Tuesday, May 11, 2010

British Columbia E-Waste Program Success Story

Guest Column
By Helen Spiegelman
Zero Waste Vancouver Blog

In BC we take computers back to be recycled in a program that is authorized by Sony, Dell, HP, Apple, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

All those good names and logos are on the line that our e-waste won't end up in the place pictured here.

This is the place where our federal government sent its e-waste until good work by the Basel Action Network brought images like this home.
The timing couldn't have been better. British Columbia's landmark, earth-changing Industry Product Stewardship legislation was shining the spotlight on major brand-owners, calling them to the table, saying: "This is your problem. Solve it."

The brand-owners got it. Seeing the handwriting on the wall (that they were going to have to take back our e-waste and recycle it) they developed a sheet of Vendor Qualifications setting out for companies wanting to do business with them what could, and couldn't, happen to all those products bearing their brands that came back from consumers. What couldn't happen: prison labour or export.

The Electronic Stewardship Association of BC is the group of brand-owners that oversee what happens to ewaste in our province. They are asking their Advisory Committee (on which Zero Waste Vancouver has a seat) what should be their priorities for the coming year. They will be sitting down in the fall to develop an Annual Plan for 2011.

What should I tell them on your behalf?

For myself, I'm going to ask them what they are doing to avoid the public relations disaster being suffered this week by the Ontario government!

Pic: Huffington Post -- The World's Most Bizarre [and heartwrenching] Man-Made Disasters.

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