Canada Wrestles With E-Waste Fix*
OTTAWA, Ontario -- When it comes to computers, one Canadian nonprofit group is talking rubbish.
The nonprofit Electronics Product Stewardship Canada initiative wants to start recycling aged computers, laptops and televisions to address a growing e-waste problem. But setting up the new initiative is going to be anything but straightforward, and the proposal comes just as a group of Swedish activists trashed the hauling of refuse to recycling facilities as a waste of time.
The EPS Canada initiative is backed by 16 multinational computer and electronics firms, including Apple Canada and Dell Canada, and seed financing of $500,000 Canadian.
Currently, no legislation exists in Canada for recycling electronics. Most of Canada's electronic waste ends up in local landfills, while some computer hardware has been shipped to and dumped in Asia, according to EPS Canada President Dave Betts.
But with new legislation on the way in a number of provinces, the industry has voluntarily formed the nonprofit to try to dismantle the mounting pile of electronic junk.
Canadians got rid of an estimated 34,000 tons of information technology waste in 1999, according to an Environment Canada survey in 2000. Over the next five years, this amount is projected to double to approximately 67,000 tons.
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