At the international level, the most progressive state action yet is in the European Union, which passed 2 major policy initiatives, known as the Directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic goods (WEEE) and the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS). There policies require electronics producers to take back products at the end of their life and reduce the use of toxics in production. In addition to developing Recycling and Computer Takeback Programs, some electronics producers have gone further. Apple, Dell, H-P, Intel, and Sony have reduces or eliminated the use of Poly Brominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)


     The introduction of a comprehensive legal framework by several OECD countries and notably by the European Union and its member states is not only intended to forward elaborate e-waste management systems but also better product designs. The development of these legal frameworks is starting to transform perceptions and production in non- OECD countries. Exports to the EU are at stake both due the restrictions on hazardous substances (RoHS Directive) and the required compliance with the WEEE Directive, foremost due to the financial implications it brings with it of guaranteeing that all EEE imported into the EU is recycled.

 Electronic waste


            Non-OECD countries are rapidly becoming major EEE producers and are interested in closed loop material cycles to access urgently needed raw materials. At the same time this could offer business opportunities for labour intensive dismantling and recycling operations in low income economies. However assessments have shown that severe shortcomings in capacities, skills and technologies put workers and the environment at considerable risk.

Although awareness and readiness for implementing improvements is increasing rapidly, there are many obstacles to manage end-of-life products safely and effectively in industrializing countries. The lack of reliable data poses a challenge to policy makers wishing to design an e-waste management strategy and to an industry wishing to make rational investment decisions.[4][13][15]



            They are working closely with provincial governments to draft legislation addressing end-of-life management of electronic items. Dave Betts, president and chief executive officer, Electronic Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC), said the goal is to achieve “harmonized” policies across the country on e-waste management. 


  • 2002     Established EPSC is an 18-member organization of IT and consumer electronics vendors founded by the Information Technology Association of Canada and Electro-Federation Canada.


  •  February 2001     Alberta launched the first provincial initiative to recycle obsolete computers and a commercial E-Waste recycling facility. Opened at Rimbey, Alberta the facility process over 2 million kilograms of E-Waste annually.


  • 2002     Ontario established a new waste diversion organization , in which industries will pay half of the cost of handing their materials in municipal recycling programs.


  • 2005     The province of Alberta enforced a regulation imposing a recycling fee for computers, which purchasers pay upfront when they buy a new PC. Following in Alberta’s footsteps the province of Saskatchewan recently announced it would soon implement a new recycling program to manage over 2,000 tons of e-waste the province expects to generate this year. 


            In an effort to deal with the issue of e-waste, Canada ratified the first Basel Convention, an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movement of hazardous waste between nations, in 1992. Since then, the federal, provincial, and territorial environment ministers have adopted 12 principles for electronic products stewardship, said Duncan Bury, head of product policy at Environment Canada's National Office of Pollution Prevention. These principles are meant to help communities develop electronic waste disposal programs.[6]



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