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E-cigarettes, mattresses, lithium-ion batteries soon to be recyclable in B.C.

Province working to expand recycling under extended producer responsibility five-year plan
Electronic cigarettes are seen in a display case at a store in downtown Montreal, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. A study looks at the use of electronic cigarettes among Canadian teens and whether it might lead to tobacco use. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Not sure what to do with old mattresses, e-cigarettes, or an electric-vehicle battery? Well, fret no more because those items will soon be eligible for province-wide recycling in B.C.

In a news release, the provincial government announced that those items, along with single-use fuel canisters, fire extinguishers, solar panels, multiple types of lithium-ion batteries and electric-vehicle chargers will be eligible for recycling.

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The province said they’ll work with producers of those products to ensure they can be recycled, but acknowledged that changes will need to be phased in to give the industry time to set up necessary recycling systems.

It’s all part of the province’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) strategy which requires producers to take responsibility for the lifecycle of their products, including collection and recycling. The province has regulated recycling under the EPR system since 2004. Under the new EPR Five-Year Plan, the province is seeking to regulate the recycling of more consumer goods to prevent them from ending up in landfills.

RELATED: Potato chip bags, plastic pouches now accepted in new Recycle B.C. program

“Expanding the number of recyclable products will mean convenient, free collection of those products and a cleaner environment for British Columbians,” said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy. “Adding to the product list will reduce the waste that’s now being sent to the landfill or illegally dumped in back alleys or green spaces. This will protect our environment and boost our economy through an increase in recycling operations and re-manufacturing.”

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Black Press Media Staff

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