Consumer or Business
Electronics Recycling Fees Hard at Work in Ontario
Fees are one way to fund recycling programs for the products you purchase. When you purchase an item, such as electronics, these fees cover the cost for making sure the electronics that no longer work or are out-of-use don’t just end up in a landfill, but are safely and responsibly managed for both the valuable components they contain, as well as the substances of concern. In the Ontario recycling program for electronics, the up-front fee you may pay when you purchase a new item is called an Environmental Handling Fee, or EHF.
Ontario’s e-waste diversion program is managed by Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES), an industry funding non-profit organization stewarded by the electronics industry, with oversight of Waste Diversion Ontario, according to the Waste Diversion Act 2002. OES is paid by monthly fees that are charged to Stewards (the electronics manufacturer or importer or retailer/distributor). OES does not tell these companies how to manage these costs. Some companies will internalize the cost, while others may charge consumers an environmental handling fee at the point of purchase.
OES operates end-to-end services to manage end-of-life electronics in a responsible and efficient manner; including: collection, transportation, processing (or recycling), as well as financial incentives for those services. The majority of the fee (89 cents of every fee dollar) is directed towards these material management costs.
OES Service Providers meet strict environmental and health and safety standards of the Recycler Qualification Office (RQO); established by the industry-led end-of-life electronics stewardship programs to ensure that national, environmentally sound electronics reuse and recycling standards are established, met, maintained and continually improved upon. The RQO operates under Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA), a national, non-profit entity, created by Canada’s electronics industry in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Canada's industry-led and regulated electronics stewardship programs.
The balance of the environmental handling fee is used to promote and educate consumers and businesses on where and how they may safely dispose and drop off their out-of-use electronics—currently 44 accepted items in the program—for reuse or recycling at no charge. For more information on our business operations, please reference our latest Annual Report.
Together with OES, our network of municipalities, retailers, non-profits and commercial organizations are working hard to meet the demand, as well as goals set by regulators while delivering on our mandate of environmentally responsible and cost effective end-of-life electronics collection. Recycling fees are hard at work for the environment and you, Ontario.
Consumers of electronics are a driving force behind this program. When the electronics you use at home, at the office, school or on the go are no longer needed or at the end of their useful life, we can help point you in the right direction to ensure convenient, safe and responsible reuse or recycling. The upfront EHF allows consumers to drop off at no charge. Go to recycleyourelectronics.ca to search for the drop-off location nearest you.