George Murphy Question Period (12.03.2013)

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John’s East.

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

More and more people are suffering sticker shock lately with the advent of the new electronic recycling fees. A $42.50 recycling fee on a new TV is one example. As a service it is non-refundable and consumers get nailed as well with HST. Government regulation has allowed a private non-profit to set and collect these electronic recycling fees.

I ask the Minister of Environment and Conservation: What is she doing to address the concerns surrounding this non-refundable deposit?


MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Conservation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS SHEA: Mr. Speaker, the additional charge on the purchase of electronics is to cover the cost of the disposal of the electronics so they do not end up in landfills or waste, and that they are disposed of appropriately. So it is not like there is a profit that is being made from that. This is being done by a non-profit agency and there is a variety of different costs, depending on the item that you buy. This is all about ensuring that our Province has an effective waste management policy, and electronic waste is part of that.

There is no refund. It goes to a non-profit, Mr. Speaker. They make sure the disposal of the electronic waste is done in the most sustainable manner possible.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John’s East.

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

It is easy for the minister to say that, but for some areas of this Province they simply do not have any depots to take the recycling back to. For example, Grand Bank, St. Anthony, and coastal Labrador are forced to pay this non-refundable fee, yet they have no realistic opportunity to get their old electronics to an official electronics depot, so again I will ask the minister.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Environment and Conservation: Why are people being forced to pay a fee for a service they cannot access?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Conservation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS SHEA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The intention is to have a disposal site across Newfoundland and Labrador so people from one end of the Province can have it. I know when we started the program there were eighteen. There is another thirteen coming on. Mr. Speaker, as it rolls out, and in the very near future, there will be access for people across Newfoundland and Labrador to bring their electronic waste to the appropriate site.

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