As of April 1st, 2009, a new fee will be added to the purchase price of many computer and consumer electronic products. The fee is a requirement of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) program under the Ontario Waste Diversion Act (2002).
In Ontario, more than 91,000 tonnes of electrical and electronics equipment are disposed of each year, but only about one quarter of it is being managed properly. Many electronic products contain materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury which, if not handled properly, could have environmental impacts and cause health and safety concerns. The income generated by the new fees will help offset these safe handling costs, and will be collected by Ontario Electronic Stewardship, a non-profit organization which implements the WEEE program.
The program will be rolled out in multiple phases. The first phase, which goes live on April 1st, includes desktop and mobile computers, monitors, printers, fax machines, televisions, and peripheral devices such as keyboards and mice. The fee structure is a flat rate based on the type of item being purchased, and fees range from $0.32 for computer peripherals to $13.44 per desktop computer. Phase 2 of the program, to be implemented at a later date, is expected to include cell phones, cameras, radios, MP3 players and more.
For more information, please visit the Ontario Electronic Stewardship website.