Letter: Ontario Electronic Stewardship better than represented by old data

Letter in response to: Ontario gets low marks on e-waste program scorecard

On behalf of Ontario Electronic Stewardship, I am writing to respond to your recent article on the state of regional e-waste initiatives in Canada.  While the performance metrics cited in the article are accurate, they were published by EPRA in December 2011 and covered provincial annual reports up to June 2011.  Taken on their own, they are lacking in context and do a disservice to the OES program, as well as to Ontarians across the province who have helped make it such a success.

The results cited for OES relate to the program year ended March 31, 2011, and therefore paint a picture that is more than a year old.

Our most current annual report (2011 calendar year) demonstrates our program’s continued momentum, with the amount of e-waste collected having increased to 3.96 kilograms per capita, and the total program cost per tonne reduced to $1,509.   Only one performance metric cited in your article is up to date – awareness of the program at the end of 2011 stood at 65 per cent, having grown vastly from a level of 22 per cent for 2010/2011.  We look forward to these metrics being included in updated results to be published by EPRA in July 2012.

Most importantly, a performance comparison of programs that have been in existence for differing amounts of time is misleading.  Programs in B.C. and Saskatchewan started in 2007, whereas the OES program began two years later, in 2009.

The OES program has come a long way, in a short time.  We’re proud of the success we’ve achieved to date, and of the significant milestone we reached this year: 100,000 tonnes of WEEE have been diverted by our program since its inception.  That hasn’t happened by accident – we hit the ground running in 2009 and worked hard to build a program from scratch.  The 100,000 tonnes milestone is just the latest evidence of the program’s continued momentum.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Spencer
Executive Director
Ontario Electronic Stewardship

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