COLIN CORNEAU/THE BRANDON SUN
Blake Hallett, a civic employee at the city’s landfill site, walks among the stacks of electronic waste turned in for recycling. Specialized disposal and recycling keeps the heavy, toxic metals used in electronics out of the ecosystem.
Everything from iPods to big screen TVs will now cost a little more due to a new recycling fee.
Manitoba’s electronic waste program kicks in across the province on Wednesday. The environmental handling fee will be charged on new items only and will cover the costs of recycling the electronics later.
"This charge is for everyone, whether you’re a company or an individual, you will pay this fee," said Dennis Neufeld, program manager with Electronic Products Recycling Association Manitoba (EPRA).
The fees range from 40 cents for iPods and MP3 players to $23.25 for a big-screen TV.
The fee then is sent to EPRA Manitoba, which is an industry-led, non-profit stewardship program. It pays for the collection sites across the province.
"The fee is designed to recycle that item," Neufeld said. "When you look at an iPod, it’s not very big, it’s not very difficult, so it doesn’t take much to recycle those items, so that’s why it’s 40 cents."
Drop-off points are set up across Manitoba, where both residents and businesses can drop off their old electronics free of charge.
Previously, only residents were able to drop off electronics for free.
"We’re offering conveniently placed collection sites for people to drop off their end-of-life electronics," Neufeld said.
The fee pays for the processor to recycle the items in a "secure and responsible" manner.
Computers, TVs, printers, radios, DVD players, stereos, microwave ovens and many other electronics will be accepted at the collection sites.
"Electronics is the fastest-growing waste right now, globally," Neufeld said. "So what we’re doing is, we want to make sure that we’re diverting these items from the landfill because these items contain products inside that are hazardous."
Old electronics may contain mercury, cadmium and leaded glass.
"We’re also making sure that we recycle them in a secure manner," Neufeld said. "These items are all going to be looked after by us and we will not allow any components or pieces of the components to end up in developing countries."
Brandon’s Landfill Site at 3000 Victoria Ave. East is one collection site for electronic waste. Brandon Computers, located 1229 Richmond Ave.will also accept e-waste.
For a full list of fees, what can be recycled and where the recycling depots are located, visit recyclemyelectronics.ca.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 31, 2012