Hard-to-recycle items: Electronic devices

Computer scrap

 

Do you want to get rid of your enormous CRT screen, your beloved VHS player or the MP3 player that you have been carting around since university? Or perhaps you have fallen victim to the planned obsolescence of the cell phone that you have only had for two years? Reuse or recycle!

 

Why should I recycle?

You should avoid throwing away electronic equipment. This is because it contains heavy metals (gold or copper for example) and other chemical content such as lead, mercury and arsenic. These elements make them dangerous for waste management and landfills. Devices also contain plastic and glass, which can both be used to make new products. It is possible to recycle these time bombs in a secure and sustainable way. But first of all ask yourself whether your device still works. If it does, why not offer it to an acquaintance or to a charitable organization?

 

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Source: pixabay.com

Where can I recycle?

EPRA-Québec is an association for recycling electronic products which has drop-off points all around Québec. At these drop-off points you can bring your electronic equipment along free of charge. If there is not an EPRA facility in your area, some retailers offer drop-off points in their stores. Although most participating retailers accept all products, regardless of what they sell, the drop-off points at these locations can be restricted, particularly in terms of space. Therefore, you should find out about any restrictions for the relevant retailer. EPRA does not collect products, except for during special collection events, which are listed on the website.

You can use the search engine on the EPRA website to find your nearest drop-off point. Find a drop-off point.

 

What happens next?

Once your electronic devices are received, they are sent to a specialized recycling facility where they are dismantled and the various components are sorted and handled in a way that is both safe and environmentally friendly. Plastic and glass are sent to other facilities where they are reused and reintegrated into the production chain.

This EPRA video explains the process: http://recyclemyelectronics.ca/qc/what-can-i-do/where-does-it-go/.

 

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About the Author
Maude Sévigny

Maude has worked as Communications Advisor at Cascades Kingsey Falls since August 2015. Holding a bachelor’s degree in communications from Université de Sherbrooke, she is currently completing a master’s in the same field. Having grown up in a small village, she understands the importance of being involved in the community. Passionate about the environment, innovation and the popularization of science, her job is a perfect fit for the challenges she is seeking. “For me, working at Cascades is a natural step—not only does it match my values, but it’s brimming with inspiring opportunities!”

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