[kwlug-disc] Free e-waste drop off?

Charles McColm chaslinux at gmail.com
Sat Dec 4 04:33:58 EST 2010

On Thu, 2010-12-02 at 00:40 -0500, Darryl O'Neill wrote:
> I thought that they got rid of those fees when they started charging 
> environment fees at the time of purchase.

This is exactly what happened. Five years ago Computer Recycling's waste
was picked up by a company that paid us for the waste. That changed
about a year later and it did a 360 degree with us having to pay almost
double the amount what we used to get paid for (e.g. We'd get $3 to
$5/CRT and ended up having to pay $10 for most CRT's and $20 for a few
larger ones). Now what's happened is that a little of that cost has been
off-loaded onto computer consumers, there's an ewaste fee added to many
computer parts. That fee goes to a non-profit group, the Ontario
Electronic Stewardship (OES) (which has many for-profit company execs on
its board), who organize and distribute where the fees go.

There are 3 kinds of OES "sites":
i) a primary processor - where material is actually ground up and turned
into raw materials or disposed of. In our area Greentec out of Cambridge
is a primary processor.
ii) collection sites - these OES partners store OES materials until
picked up by a truck that takes the material to a primary processor.
According to OES rules they are NOT suppose to touch the material until
other than to organize it into proper areas (CRTs, Printers, System
Units). Simple reasoning - they're not approved for handling people's
data. Future shop is an example of a collection site.
iii) refurbishing sites - these OES partners have passed an OES audit
that allows them to rebuild/reuse components. The Working Centre's
Computer Recycling Project is an example of this.

To find an OES location closest to you goto:

Note that The Working Centre's Computer Recycling is actually the ONLY
authorized "reuse" site in the KW area. All the other sites are, at
least according to the recycle your electronics site, a recycling site,
meaning what you send there goes to end of life and is either ground up
for plastic pellets/reuse in some other way, or disposed of.

These are just organizations that belong to the "OES"/Ontario Electronic
Stewardship. There are still recyclers/reusers who operate outside of
the umbrella of OES. As far as I know it's still quite legal to operate
a recycling/reuse outside of OES. 

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