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Quebec E-Waste Management

Like other provinces and States, Quebec recognizes the importance of managing electronic waste. As a result, the Canadian province has implemented various measures to address the environmental and health concerns associated with the improper disposal of Quebec e-waste. Here are some key aspects of e-waste management in Quebec:

Quebec e-waste management and audit

Quebec E-Waste Collection Programs

Quebec has established programs to collect and recycle electronic waste. The Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) is responsible for their implementation. Like the WEEE regulation in the European Union or the USA, these programs involve partnerships between government authorities, manufacturers, importers, distributors, and recycling facilities to ensure the proper disposal of old electronic devices.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

As part of its commitment to extended producer responsibility, Quebec places responsibility on manufacturers and importers to manage the end-of-life disposal of their products, including electronic devices. This requirement includes the following:

  •  Producers must declare monthly the number of units placed into the Quebec market. The weight is also requested. Producers must accomplish this duty per product category (for example, Category 3 for Computer and Video Game Peripherals, or Category 10 – Personal/Portable Image, Audio and Video Systems)
  • Additionally, producers must pay the eco-fee corresponding to their monthly declaration. The cost typically depends on the product category and its weight. EPRA uses this eco-fee to accomplish its missing and develop Quebe e-waste recycling.

Thus, with the EPR principle, Quebec encourages the development of more sustainable and easily recyclable products.

These rules are similar in other Canadian provinces. The British-Columbia WEEE regulation has probably the broadest scope of electronics in Canada.

Recycling Facilities of Quebec E-Waste

The Recycler Qualification Office (RQO) has approved recycling facilities to handle electronic waste. These facilities must use environmentally friendly methods to process and recover locally valuable materials from discarded electronics while minimizing environmental impact.

Quebec E-Waste Public Awareness and Education

Another aspect of Quebec e-waste management is to raise public awareness. We still regularly see old televisions, screens, and other used electronics left on sidewalks. Often, they stay under the rain and snow. As a result, heavy metals and hazardous substances can leak and contaminate the soil, underground water, and the rest of the environment.
EPRA emphasizes public awareness and education campaigns to inform residents about recycling e-waste and the available collection programs. For example, a campaign called ‘Les sert pu à rien’ (for obsolete electronics) was throughout the province. These ads help in encouraging citizens to participate in proper disposal practices.

Quebec E-Waste Legislation

Quebec has legislation in place to govern the management and recycling of e-waste. Notably, the Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprises (Q-2, r. 40.1) sets waste collection rules of EPR. Q-2, r. 40.1 applies to other consumer electronics on top of other products, like tires or used oil.

Auditing Requirements

The Legal Reference

According to article 5 of Q-2, r. 40.1, a recovery and reclamation program for Quebec e-waste must be in place. Following subparagraph 5(11), a certified auditor must assess such a program under certain conditions. The objective is to ensure that the collection and recovery of all electronics comply. 

The Scope

The auditing requirements may apply to your organization if it is related to any of these activities for in-scope electronics:

  • Collection,
  • Resale, 
  • Refurbishment,
  • Reuse, or
  • Recycling.

Note that these obligations still apply if these activities are out of Québec. 

Preliminary Information

Quebec e-waste organizations must initially give information to EPRA, such as:

  • Type of collected devices
  • Collection, resale, refurbishment, reuse, and recycling flows
  • Material flow chart
  • Destination of all collected materials (including those sent out of Quebec)
  • Name of organizations involved in the recovery process.

Annual Quantities of Recycled Materials

Additionally, in-scope organizations must confirm the annual quantities of every type of treated product during the previous calendar year.

Audit Report of E-Waste

An audit report applies if your organization works with non-approved recyclers. For example, it applies to recyclers outside of Quebec, which don’t fall under the RQO approval.
Such a report must be prepared and signed by an environmental auditor certified in Quebec. EPRA must receive the audit report findings by March 1st of every year.

Fortunately, the Enviropass staff includes a Certified Environmental Auditor who can assist you with the audit!

What Happens if I don't do the Audit?

Your organization may receive a fine of up to 1.5 million dollars.

Other Quebec Initiatives

A sound recovery is not the only initiative in Quebec for greener electronics. Indeed, Quebecois authorities have launched an initiative to fight the planned obsolescence of our devices.

For the most up-to-date and detailed information on sustainable electronics in Quebec, contact Enviropass!