In a world where electronics are designed with planned obsolescence in mind, many of us as consumers and business owners end up disposing of tech more often than we might expect. Here in Calgary (and all across Canada, really), there are special ways to do that which comply with the federal and provincial regulations in place. Figuring them out can be tricky, though.
Today, we’re here to explain to you what electronic recycling is, how it works, and what your options are in our area. If any of that sounds useful to you, make sure to stick around – while it can be stressful to figure out the right way to get rid of old computers and the like, it’s not nearly as nerve-wracking as it may appear at first glance.
What is Electronics Recycling?
Our first order of business is to define e-recycling as a whole. You can get some idea of it here: https://earth.org/what-is-e-waste-recycling/. The gist of it is that it’s a way to strip electronics down for any valuable parts that can be reused, rather than just tossing them entirely. You’d be surprised by how much can be used again!
Wondering why it’s such a big deal? There are a few answers to that. While electronic waste makes up a small portion of all trash that’s disposed of each year, it has a huge impact on the world around us. There are a lot of materials in electronics that can be toxic to the environment if left to decay in landfills.
Something else to keep in mind is that leaving these materials out in the sun can also be a risk to public health, since the chemicals often end up flowing into rivers, streams, and lakes – sources of fresh drinking water. Beyond these two points, there are also economic benefits to recycling these types of goods. One example of this in practice is lithium recycling, which helps manufacturers keep up with the high demand for the material.
How Does it Work?
To a certain extent, the specific process of electronic recycling Calgary will depend on the types of electronics that you’re aiming to get rid of. However, there are a few general steps to take no matter what. The first will be to find a local company that accepts e-waste for recycling.
Thankfully, there are plenty around us, so you probably won’t have to go searching too far. Make sure to research what types of electronic waste they accept before setting an appointment. That way, you won’t end up in a situation where they arrive but don’t take what you have.
The rest of the process will likely depend on which recycling plant you’re working with. Because there are certain tax benefits to utilizing electronic recycling services rather than tossing out old computers and the like, many of them will help you with the documentation you need (they have to document things as well, of course). Usually, this is called something like “reporting and settlement” on their websites if you look.
Additionally, these services typically offer pick-up options, so your responsibilities won’t be as stressful. All you’ll really need to do is to schedule a time when you want the old electronics to be picked up by the recycling company, fill out any necessary paperwork, and you’ll be good to go. It’s convenient, helps keep everyone safe, and helps the environment as well.
Why it Does it Matter so Much?
We’ve hinted at the reasons already, but we feel it’s worth spending a little more time on. As you can see in articles like this one, the state of electronic waste both in Canada and across the world is rather serious. There are a lot of hazards that come from the practice of creating digital dumping grounds, and it is pretty much universally better to reuse those parts rather than trashing them.
Now, the policies set in place surrounding this type of waste are generally set on the provincial level, although there are some federal restrictions and regulations as well. Make sure that you double check what the policies are in Alberta before you make any firm decisions. Most recycling companies in Calgary will be able to help you with that if you aren’t certain, though – just ask them about it.
Overall, there are a ton of reasons why you might want to try recycling your electronics the next time you replace your computers, laptops, printers, or anything else in a similar vein. Whether you’re doing it for the potential benefits monetarily, or you’re purely looking to do a good deed (or a little of both, which is usually the case), you’re taking a step in the right direction by doing so. Reusing these materials is beneficial to pretty much everyone.