Disposing of e-waste safely
In some cases, it is cheaper to replace rather than try to fix old electronics.
But how do you dispose of your old electronics?
E-waste is electronic waste that includes unwanted electrical equipment and used batteries.
Electronic waste is the fastest growing source of waste in North America. When e-waste is not recycled, it ends up in our landfills. Lead, cadmium and mercury are found in most electronic equipment, increasing risks to human health and the environment if they are not properly managed.
Both North and South Glengarry help residents safely dispose of unwanted electronics devices and appliances.
South Glengarry provides residents with free access to an E-Waste Recycling bin at its landfill sites through Ontario Electronic Stewardship.
In North Glengarry, e-waste can be dropped off at the RARE recycling centre, 265 Industrial Blvd., Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Details on what is accepted are available on the municipalities’ web pages.
Here are some of the devices that are accepted at e-waste depots: Desktop and portable computers, computer peripherals (keyboards, mice, trackballs), desktop printers, floor-standing IT, printing, copying and multifunction devices (photocopiers, printers), mobile devices (cell phones, pagers), televisions and monitors, telephones.
It is worth noting that parts that make up your electronics – steel, glass, copper, aluminum, plastics and precious metals – can be recovered and made into new products. You might consider donating or selling your electronic item if it is still in working order. Some people may consider buying your device for parts.
Protect Your Personal Information
When recycling electronic waste, ensure that all personal data is removed from devices prior to bringing them to the recycling bin. If you are unsure how to do this, contact the manufacturer for more information.
Protect your privacy: Get rid of all your personal information from computers and cell phones before recycling, selling or donating them. Here are some things to delete from your computer or cell phones:
Contact lists (which may include addresses and phone numbers) Email contacts Messages All documents All files in the operating system recycle bin or trash folder Internet files All non-transferable software (most software is transferable if you have the original disks, product key or SIM card)
It is not as simple as just pressing the delete key and emptying your deleted items file. Consult the manufacturer’s website or the owner’s manual for information on how to permanently delete your personal information. For example, if you are discarding a cell phone, copy any information you might need from it and reset its memory before you get rid of it.
Be careful when moving heavy monitors or televisions:
In particular, cathode ray tubes, found in older televisions and monitors can shatter under pressure. Sturdy work gloves are a good idea when carrying or moving heavier electronics.
Throwing out your cell phone
When you have finished with your old cell phone or battery, do not throw either of them out. In most cases, vendors of wireless devices can take care of recycling your old appliance when you purchase a new one. If the vendor or retailer is unable to dispose of your old cellphone, your community may have a recycling program to help you dispose of them in a sustainable and responsible manner.
If you can't make it to the drop-off locations, Recycle My Cell will accept your device through the mail, free of charge.
For a list of e-waste programs, visit www.recyclemyelectronics.ca
All companies that sell certain types of electronics (either at their store or online) need to be certified by the province.
The certified company that sells the equipment pays an environmental fee for each piece of equipment sold.
Companies normally then charge this fee to their customers by adding it to the sales price of the items they sell.
Having paid for the environmental fees at the time of purchase, consumers and businesses can then drop off unwanted electronic equipment, including computers and televisions, without charge at designated ewaste drop-off centres.
The collected equipment is then shipped to certified recyclers to be recycled in an environmentally sound manner.
If there are no e-waste certification programs where you live, don’t throw out your used electronic equipment in the garbage.
Check with your municipality for more information. From time to time large electronics stores offer a “take-back” day at local stores. Watch for information on local programs in your area.
Beware of firms that misrepresent themselves as certified and charge you non-legitimate environmental fees when you buy your electronics. In provinces with e-waste programs, only those companies that are certified pay environmental fees to help support take-back programs and it is only these companies that can sell you specific electronic equipment. Check with your provincial consumer affairs office to obtain the information.