As program director of the newly launched Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) program in Newfoundland and Labrador, I am writing in response to a letter to the editor published Sept. 20 entitled “When a $178 TV is not a $178 TV.”
In particular, I wish to address the concern raised around the payment of a “disposal fee” on the purchase of a new television and to dispel the misconception that this fee is in any way a tax.
As of Aug. 1, EPRA launched a new recycling program aimed at end-of-life electronics in this province. As a recognized industry-led not-for-profit organization, EPRA provides an approved environmental compliance program for manufacturers, distributors and retailers of electronics and currently runs programs in seven provinces across Canada.
Although there is no charge to residents who drop off electronic products, the EPRA program is funded by an environmental handling fee (EHF) charged on the sale of new designated electronic products. This fee is not a tax and is not administered by any municipal, provincial or federal government. The EHF is paid at the time of purchase and is a true reflection of the cost to collect, transport and responsibly recycle the item through the EPRA NL program.
From the time that unwanted electronics are dropped off at a designated EPRA drop-off centre, they are managed according to the highest environmental standards at every stage of the process.
EPRA only works with recyclers who have been verified under the national Recycler Qualification Program, which is designed by the electronics industry to ensure that end-of-life-electronics are managed in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Furthermore, all EPRA-approved recyclers are prohibited from exporting electronics or
substances of concern to non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations.
With 16 drop-off centres now available across the province, and special collection events scheduled for the upcoming year, EPRA is estimating that over 1,000 metric tonnes (equivalent to 100 tractor-trailer loads) of end-of-life electronics will be collected, diverted from landfill and responsibly recycled in the first year of the program alone.
For more EPRA NL information, including a complete list of obligated products and to find their closest drop-off centre, I encourage readers to visit our website at recycleMYelectronics.ca/nl.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Electronic Products Recycling Association