British Columbia, Canada Brings in First Complete Waste Electrical & Electronics Extended Producer Responsibility Program in North America
If it comes with a battery or a plug British Columbia now recycles it. As of July 1, 2012, BC has expanded its extended producer responsibility (EPR) recycling programs to collect and safely deal with the largest variety of waste electrical & electronic equipment (WEEE) of any other jurisdiction in North America. For the first time in North America, all end-of-life electronic and electrical products can now be recycled.
As the demands of recycling have increased, so have the number of industry-led stewardship agencies in response to the BC Recycling Regulation. The Recycling Regulation shifts taxpayer funded responsibility for managing end-of-life products and packaging to producers and consumers.
In 2009, the Electronics and Electrical Category defined under the BC Recycling Regulation was amended to phase in an expanded list of products to fall under EPR programs, culminating in the July 1, 2012 compliance date.
In the case of WEEE, several collection channels were cooperatively developed. The use of existing Encorp Pacific (Canada) Return-It™ depots by the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) began in 2007. Encorp was contracted to manage EPRA’s operations under the Return-It™ Electronics label. Independently owned depots are situated throughout BC allowing consumers and businesses easy access. Businesses with large volume of used products can utilize the free of charge direct pick-up services. EPRA also works with businesses that collect end-of-life electronic products from vendors like the BC Lottery Corporation who collects and arranges the recycling of old video gaming machines.
The WEEE programs started out recycling computers, televisions, key boards and printers and now collect: all batteries, cell phones, thermostats, fluorescent lamps, lighting equipment, smoke detectors, small and large appliances, electrical and electronic tools, medical devices, automatic dispensers, toys, musical instruments, leisure and sports equipment, monitoring and control instruments, IT and telecommunications equipment and accessories for use with any e-waste products.
Detailed analysis and results, as provided by Global Product Stewardship Council Corporate Members Encorp Pacific (Canada) Vice President, Development & CMO Sandy Sigmond, has been made available on the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members.
Other GlobalPSC members based in the province include the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and the Recycling Council of British Columbia.