It's easy to recycle old appliances
(NC) From blenders to espresso makers, small household appliances are a staple of holiday gift-giving, so it's worth a discussion about responsibility.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2011, Canadians spent $238.7 million on small electrical appliances in December alone, up 113 per cent from the monthly average for the year. Since these gifts often represent the replacement of old or broken models, this increase in sales can quickly translate into a surge in electrical waste generation.
The Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC) reports that Canadians generate approximately 30 million tonnes of garbage every year and only recycle about 30 per cent of that material.
Despite a province-wide recycling program offering free drop-off of electrical products, some of this material still makes its way into the garbage.
“We see a spike in the amount of materials returned for recycling at our facilities after the holidays,” says Julie Robertson, program coordinator at ElectroRecycle, B.C.'s small appliance and power tool recycling program. “But the fear is that the landfills are still seeing an increase too.”
ElectroRecycle is a not-for-profit program first launched in October 2011. It provides an environmentally friendly alternative for electrical products that would otherwise end up in landfills, including blenders, vacuums, treadmills and sewing machines. The program is the first of its kind in Canada and the only government approved program for these products in B.C.
To date, the program has collected more than 5.2 million kilograms of electrical products, equivalent to around 80,000 reindeer.
“We know everyone is busy, especially during the holidays,” Robertson adds, “so we've tried to make the recycling process as easy as possible.” She points out that the program accepts more than 300 types of electrical products free-of-charge at over 135 drop-off locations around the province.
More information is available at www.electrorecycle.ca.
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