Following the tabling of the Québec Draft Residual Materials Management Policy and its Action Plan 2010-2015, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks tabled three draft regulations to support the Policy’s implementation in accordance with the strategies of the Action Plan.
- Extended Producer Responsibility
The Draft Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprises (Draft Regulation) is aimed at reducing the quantity of residual materials sent for disposal by making businesses responsible for the recovery and reclamation of certain products designated under the Draft Regulation. At this time, the products covered by the Draft Regulation are electronic products, batteries, mercury lamps, paint and paint containers, as well as used oils, coolants, antifreeze and their filters and containers.
- Recovery And Reclamation Program
The Draft Regulation provides that companies that market a new product under a brand, name or distinguishing guise, owned or used by the enterprise, will be required to implement a recovery and reclamation program within the prescribed period that meets the requirements of the Draft Regulation. They must also set up collection points where all types of products similar to the ones they sell can be left for recovery or, in some cases, provide collection services for these products (if they were delivered to a consumer’s home, for example). An exemption is provided for those companies who become a member of an organization the function or one of the functions of which is to implement or to contribute financially towards the implementation of a recovery and reclamation system for discarded products that has been approved in accordance with the Environment Quality Act.
The Draft Regulation provides that a recovery and reclamation program must provide for the management of recovered products to ensure their reclamation by focussing on reuse, recycling, biological reclamation and energy from waste reclamation or, ultimately, their elimination unless a life cycle analysis shows that a method is more advantageous than another in environmental terms or existing technology does not allow for the use of a management method. The system must furthermore ensure that the management of recovered products, including their transportation, storage, sorting, consolidation and treatment is carried out according to accepted standards and enables to follow the recovery and reclamation process of the products and materials, from their recovery to their final reclamation destination. Favouring the local or regional management of residual materials and providing for collection points as determined by the Draft Regulation are other requirements to be met besides providing information, awareness and education activities, including a research and development aspect of the program and ensuring that it is regularly audited as prescribed by the Draft Regulation.
- Designated Products
The categories of products presently targeted by the Draft Regulation are electronic products, batteries, mercury lamps, paint and paint containers and oil, coolants, antifreeze and their filters and containers. Existing regulations applicable to the recovery and reclamation of paints and paint containers as well used oils, oil or fluid containers and used filters will be revoked and existing programs for these products will be replaced with the programs developed under the Draft Regulation.
Electronic products covered by the Draft Regulation are electronic appliances used to send, receive, display, store, record or save information, images, sounds or waves, and their accessories, except products designed and intended to be used in an industrial, commercial or institutional environment inclusively. The Draft Regulation provides that the subcategories of electronic products covered by the Regulation are:
- desktop computers;
- laptop computers;
- handheld computers and tablet PCs;
- computer screens;
- television sets;
- cellular or satellite telephones, wireless and conventional telephones and their hands-free devices, pagers and answering machines;
- keyboards, mouses, cables, connections, remote controls and ink cartridges designed to be used with a product covered by the products listed under the Regulation;
- scanners, faxes and photocopiers;
- videogame consoles and their peripherals;
- players, recorders, burners, sound, image and wave storage devices, amplifiers, frequency-equalizers and digital receivers;
- portable digital players, e-book readers, radio receivers, walkie-talkies, digital cameras, digital photo frames, camcorders and global positioning systems;
- routers, servers, hard disks, memory cards, USB keys, speakers, webcams, earphones and other wireless devices designed to be used with one of the listed products;
- handheld devices one of the functions of which is a telephone that will also be considered as that type of electronic product.
- Recovery Rates And Payments To The Green Fund
The Regulation provides for various recovery rates depending on the type of product, a timeline to implement the recovery and reclamation programs as well as the amount payable to the Quebec Green Fund in the event that the applicable recovery rates are not met (a 15% penalty will be added if payment due to the Green Fund is late for more than 60 days). For example, in calculating the sums to be paid to the Green Fund for electronic products, according to the formula set forth under the Draft Regulation, the latter provides that $20 per unit will have to be paid for desktop computers, $5 per unit for laptop computers and videogame consoles and their peripherals, $25 per unit for computer screens, $75 per unit for television sets and $12 per unit for printers, scanners, faxes and photocopiers.
- Coming Into Force, Implementation Periods And Penalties
The Draft Regulation is set to come into force 15 days after its publication in the Gazette officielle du Québec. However, enterprises targeted by the Draft Regulation will benefit from various timelines allowing between one to five years depending on the products in order to reach the prescribed recovery rates. Taking electronic products as an example, as of the third complete calendar year following the implementation of the recovery program for such products, a recovery rate of 40% will have had to be reached for desktop and laptop computers, handheld computers and tablet PCs, computer screens, television sets, printers, scanners faxes and photocopiers, videogame consoles and their peripherals, and players, recorders, burners, sound, image and wave storage devices, amplifiers, frequency-equalizers and digital receivers. This rate shall be increased by 5% per year until a recovery rate of 65% is reached.
Besides penalties for an offence under the Draft Regulation that will range between $2,000 to $250,000 depending on the nature of the offence, the Draft Regulation also provides for the payment of significant financial penalties to be paid into the Québec Green Fund that are applicable to paint and paint containers, and oil, coolants, antifreeze and their filters and containers.
Any comments with respect to the Draft Regulation can be made until January 24, 2010.
For further information please see: the Draft Regulation at http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/
- Additional tdrtgemporary charges to land fill residual materials
The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks also tabled the Draft Regulation to amend the Regulation respecting the charges payable for the disposal of residual materials pursuant to which for each metric ton of residual materials received for disposal in an authorized landfill between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2015, the operator of a landfill site will be required to pay an additional charge of $9.50 that is added to the present charge of $10.67 per ton. This is meant to be purportedly a temporary measure aimed at reducing the amount of residual materials sent to a landfill.
- Organic matter reclamation program and financial guarantees
In order to meet one of the strategies of the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy Action Plan 2010-2015, the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks tabled the Draft Regulation respecting financial guarantees payable for the operation of an organic matter reclamation facility, the purpose of which is to make the operation of an organic matter reclamation facility conditional to the setting up of a financial guarantee, by the operator or by a third person on behalf of the operator, intended to ensure the performance of the obligations imposed on the operator pursuant to the Environment Quality Act or any regulation, order or authorization made thereunder. The reclamation facilities aimed by these regulatory requirements, that are intended to apply to both existing and new reclamation facilities, are those where sorting, transfer, storage or treatment operations are carried out on organic matters for the purpose of their reclamation.
The Government also tabled a program aimed at encouraging the treatment of organic materials by biomethanisation and composting the objectives of which are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce the quantity of organic materials sent to landfill sites.
For further information please see: http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/