Money for nothing
Canadian politicians have come up with a wizard wheeze to raise tax money in the interests of being green.
Ontario has become the latest province to impose a recycling fee for discarded computer equipment and television sets. There is a fixed charge of $13.44 for a desktop computer, $12.03 for a computer monitor, $10.07 for a television set, $5.05 for a printer and $2.14 to recycle a portable computer.
But the fees, effective next April, will be charged to the manufacturers who sell the products, before they are recycled and this is supposed to ensure material does not end up in landfill sites. Because the tax is levied regardless, there is no incentive for manufacturers to use more green products, or for punters to recycle the machines.
In short it is to net $62 million in the first year, and raise money for Waste Diversion Ontario, a nongovernmental corporation that operates recycling programs for the government.
So far Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan have bought in this tax.