New e-waste recycling program launched
QMI AGENCY FILE
A new recycling program was recently launched in Manitoba to keep electronics like computers, home phones, and other devices such as televisions out of landfills. The program, which is run by the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) Manitoba, launched on Aug. 1 and is already adding a recycling fee to newly purchased electronics.
Ferdi van Dongen, CEO of Portage and District Recycling Inc., explained that the new program is taking over from a previous government run program called Green Manitoba.
“The program is the continuation of the old program that was run by the Manitoba government. They basically entrusted the responsibility of recycling to the private sector,” said van Dongen. “All the distributors and retailers of electronics are now responsible to ensure that the recycling system runs; that fee structure that has been introduced comes from them.”
The new environmental handling fee (EFH) will be collected on the purchase of all new electronic equipment. The fund will assist in covering the actual cost to recycle the product, which is not covered by the government or by taxpayers.
Portage and District Recycling functions as a depot where electronic goods can be dropped off Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. While the previous program was restricted to residential customers only, the new program now accepts e-waste from businesses.
“We’ve had to turn down businesses in the past but that’s not the case anymore,” said van Dongen. “We can also pick it up at a small charge, for anybody for that matter. We have personnel that can do that.”
Acceptable electronics include: computers, televisions, DVD players, microwaves, rechargeable and disposable batteries, as well as any electronic paraphernalia like mice, computer cables, keyboards, and related items.
Things that should not be dropped off include smoke detectors, and electronic appliances like vacuum cleaners and toaster ovens. Cell phones are also not accepted as they have to go to a different drop off location (see www.recyclemycell.ca for more info.)
In the past the e-waste recycling program has been very successful in Portage la Prairie.
“Certainly we do get a lot of e-waste, which is very good. The City of Portage and surrounding area, we ship four semi trailer truck loads of e-waste out per year. That is quite a bit, and that will include some surrounding area people that voluntarily drop it off here,” said van Dongen.
He just wants to remind people to keep recycling e-waste instead of throwing it into the garbage.
“There are dangerous heavy metals in these appliances that will contaminate the ground water and generations after us will pay for it,” said van Dongen. “It will be totally irresponsible, so let’s not do that anymore.”
A complete list of electronics accepts can be viewed at www.recycleMYelectronics.ca.
Environmental Handling Fees (EHF) will be paid on various products in the following amounts:
Desktop Computers CPU $15.00
Portable Computer $3.00
Printers, Scanners and Fax Machines $8.00
Personal/Portable Audio and Video Playback and Recording Systems $.40
Home Audio and Video Playback and Recording Systems or Components $3.50
Home Theatre in a Box (HTB) Systems $6.00
Vehicle Audio & Video Systems/Components $2.75
Non-cellular telephones and Answering Machines $.85
Countertop Microwave Ovens
Under 1.0 cu. Ft. $7.50
Over 1.0 cu. Ft. $10.00
Do you approve of the new recycling fee?
Yes, we need to protect the planet
No, it should only be for those recycling e-waste