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New recycling program for light bulbs, paint, begins in May

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Yesterday, one day after Earth Day, the planet received a bit of help with the announcement of a new recycling program in Manitoba.

Product Care – an industry association made up of and funded by, the manufactures and sellers of hazardous household waste – announced a new recycling program for fluorescent bulbs and household paint that will begin May 1, 2012.

"We have to congratulate industry when they come forward and allow Manitobans to do what they want to do," said Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship.

This announcement marks phase one of a new initiative. Phase two begins Oct 1, 2012 when the program expands to cover items such as pesticides, flammable liquids and propane cylinders.

Phase one will account for the majority of recycled materials. Mackintosh said every year about nine million litres of paint and 600,000 fluorescent bulbs are sold in Manitoba.

"These initiatives relieve the taxpayer of the cost of recycling", said Mackintosh.

Until now the province of Manitoba has funded and managed the recycling of hazardous household goods through the Green Manitoba agency. The goal is industry managed recycling; placing responsibility for recycling hazardous household goods into the hands of the people who manufacture and sell them.

A pamphlet for the paint-recycling program indicates that retailers will charge consumers a fee – not a tax – when they purchase paint to fund the program.

This steward ship program, the 13th provincial program, is a direct result of a regulation added under the waste and production act in March 2010.

"Its been a long time coming, but good things are worth waiting for," said Doug Dobrowolski, President of the Association for Manitoba Municipalities. "Manitoba municipalities have been lobbying for a program to recycle hazardous household waste for years."

Municipalities are stretched to the limit by budget constraints and need the help, according to Dobrowolski.

Manitobans will be able to take advantage of the new program at more than 50 collection sites operated by Product Care members such as Home Hardware, Rona and Canadian Tire throughout the province in 30 municipalities.

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