May 7, 2007

Manitoba plans collection program for electronic waste

Through its Waste Reduction and Pollution Prevention (WRAPP) Fund, the Manitoba government will begin a series of province-wide "roundups" in early June to collect electronic waste. Conservation Minister Stan Struthers said the e-waste recycling collection project will receive $100,000 in support from the fund.

Struthers said the initiative, whose timing will coincide with Canadian Environment Week 2007, "will provide a much-needed opportunity for Manitobans to dispose of electronic waste prior to implementation of an industry stewardship program. We will continue to work with our industry partners to help build the foundation for a sustainable, industry-led solution," he added.

The first steps of Manitoba E-waste Roundup 2007 include:

*setting up a series of collection depots throughout the province, in co-operation with municipalities, environmental groups and businesses;

*confirming the logistics and economics of collecting, processing and transporting e-waste in Manitoba; and

*ensuring that proper procedures and standards are followed for accepting and processing e-waste and training on-site depot staff.

Manitoba residents are being invited to bring out their tired televisions, broken VCRs, blown-out stereos, forgotten phones and outdated computers. Other items targeted for recycling will be phones, monitors, CPUs and hard drives, laptops, keyboards, printers, scanners, copiers, fax machines, rechargeable batteries and microwaves. The initiative is expected to prevent an estimated 500 tonnes of scrap electronic equipment from entering landfills.

Community partners and collection sites, including sites in Winnipeg, are being confirmed for the first phase of the project. Participating areas include: Eastman-Steinbach; Parklands-Dauphin; Westman-Brandon; Virden; Shoal Lake; North-Thompson; South Central-Portage la Prairie; Minnedosa; Neepawa; Carberry; Interlake-Selkirk; and Gimli. The province's Green Manitoba office is also working in partnership with the non-governmental organization Computers for Schools Manitoba.

Struthers noted this initiative builds on the Electronic Product Stewardship of Manitoba pilot project supported in 2002. Long-term plans for a sustainable e-waste management program and regulation are planned for later in 2007. Depot locations and updated information on the project will be posted on the Green Manitoba Web site, www.greenmanitoba.ca.

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