Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

July 10, 2009 10:00 ET

Ottawa Takes Important Step in Managing Its Electronic Waste

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 10, 2009) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today announced that the Government of Canada has launched a Request for Standing Offer (RFSO) for the provision of environmentally sound recycling of federal surplus electronic and electrical equipment that has reached its end of life.

"The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that its electronic waste is disposed of in an environmentally sound and cost-effective manner," said Minister Paradis. "The government takes this issue very seriously and the standing offer that results from this RFSO will be an important element of our electronic waste strategy."

Today's RFSO was developed following consultations with other government departments, provincial recycling programs within five provinces, and industry associations. In addition, suppliers were consulted through a Request for Information posted on MERX™ in March 2009 and a draft RFSO (Letter of Interest) posted in June 2009. The RFSO covers all electronic and electrical equipment not suitable for re-use or that cannot be recycled through existing provincial recycling programs. It addresses a wide range of equipment, from IT, audio-visual and laboratory equipment, to appliances and electric tools.

"Disposal of electronic waste is an issue that affects everyone, including private citizens, small and large companies, and all levels of government," said Minister Paradis. "Through this initiative, the federal government is taking a leadership approach with regard to reducing the environmental impact of its operations, and is encouraging growth and increased environmental accountability within the electronic waste recycling industry in Canada."

Documents related to this initiative can be found on MERX™, the government's electronic tendering service (www.merx.com).

Ce texte est egalement disponible en francais.

PWGSC news releases are also available on our Internet site at: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/medias-media/index-eng.html.


BACKGROUNDER

E-Waste Request for Standing Offer

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is putting in place a standing offer to ensure that federal surplus electronic and electrical equipment that has reached its end of life is managed in a way that minimizes risk to the environment and human health, and maximizes the recovery of valuable natural resources.

What Government Currently Does with Electronic Waste

The federal government currently offers first right of refusal on surplus computer-related equipment to the Computers for Schools program. Otherwise, departments may donate federal surplus electronic assets to other organizations, or resell them for re-use through PWGSC's Crown Assets Distribution. Federal departments also use provincial recycling programs, in provinces where they are available and where they accept the equipment in question.

The federal government's standing offer for electronic waste recycling will address any end-of-life electronic equipment that cannot be addressed through these existing mechanisms.

Some of the Expected Benefits of the Standing Offer

In addition to the obvious benefits to the environment and human health, we expect to obtain the following benefits from the standing offer:

- greater coherence and consistency across government with regard to how federal e-waste is managed;

- increased certainty that federal e-waste is being managed in an environmentally sound manner;

- efficient management of e-waste and minimized overall cost;

- improved understanding of the volume of federal e-waste and opportunities for reduction through better planning, acquisition and use practices; and

- scope of recyclable materials expanded beyond IT equipment.

Next Steps

PWGSC will be accepting responses to the RFSO until August 19, 2009 and expects to award a contract to one firm in September 2009. Before a contract is awarded, PWGSC will undertake a pre-award audit to ensure the successful bidder meets the required environmentally sound management and health and safety criteria. We expect the standing offer to become available for use by federal departments across Canada in September 2009. Guidelines for its use will be provided to departments in advance of the standing offer coming into effect.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister Paradis
    Mary-Ann Dewey-Plante
    Press Secretary
    613-218-6961
    or
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media Relations
    819-956-2315