Ontario Takes Action to Reduce Electronic Waste

Published on October 21, 2020

Province helping environment by encouraging innovation among electronics producers

October 21, 2020

Environment, Conservation and Parks

TORONTO — The Ontario government has introduced a new regulation that will require producers to collect and safely manage the full life-cycle of their electrical and electronic equipment, such as cell phones, computers, printers and gaming equipment. The regulation, which will be enforceable on January 1, 2021, also promotes the reuse and refurbishment of products so they can be resold.

These new requirements will not only reduce the amount of waste produced by electronics but will create opportunities to enable innovative solutions for managing electronic waste and the evolving demands of the tech sector.

"Electronics are becoming an increasing challenge for our waste system and we need new solutions to keep them out of landfills," said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Minister Yurek was joined by representatives from Nokia and Greener Acres at a Waste Reduction Week event today at Queen's Park. The Minister congratulated the companies for joining forces to recycle electronic waste. Their innovative project uses recycled electronics like smart phones, tablets and televisions to create smart light poles, designed by Greener Acres, which enable highspeed broadband powered by Nokia to be delivered across the province.

"Our government supports innovation from the private sector and encourages the use of electronic waste for new, sustainable products like smart light poles," said Minister Yurek. "Companies like Nokia and Greener Acres are finding new and innovative ways to manage their products, make recycling simpler and put these recyclable materials back into the economy. I hope to see many other creative ideas coming forward over the coming months that will significantly reduce the amount of electronics from going to landfill."

"Nokia is proud of its strong legacy of supporting small business such as Greener Acres and we are excited to partner with another Ontario company to develop the next generation smart pole sourced from recycled content," said Shawn Sparling, Head of Enterprise & Public Sector, Nokia Canada. "We create the technologies that connect the world, and Smart Cities powered by these Smart Green Poles will be key drivers in bringing high-speed connectivity to all Canadians."

"Today's made-in-Ontario Electronics regulation supports innovation, and the development of a circular economy," said Meni Mancini, President and Director of Greener Acres Canada. "Nokia and Greener Acres are using recycled e-waste to develop the next generation of Smart City pole infrastructure, supporting the expansion of Broadband Internet across Ontario in a more environmentally friendly way."

The new regulation will also create new collection and management obligations for lighting producers starting in 2023 and will increase the types of products Ontarians are able to recycle through producer responsibility programs - resulting in more waste being diverted from landfills. This is one of many important steps, outlined in Ontario's Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, the government is taking to balance a healthy economy and a healthy environment.


Quick Facts

  • Producers could save an estimated $12 million by transitioning from the existing waste diversion program to a full producer responsibility model. It is anticipated that some of these savings could be passed on to consumers.
  • Under the regulation, the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority will be responsible for oversight and enforcement, including monitoring the performance of producers to ensure they meet requirements.
  • Leveraging specialized manufacturing technologies, Greener Acres can produce up to 1,000 Smart City Green poles each day. The success of the relationship with Nokia will enable Greener Acres to create a dozen full-time jobs in Ontario.
  • Nokia is a global leader in Information & Communication Technologies and a pioneer of emerging connectivity technology.

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