Buying the Lifecycle

E-Waste CrisisTo control toxic e-waste, the British Columbia government invoked “producer responsibility”, shifting the cost of recycling from taxpayers to producers and buyers.

“It has become part of our culture to drop stuff on the curb and have the city take it away when we don’t want it anymore.” says Zero Waste Vancouver. “But now there is this cultural shift, where recycling is a cradle-to-cradle extended warranty by the producer, as opposed to a free public service offered by the mayor and council.”

Consumers pay a fee. Business sets up ethically-audited programs to ensure computers, TVs and a limited list of electronics do not enter the municipal dump or ships to China. A 75% recovery rate is the target.

To roll the economy, electronics will not be reused.