February 14, 2005

Nova Scotia begins 30-day comment period on draft e-waste management rules

Nova Scotia's Department of Environment and Labour last week launched a 30-day public consultation on draft regulations to ban a full range of electronic products from landfills. The proposed regulations also outline requirements for electronic products stewardship programs. Comments are due by March 10, 2005.

The amendments to the solid waste-resource management regulation under the provincial Environment Act would ban the following products from landfills: televisions; computers, printers, scanners and their components; audio and video equipment such as stereos and VCRs; telephones; fax machines; cell phones and other wireless devices; and electronic game equipment. The department estimates that about 4,500 tonnes of electronic waste will be thrown out in Nova Scotia this year.

The regulation would require brand owners to develop their own electronic product stewardship programs and submit their proposed programs to the Environment Minister for approval. Alternatively, a brand owner could enter into an industry stewardship agreement with the Nova Scotia Environmental Assessment Board under which the Board would submit for departmental approval a stewardship program proposal on the brand owner's behalf. Other provisions of the draft regulation would allow the Board to operate a product stewardship program on the brand owner's behalf as well.

The draft regulation stipulates that 80% of the re-usable and recyclable portion of the post-consumer electronic products collected is to be re-used or recycled. It outlines requirements for electronics product stewardship programs, addressing collection depots, program costs and implementation of "design for the environment" programs for the brand owner's products. Elements of such programs include the elimination of environmentally harmful materials from the brand owners' products, redesign of the products for re-use, redesign of products for disassembly and recycling, the development of identification and separation systems for recycling plastics, and the development of recycling markets for disassembled components.

A proposed implementation date of January 1, 2006 is included in the regulation. More information is available on the department's Web site, www.gov.ns.ca/enla, in the "What's New" section.

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