Mr. Speaker, regulated electronics recycling programs are in place or under development in all Canadian provinces and the Yukon Territory and we are making good progress on an electronics recycling program in the Northwest Territories.
Recycling electronics helps prevent harmful materials from leaching into the environment when disposed in landfills, burned or left on the land. Recycling old electronics into new products also minimizes environmental impacts related to extracting raw materials through mining and other activities.
In a survey conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 2008, residents identified electronics recycling as one of the top three priorities for the territorial waste reduction and recovery program.
ENR began an electronics recycling pilot project in September 2013, which has collected over 20 tonnes of electronics at bottle depots in Fort McPherson, Norman Wells, Fort Smith and Fort Providence.
Through a competitive process, e-waste collected under the NWT’s program will be sent to a recycler in Alberta on a three year contract. Recyclers will be required to be registered under the Government of Alberta electronics recycling program. This will ensure important environmental standards and employee health and safety standards are met, and will make sure no electronics are sent to countries where minimum standards are not in place to protect the environment and employee health and safety.
There is a cost to recycling the e-waste but these will be covered through the environmental handling fees charged on each new electronics product purchased in the NWT or purchased online. These fees range from $3 for a portable computer to $100 for large industrial printers.
ENR is currently drafting new Electronics Recycling Regulations under the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act.
The program has been designed to ensure a level playing field for retailers. Proposed fees are comparable to program start-up fees in other jurisdictions and are no higher than the top end of fees in other Canadian jurisdictions. Measures will also be put in place to make sure all electronics suppliers are compliant with the Regulations, including online electronics distributers.
From January 6 to February 16, 2015 stakeholders were invited to provide feedback on the proposed NWT Electronics Recycling Program. These included industry associations representing electronics suppliers, NWT and local Chamber of Commerce offices, Arctic Co-op, Northwest Company, NWT Association of Communities, mines, Government of the Northwest Territories, Public Works and Services and the waste management service industry.
Most of the feedback received was from national and multinational electronics manufacturers, distributers and retailers. There was generally support for the program and no feedback was received expressing broad opposition to an electronics recycling program in NWT.
Comments from stakeholders included ensuring that environmental handling fees are set appropriately, delaying the program launch to avoid busy times for retailers, engaging industry in refining the product list and harmonizing the NWT program with other jurisdictions as much as possible.
The program will be funded by environmental handling fees charged to electronic suppliers on all new designated electronics sold in or into the NWT. Refunds will not be provided for electronics returned for recycling.
The draft Regulations will be complete in spring 2015 and a territory-wide electronics recycling program is targeted to launch in fall 2015. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.