catching hi-tech trash

Canada is finally getting serious about all the high tech trash that is mysteriously finding its way from Canadian white collar offices and recycling firms:

A joint investigation by Environment Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency since last year seized 50 containers loaded with about 500,000 kilograms of “E-waste” — discarded parts valuable to foreign junk merchants who extract recyclable material from the goods.

Although, as the report mentioned, Canada has signed the Basel Convention, making it illegal to transport hazardous waste, it also neglects to mention that the federal government creates its own loopholes to the Convention. For example, computers are not considered hazardous waste unless they are disassembled. Moreover, the federal government has often been the worst offender when it comes to inadvertently shipping its own computers, monitors, and printers to China.

Still, it’s never too late to live up to our image of being an environmentally responsible country (especially now that the minority government has decided it’s expedient to act like one).

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