Starting October 1, 2012 there will be an Environmental Handling Fee (EHF) charged to a variety of new electronics purchased in Quebec. Quebec will join 7 other provinces which currently charge an environmental handling fee for safe disposal of electronic items.
What is an environmental handling fee?: An environmental handling fee is indicated on receipts for electronic purchases as an “EHF” with an associated cost. The fee covers the cost of recovering and recycling or processing that electronic once it reaches its end of life. The money goes to the Association pour le recyclage des produits electronique du Quebec (ARPE) which manages the program, identifies and certifies recyclers and processors of electronic waste, as well as funding drop-off centres where consumers and businesses can take their old electronics. The environmental handling fee will vary by product. The fee is meant to reflect the true cost of disposing the product.
Best Buy has a document on its website which outlines what the environmental handling fees are by product and province. Visit its website to learn more.
Where electronic items can be dropped off: There are several municipalities within Quebec that already operate drop-off centres for old electronics. These will continue to exist, but will now be funded by the ARPE. There is no charge for dropping off old electronics. Keeping them out of landfill is very important, however, given that there are many valuable metals within electronics that can be extracted and reused, as well as toxic materials that should not leach into the ground. Recycling is the most reponsible method of disposing of electronic devices.
In addition to municipalities already participating in e-waste recycling, Bureau en Gros (Staples outside of Quebec) also has drop-off depots for old electronics.
All e-waste is then collected and sent to certified recyclers and processors for recovery.
To find a list of depots and municipalities in other provinces, visit the EPRA homepage (Electronic Products Recycling Association) to find your province, items accepted for recycling and depots where you can drop them off.
What kinds of electronic and electrical devices can be recycled?: Below is a list of products that can currently accepted for safe disposal and recycling in Quebec. Hopefully the list will grow as the program becomes more established. (source)
- Laptop computer
- Notebook computer
- Tablet computer
- Netbook computer
- E-book readers
- Computer terminal
- Desktop computer used as a server
- Thin client or Net top Computers
- Computer monitor
- Professional display
- Closed circuit monitor screen
- TV with built-in DVD and/or VCR player/recorder
- All in one computer
Printers, Scanners and Fax Machines
- Desktop printers
- Desktop scanners
- Desktop MFDs
- Camera dock printers
- Desktop business card scanners
- Desktop cheque scanners
- Desktop computer scanners
- Desktop fax machines
- Desktop label, barcode, card printers
- Desktop photo negative scanner
Floor standing Print, Copy, Fax and Multi-Functions Product
- Floor standing printers
- Floor standing scanners
- Floor standing MFDs
- Floor standing fax machine drum scanners
- Floor standing fax machine photocopiers
- Floor standing fax machines
NON-Cellular Phones and Answering Machines
- Telephones (corded and cordless, VoIP, satellite phones)
- Telephone line answering machines (cassette and digital)
- Speaker/Conference phone
Cellular devices and Pagers
- Cellular phones, including those offering camera, video recording and/or audio functions
- Smart phones (cell-enabled)
- Palmtop computers (cell-enabled)
- Cell-enabled PDAs utilizing touch-screen technology
- Cell-enabled handheld devices