Industry Accountability Key To Unburdening Municipal Landfills

Connector Winter 2018

Special feature brought to you by CESA

2017 will mark ElectroRecycle’s all-time high for recycling volumes of small appliances and power tools, continuing a six-year growth streak. That’s because ElectroRecycle’s solution for end-of-life small appliances offers efficiency to municipalities and tax payers, while putting the responsibility on the industry members who bring these products to market. To date, ElectroRecycle has diverted more than 20 million kilograms of small appliances and power tools from landfills. That’s the weight equivalent of about 5,000 elephants!

This is exciting news for the ElectroRecycle program in BC. Now in its seventh year of operation, the success modeled in BC is proof positive that a product stewardship model could be nationally adopted by all stakeholders, from industry members to consumers.

ElectroRecycle’s success lies in the product stewardship model whereby organizations that bring these products into market are responsible for their recycling at end-of-life – including collection, transportation, and processing. These organizations are vested in the program’s success – they have skin in the game and run it like a business, in the most cost-effective way possible. This translates to a low-cost, highly accessible recycling program for products previously discarded to landfill. What’s better – it relieves municipalities of the burden to manage these products and allows them to focus on the pressing business of meeting rate-payers’ needs on infrastructure, safety and security, and community initiatives.

Launched in 2011, ElectroRecycle is Canada’s first and only small appliance and power tool recycling stewardship program. The program is run by the Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association (CESA) – a national, industry-led, not-for-profit organization, tasked with meeting industry’s specific mandates of end-of-life product regulation. CESA collaborates with its 450 members and various stakeholder groups, including the Ministry of Environment, municipalities, environmental groups, regional districts and First Nations to continuously improve its services.

The program is straight-forward – it provides easy access for residents to collection sites across their province. The program holds regular collection roundups to provide access to northern and remote regions where year-round access may be limited. The products collected are broken down into their primary components, and 96 per cent of the tonnage collected is made into new consumer products. This helps create the circular economy that municipal, provincial, and federal governments are seeking and that consumers can support.

With success measured in growing awareness and tonnage collected, British Columbia leads the charge for responsible and efficient end-of-life management of small appliances and power tools. CESA’s reputation as a leader in product stewardship and its continuous efforts to find innovative ways to improve on program delivery positions CESA and the ElectroRecycle program well to represent industry as product stewardship continues to expand across Canada.

For more information on CESA’s ElectroRecycle program, visit