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420 Ontario Municipal E-Waste Depots Will Cost Too Much
Ontario's e-waste plan will cost communities more than advertised to operate collection depots. Ontario cities and towns should use special collection events to minimize expenses and maximize convenience for the public.
By: Patrick Hebert, Thriftopia.com Ltd.
Towns and cities beware.
The plan offers municipalities and OES approved collection depots $165 per ton of certain types of electronics collected, provided that the equipment is sorted and packaged according to the requirements of the OES. The program will initially cover TVs, Computer Monitors, Desktop & Laptop Computers, Computer Accessories and Printers. OES will also pay for transportation and recycling of specified equipment. Other items such as fridges, stoves, washers and dryers are not covered. Cell phones, stereos, iPods and cameras aren’t on the list yet either.
According to projections provided in the plan document, each person in Ontario is expected to generate 7.60 kilograms (nearly 15 pounds) of “subject” e-waste for collection beginning in April, 2009. This means that the OES will pay about $0.75 for every person who recycles.
Based on the target of 60% diversion, a town with a population of 1,000 people would be compensated $752.40 for collecting, sorting, and packaging 7.6 tons of e-waste. Small cities such as Huntsville with a population of 22,000 would earn $16,500. In fact, the entire District of Muskoka with a population of 57,000 people would collect $62,000 for managing their WEEE.
The City of Barrie with a population of 130,000 is expected to generate 988 tonnes of TVs, Monitors and computers and peripherals in the first year of the program. At 60% diversion the City would earn $97,000. Two full time staff earning $40,000 per year plus benefits would quickly turn such profits into a drain on the local economy.
Under OES funding, dedicated collection depots may not be appropriate for most municipalities in Ontario. Collection events, executed a few times per year at a much lower expense would be a better option for most Ontario communities. Before deciding to set up depots to divert e-waste, municipalities should consider using a social enterprise such as Thriftopia.com to organize and execute special collection events instead.
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Thriftopia.com Ltd. is a family owned social enterprise operated by people living with disabilities based in Barrie, Ontario providing computer reuse, recycling and related services to the public and companies large and small. Our mission is to improve tomorrow by keeping people and resources working.
Media contact Patrick Hebert Jr. for more information by calling 705-828-7162 or email firstname.lastname@example.org