October 22, 2007

Manitoba seeks input on draft e-waste rules

As part of Manitoba's observation of Waste Reduction Week, October 15 to 21, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers and Science, Technology, Energy, and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau reported the results of a successful electronics waste (e-waste) roundup project that collected between 250 and 300 tonnes of e-waste at 19 depots in 15 communities across Manitoba this spring. In addition, the province's household hazardous waste (HHW) collection system is keeping more than 500,000 kilograms of hazardous waste out of landfills annually.

The provincial government has also fulfilled its promise from earlier this year to introduce e-waste regulations and is currently inviting public comment on draft regulations intended to improve the management of e-waste and HHW in Manitoba. The new rules would make industry responsible for programs to manage these wastes.

"As part of Manitoba's continuing effort to reduce waste, the province is strengthening its product stewardship program," said Struthers. "The proposed regulations are based on the principles of producer responsibility and promote the principles of pollution prevention and its four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and recover."

The proposed regulations under the Waste Reduction and Prevention (WRAP) Act would assign responsibility for managing targeted waste materials to new organizations to be established by industry stewards. Manufacturers and distributors would be required to develop plans to properly manage their products from sale to disposal.

The draft Hazardous or Prescribed Household Material Stewardship Regulation would address the management of materials that meet the criteria for hazardous household waste materials set out in the Canadian Standards Association standards as well as automotive antifreeze, automotive lead acid batteries, consumer paint products, fluorescent lighting tubes and compact fluorescent lights, pesticides and pharmaceuticals.

Activities for this and other product stewardship initiatives are being co-ordinated by Green Manitoba, a special operating agency of government. Green Manitoba is also focusing attention on other areas of product stewardship, such as tires and packaging, singled out as priorities in the province's Green and Growing strategy.

Along with the regulations, guides for product stewards are available for review. The documents outline the requirements of the regulations, clarify stakeholder roles and responsibilities, and provide guidance on performance, operational and reporting expectations for program operators. Comments are due by November 13, 2007.

Copies of the proposed regulations and guides for stewards are available on-line at www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/pollutionprevention/waste/prop-regs.html, or may be requested from the Conservation Department's pollution prevention branch, 204/945-8443 (toll-free 1-800-282-8069, ext. 8443).

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