Minister Gerretson approved Phase 2 of the Waste Electronics and Electrical Equipment Plan (WEEE).

The first phase of the WEEE program was approved in July of 2008 and came into effect on April 1, 2009. The second phase which was just approved is to take effect on April 1, 2010.  

The program, with an estimated cost of $74 million in the first year of operation, is fully paid for by Producers (manufacturers, brand owners and first importers) of electronics introduced into the Ontario marketplace. This is a shift of costs of managing waste from municipal taxpayers onto those who are responsible for the design and introduction of products into the marketplace.

Phase 2 of the program revises and builds on Phase 1 of the program. Phase 1 captures computers and peripherals (mice, keyboards), monitors, printers and televisions. Phase 2 expands the program to also capture telephones, copiers, stereos, radios, MP3 players and other audio-visual equipment. 

Both Phases of the program:

  • Collect, transport and process e-waste according to best practices;
  • Promote the program and educate Ontarians on their options to manage e-waste;
  • Increase the number of convenient options for consumers and businesses to return their electronics for reuse and recycling; 
  • Directs used electronics for recycling based primarily on environmental criteria (e.g., recycling rate achieved by processors);
  • Tracks waste electronics from collection through transportation and processing to final destination to ensure accountability; and 
  • Researches and develops better ways to manage difficult materials.
The collection, reuse and recycling targets established by the program will ensure that strong environmental benefits will be realized. The revised (Phase 1 and Phase 2) program aims to increase the collection of used electronics for reuse and recycling to over 60% in year 5. 

There are now over 300 new drop-off options up from the 167 locations prior to the start of the first phase of the program. The revised program sets a goal of more than 750 drop-off locations and collection events by the end of year five.
Drop-off locations include municipally-run centres, Salvation Army stores and retail outlets such as Best Buy and Staples Canada. Since the program began, special collection events, other than municipal events, have been held by Sears Canada, Habitat for Humanity, Leon’s Furniture and private companies.