Extended Producer Responsibility
EPR stands for Extended Producer Responsibility. These are product stewardship programs designed to shift the responsibility of collecting, processing, and recycling materials from individual municipalities back into the hands of those who design, produce, sell, or use these materials.
British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment starts with legislating a recycling regulation for a specific product that includes recycling goals and targets. They then leave it up to the industry to decide how best to meet these goals & targets.
Manufacturers, retailers, and other stakeholders will either form a non-profit organization or contract through an existing organization. This organization will work will all stakeholders and the public to develop how their recycling program will work, launch it throughout the province, and report back to the Ministry of Environment on a regular basis to ensure it is meeting the goals & targets set out in the regulation.
Having had an early start with the success of the bottle deposit on beverage containers, the province of BC is now a leader in EPR stewardship programs both across Canada and around the world. With our goal to make the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot a “one-stop” recycling depot for as many items as possible, we take part in as many EPR programs as we can.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about EPR:
Why are these programs necessary?
Many items that end up in the landfill are dangerous to the environment, animals, and people. Stewardship programs work to ensure that products are recycled safely and responsibly.
Who pays for it?
Costs are covered by consumers and producers of products instead of being downloaded to local governments or taxpayers. Often a deposit or levy is charged at the time of purchase.
What items are covered by stewardship programs in Maple Ridge?
All of the following items can be brought to the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot for recycling. Click for more information:
- Beverage Containers
- Electronics (TVs, computers, etc.)
- Cell Phones
- All types of Light Bulbs & Tubes
- Thermostats & Mercury Switches
- Used Oil & Antifreeze
- Paints, Pesticides, & Flammable Liquids
- Small Appliances
- Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms
What products will be covered by EPR programs in the future?
On July 1, 2012, a couple of EPR programs expanded, enabling us to accept more items at the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot as part of the newest BC Stewardship Programs. While all electric & electronic items are accepted at the depot (“Everything with a battery or a cord!”), we also now accept items used with electronic systems including: 8-tracks, records, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, laser discs, memory cards, game cartridges, VHS (& Beta!) tapes, floppy discs, & USB drives. The LightRecycle program is also expanding from just flourescent light bulbs & tubes to include all light bulbs, including incandescent, LED, halogen, & minature (flashlight & Christmas lights) light bulbs. Other items that are included in expanding programs are medical grade electronics, car electronics (eg. GPS systems, stereos, & radios), all electric or electronic tools, and any sport, leisure, arts, craft, or hobby devices that have a power cord, plug, or battery.
The most significant program that is currently developing will cover all packaging & printed paper (PPP). Multi-Materials BC (MMBC) is the organization currently developing this program, which will apply solely to residential areas and covers everything that is currently collected in the curbside blue boxes. This will have a huge effect on municipalities throughout BC who have already developed and invested in their own, individualized collection systems. For RMRS & the District of Maple Ridge, it may mean we no longer have control over whether materials are kept locally to grow green businesses or are shipped great distances or overseas.
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