#9 Newsmaker of the year: Carol Hochu of Ontario Electronic Stewardship

Ontario’s IT channel community seemed to be taken by surprise in the spring at the news that recycling fees ranging from $13.44 for a desktop computer to $2.14 for a laptop would be in force in the province, beginning April 1st. There was a scramble by many in the channel to learn just what this would mean for their businesses, and what their obligations would be under the program.

Responsibility for the program, an industry-led initiative with a provincial government mandate to collect and responsibly recycle e-waste in the province, funded by fees paid by the product steward (most often the manufacturer) lies with Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES), the organization responsible for implementing the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Program Plan for the Ontario government.

OES executive director, Carol Hochu, says the program has been a success in its first six to seven months, with 9.1 million kilos of e-waste collected and diverted from landfills. While there were some initial bumps getting stewards up to speed, Hochu said things are now running smoothly.

“Obviously I have my perspective and maybe the IT community has theirs. There were some bumps in launch and implementation, but I think things are moving smoothly now,” said Hochu.

Hopefully the industry is ready because phase two of the program will launch in April 2010, expanding the products covered by the fee to include devices such as cell phones and cameras.

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