Phase 1 of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Diversion Program (the Program) from Waste Diversion Ontario received approval from the Minister of the Environment on July 9, 2008 after a 30-day public consultation period. The Program will divert WEEE disposal from landfills to locations where it can be handled more safely and can potentially be recycled or reused.

The Phase 1 Plan, which will be implemented on an ongoing basis, is designed to reduce the disposal of residential, industrial, commercial and institutional computers, laptops, printers, monitors, fax machines, televisions and other electronic equipment. The Plan will introduce 420 free drop-off locations for the public in its first year, with the intention of increasing that number to 650 by the fifth year.

The success of the Program relies on the education of consumers and commercial parties; transportation and consolidation of WEEE materials; performance benchmarks and tracking; compliance and enforcement procedures; recycling and reuse standards and financial incentives. For example, municipalities that collect WEEE material will be eligible for a collection incentive fee. In addition, the costs of transporting WEEE material to a consolidation centre will be paid for by Ontario Electronic Stewardship. The Program also includes incentives targeting retailers, manufacturers, brand owners, first importers, waste management and recycling companies and reuse or refurbishment organizations who participate in the program.

Phase 2 of the Program will address items such as copiers, scanners, telephones (including cell phones), cameras and audio visual equipment. A report on Phase 2 is due to the Minister on March 2, 2009.