What You Need to Know about Electronics Recycling

featured image

We’re all looking for ways we can contribute to our sustainable future while lessening our overall environmental impact. Recycling our electronics is a simple yet effective step we can all take to make a difference today. We can turn our good intentions into something that has a tangible benefit for the environment.  

Canadians have recycled one million tonnes of electronics through the Recycle My Electronics program, diverting e-waste from Canadian landfills and preventing it from being illegally exported. This accomplishment demonstrates a level of commitment and support for both the program and its recycling mandate. Recent surveys have also revealed that 80 percent of us have unused electronics at home. This means we have a tremendous opportunity to build on this momentum and continue to recycle our electronics in even greater numbers.

Inspire Your Kids, Let Them Inspire You

Our children have grown up in a world filled with electronics. They are digital natives. They have also grown up in a world where recycling is part of their everyday life. These two realities are tied together for them in a way that it may not have been for us as children.

We can help inform them, further encourage their participation and give them a way to contribute to our shared future, all while helping them develop conservation habits that grow with them. Let them participate in every of aspect of the process – from gathering electronics ready to recycle to accompanying them to an authorized Recycle My Electronics drop-off location. You can even direct them to recycleMYelectronics.ca and let them enter their postal code to find the nearest drop-off location. It’s a great way to let them be involved and share responsibility.

Protect Your Privacy

There are some very simple steps that you can take prior to recycling your electronics that will protect your privacy and give you peace of mind. Begin by ensuring that you’ve deactivated any account services connected to your device or electronic. Back up computers to an external hard drive before wiping computers of personal information. Wireless carriers and electronics manufacturers also provide information about erasing your data on their websites and in owner’s manuals.

Why It’s So Important

The resources inside our electronics include everything from steel and plastic to gold, silver, copper and palladium. These resources can be recycled and used over and over without losing their properties.

When we recover these resources to be used again it lessens our dependence on mining for new resources while also lessening the environmental impact. It also ensures our e-waste is diverted from landfill, where it can emit greenhouse gases.

Do Your Part

The Recycle My Electronics program has a network of over 2,500 drop-off locations throughout the country, including return-to-retail locations and special collection events. It’s never been easier or more convenient to recycle your electronics.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some steps we should take in order to protect our privacy prior to recycling our electronics? Can you name any more?

  2. Can you name some of the resources that can be found in our electronics?

  3. What are some of the positive environmental impacts of recycling our electronics?

  4. Recycle My Electronics has drop-off locations throughout the country where you take your electronics to be recycled. How many locations are there?

  5. Besides drop-off locations what other places can you take your end-of-life electronics to be recycled?