the Environment approved the first phase of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Plan (WEEE), the first full Producer Responsibility Plan in Ontario.

Ontario’s e-waste diversion program will be the first in Canada to set environmental performance targets for collection, reuse, recycling and accessibility. Currently, about 27 per cent of e-waste is reused or recycled, a number that is set to more than double to 61 per cent by year five.

The plan, approved by Environment Minister John Gerretsen, includes 420 drop-off locations in year one, up from the current 167, and more than 650 in year five. Drop off locations, free to the public, will include charities, municipal depots and recycling companies.

The Phase 1 Plan addresses 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 in 12 months.

Ontario households and businesses throw out about 90,000 tonnes of old computers, printers and televisions each year. Best estimates suggest that in five years the amount will grow to 123,000 tonnes, which represents about four million desktop computers, 1.5 million portable computers, 1.2 million monitors, 2.2 million TVs and 1.5 million printers.

Most importantly for municipalities, the industry will pay 100 per cent of the costs of the diversion program. AMO has worked hard to achieve this outcome and the Province should be congratulated on making it happen. The plan will be implemented eight months from the date of approval, early in the spring of 2009.


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