November 1, 2004

Ontario proposes regulation to designate e-waste for diversion

A waste electronic and electrical equipment (e-waste) regulation proposed by the Ontario government would authorize the Environment Minister to direct Waste Diversion Ontario to develop a program to reduce the amount of the e-wastes listed in the regulation sent to landfills. The program would be developed in co-operation with an organization representing the electronics and electrical equipment industry.

The draft regulation lists more than 200 items which could be designated, ranging from information technology and audio-visual equipment such as computers (and peripheral items), telephones and related equipment, fax machines, CB (and ordinary) radios, TVs and CD players, traffic signals, broadcast equipment, and navigational, measuring, control and medical instruments, to household and leisure equipment such as children's toys, PC games, power tools and lawn mowers. The Minister will have the authority to establish the specific scope of the diversion program, including the particular materials to be diverted, in the program request sent to Waste Diversion Ontario. Once a group of materials has been designated, the request for a diversion program is the next step. The regulation also allows the government to expand the list of products in the future.

While approximately 157,000 tonnes of e-wastes were disposed of in Canada in 2002, only 9,000 tonnes were disposed of through recycling, including 775 tonnes in several large Ontario municipalities. Quantities of e-waste requiring disposal are forecast to increase to 206,000 tonnes by 2010. There are currently 14 e-waste recycling facilities in Ontario.

The draft regulation has been posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights registry for a 30-day comment period ending November 25, 2004 (www.ene.gov.on.ca/envregistry/023878er.htm, registry reference No RA04E0019). After a review of comments received on the draft regulation, the Minister will issue a designation letter to Waste Diversion Ontario.

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