The Canadian province of British Columbia has long been a leader in enacting industry-led extended producer responsibility programs for its residents. Since 2007, Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) BC has been a pioneer in delivering cost effective, efficient recycling programs for a vast array of electronic devices on behalf of manufactures, retailers and other obligated “stewards” that are regulated in the Pacific-coast province.
In keeping with these regulations, we were prompted by our stewards to add the growing market segment for e-bikes and e-scooters to our already long list of covered devices, including e-toys, electronic medical devices and musical instruments along with the traditional electronics such as televisions, computers, printers, etc. Click here for a complete list.
The North America e-bike market, fueled by demand from Canada and the United States, is set to grow at an annual rate of 11% right up to 2028. Escalating demand from customers, rising fuel costs and a growing inclination toward recreational activities is augmenting the industry growth in Canada.
The integration of e-bikes/e-scooters in our BC program makes sense on a number of fronts:
- Our Return-It-Electronics and RecycleMyElectronics brands are well known to consumers and organizations right across the province, with an impressive 72% of residents aware of our programs as the go-to for responsibly recycling their end-of-life electronics.
- With over 300 collection sites throughout the province, consumers love the convenience we offer to have a local, accessible recycling drop-off point.
- The metals, plastics and batteries that e-bikes are made from are similar to many of the devices that we already collect and responsibly recycle every day. In 2020, EPRA BC collected and recycled almost 14,000 metric tons of regulated electronics from BC residents. That’s equivalent to 1,400 truckloads.
- Finally, EPRA BC only works with processors that are approved under the national Electronics Recycling Standard (ERS). This ensures that recyclers are maintaining appropriate environmental, health and safety controls and are properly handling all materials – which is important when recycling e-bikes and e-scooters.
With the addition of e-bikes, we believe that EPRA BC continues its position as a pioneering program for industry-led stewardship of regulated electronics in Canada.
Craig Wisehart is executive director of the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) Western Canada. EPRA is an industry-led, not-for-profit organization that operates regulated recycling programs across Canada. We ensure that end-of-life electronics are handled in a safe, secure and environmentally sound manner. To learn more about EPRA BC, visit recycleMYelectronics.ca/BC.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not imply endorsement by Resource Recycling, Inc. If you have a subject you wish to cover in an op-ed, please send a short proposal to [email protected] for consideration.