Over the last 20 years, our use of electronic devices and small household appliances has exploded. Most homes have a variety of computers, hand-held devices, TVs, kitchen appliances, and audio/visual equipment. Like most manufactured products, however, electronics have a “shelf-life” and tend to last between 3 to 5 years before they break, wear down, and need to be replaced. These items are often treated as disposable with little consideration about whether the materials in those electronics could be recycled and used in new products.
When electronics break, it can be tempting to throw them in the garbage. But BC’s extensive electronics recycling program, like the one in place at Kelowna Recycling, allows citizens to safely recycle their electronics and divert those materials away from our landfills. Most electronics are recycled using a “chip and shred” process. The items are crushed, cut into tiny bits, and then processed using electric currents to separate the plastic from metals such as copper, aluminum, and silver. Plastic can be recycled into pellets for use in other manufacturing, while the metals can be used in new electronics or different applications like jewellery or art pieces. Glass from recycled electronics can be melted down for use in new materials’ production.
The following electronic items are suitable for recycling in BC:
- Computers, hardware, and accessories (e.g., laptops or desktops, mouse, keyboard, desktop speakers)
- Electronic storage devices (e.g., floppy disks, CDs, USB drives, external hard drives, servers)
- Video gaming consoles, games, and controllers
- Cellphones and land-line telephones
- Medical devices and health monitoring equipment
- Televisions, media players, and media storage items (e.g., VHS tapes, DVDs, Blu-rays, vinyl record albums)
- Office equipment (e.g., printers, fax machines, typewriters)
- Electronic toys and games
- Electronic components of vehicles and machinery
- Audio/visual equipment (e.g., cameras, video recorders, projectors, speakers, subwoofers)
Recycling your old electronics can help prevent those items from ending up in your local landfill. Repurposing those materials through a robust electronics recycling program will help keep British Columbia beautiful for generations to come.
We Will Pick Up!
Have a lot of old computers at your company? Replacing medical devices at your clinic or hospital? Recycle your small appliances and electronics at Kelowna Recycling today! We have a pick-up service for large volumes of electronics. Contact us to learn more about Drop-Off Recycling and the options for other business and home materials recycling. Visit our website to schedule a pickup!