Dis­pos­ing of e-waste safely

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

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.

Con­sumer tip:

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.

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