Reducing Electronic Waste

Published on October 23, 2020

As part of Waste Reduction Week, Minister Yurek has introduced a new regulation that will require producers to collect and safely manage the full life-cycle of their electrical and electronic equipment, such as cell phones, computers, printers and gaming equipment in order to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and support a circular economy. The regulation, which will be enforceable on January 1, 2021, also promotes the reuse and refurbishment of products so they can be resold.

Minister Yurek was joined by representatives from Nokia Canada and Greener Acres to also announce a new partnership for an innovative project to use recycled electronics to create smart light poles. These multi-use poles which are designed and manufactured by Greener Acres, an Ontario-based company, can support Smart City technologies and enable the delivery of highspeed broadband powered by Nokia across the province.

Under the new program, electrical and electronic equipment would be managed more efficiently, providing a free and robust collection network that will make recycling electronics and lighting easier for consumers, reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and potentially the emission of several pollutants, including greenhouse gases.

These new requirements will not only reduce the amount of waste produced by electronics, but will create opportunities to enable innovative solutions for managing electronic waste and the evolving demands of the tech sector.

The Ontario government supports innovation from the private sector and encourages the use of electronic waste for new, sustainable products.

The new regulation will also create new collection and management obligations for lighting producers starting in 2023 and will increase the types of products that Ontarians are able to recycle through producer responsibility programs - resulting in more waste being diverted from landfills. This is one of many important steps, outlined in Ontario’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, the government is taking to balance a healthy economy and a healthy environment.

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