January 24, 2005

Alberta retailers begin collecting e-waste recycling fee February 1

On February 1, 2005, electronics retailers in Alberta will begin collecting a new environmental fee to support the province's environmental waste recycling program. The point-of-purchase fee (also termed an advance disposal surcharge) will apply to new televisions or computers (and related equipment) and will cover the cost of collection, transportation and recycling of electronic materials, public information and awareness programs and electronics recycling-related research.

Since the launch of the program-the first of its kind in Canada-in October, Albertans have been dropping off unwanted televisions and computers to more than 75 collection locations across the province. Items currently being accepted for recycling include: televisions; desktop computers; monitors; CPUs and peripherals, i.e. keyboard, mouse, cables, speakers; printers and printer combinations; and laptop computers/electronic notebooks.

The environmental fees will range from $5.00 for laptop computers and electronic notebooks to $45.00 for large-screen TVs.

"When the program was being developed, Albertans said they would support paying a fee as long as it directly funded the collection and recycling of electronics," said Doug Wright, CEO of the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA), which is managing the program. "This fee is paid by new electronics consumers, not taxpayers, and the money will be used exclusively for the electronics recycling program," he added.

There is no charge to drop off items for e-recycling. Companies in the industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) sectors may arrange to have their e-waste collected by the following companies:

* HMI Industries in Red Deer (call Dave La Plante at 403/346-4185);

* Maxus Technology in Rimbey (head office in Calgary, call Shelly Whitmore at 413/843-7707); or

* Recycle-Logic in Red Deer (call Todd Burton at 403/348-0770).

In 2004, an estimated 190,000 televisions and 90,000 desktop computers - which contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury - were discarded from Alberta households. Between 2001 and 2004, the city of Calgary ran highly successful one-day e-recycling roundups. The 2004 roundup was the biggest to date, collecting and recycling approximately 313,000 kilograms of e-waste.

More information, including drop-off locations, is available on the program Web site, www.albertarecycling.ca, or by calling the Alberta Recycling Management Authority toll-free at 1-888-999-8762.

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