Have questions about ElectroRecycle’s recycling program? You’re not the only one! Here are the answers to the most common questions we get at events and online.
I can’t make it to a collection event, do you have other recycling locations?
YES! ElectroRecycle partners with more than 200 permanent locations in British Columbia. We team up with depots, recycling centers, municipal facilities, thrift stores, and even some retailers. You can drop off broken small appliances at any of them. Use our search tool to find a free drop-off location near you!
Do you pick-up broken small appliances and power tools from homes?
No we do not. In order to economically run our program, our collection network is based on partnering with pre-existing locations across the province.
Does the ElectroRecycle program fix, refurbish, or resell the items collected?
Products collected by our program are broken down into their component parts and recycled. They are not fixed or refurbished. Therefore, we encourage you to repair, share, or donate before recycling a small appliance or power tool with us! Try to extend the life of your electrical items. Here’s how:
- Check out a Repair Cafe in your community
- Search for repair tips online. For instance, our blog post Repair Tips to Save You Money is a great place to start! Check out our tune-up tips for Sewing Machines, Portable Fans, and Bread Machines!
- Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts
- Take the item to a local repair shop
- Donate it to a thrift store or community sharing library (if the appliance is still working)
- List it on Craigslist or Kijiji (if the appliance is still working)
What happens to the small appliances and power tools collected?
After being dropped off at an ElectroRecycle location, all products are:
- Transported to a processing facility in Canada.
- Broken down into different commodity types: glass, metal, plastic, and precious metals.
- Then, each facility processes a specific commodity type for recycling or recovery.
- After that, the recycled raw material is sold to manufacturers.
- Finally, the manufacturers use that material to make new items.
Check out our What Happens Infographic for a colorful visual of these steps!
Does ElectroRecycle’s program accept computer, TV, or audio equipment for recycling?
No, we do not, but we understand that our name can lead to some confusion! Our program specifically recycles electrical small appliances and power tools. Consequently, a different organization called the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA), manages computer, TV, and audio equipment recycling. Find more information about recycling these items here: https://www.recyclemyelectronics.ca/bc.
I have a broken [insert appliance name here]. Does ElectroRecycle take it?
Check the Accepted Products section of our website to confirm if your broken item is recyclable with us. We recycle more than 400 types of electrical small appliances and power tools!
We accept electrical items with a plug and/or battery from these 12 general categories:
- Kitchen Countertop (microwaves, blenders, coffee machines)
- Personal Care (hairdryers, electric hair clippers)
- Floor Cleaning (vacuums, steam mops)
- Weight Measurement (bathroom scales)
- Garment Care (irons, garment steamers)
- Air Treatment (fans, humidifiers, heaters)
- Time Measurement (clocks, timers)
- Very Small Items (plug-in air fresheners)
- Sports and Leisure (electric bug zappers)
- Power Tools (hand drills, saws)
- Sewing and Textile (sewing machines)
- Exercise Machines (treadmills)
Is ElectroRecycle a private business?
No, ElectroRecycle is a not-for-profit organization. ElectroRecycle uses environmental handling fees (EHFs) collected from manufacturers and retailers of small appliances and power tools to finance our recycling program across BC. As a result, if revenue exceeds our expenses, fees are reduced to align with expenses. So, businesses (like retailers, manufacturers, and distributors) that supply small appliances and power tools to BC consumers, fund the program. This shifts costs away from local governments.
The ElectroRecycle program was developed to meet regulations put in place by the Province of British Columbia. The regulations obligate manufacturers, distributors and retailers of specific products (such as small appliances and power tools) to provide an environmental strategy for their disposal and recycling. This encourages a recycling model called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Subsequently, ElectroRecycle’s program is based on this model.
Can you tell me more about Extended Producer Responsibility?
Here are the key things to know about EPR:
- It holds manufacturers accountable to manage the infrastructure to collect and recycle their products when they need to be disposed of.
- It is an environmental strategy arising from the Polluter Pays Principle.
- EPR aims to help incentivize businesses to decrease the environmental impact of products during all stages of the product life-cycle. From selecting the materials used in production, to managing collection infrastructure and recycling when a product is no longer useful.
- Most EPR programs charge a fee directly to the person who buys the product. The fee is charged within the product’s price or as an environmental handling fee.
- An environmental handling fee (EHF) is not a tax. It does not go toward municipal, provincial or federal government operations. The EHF solely covers the cost of recycling the item.
For example, say your neighbour does not take care of their stuff and breaks a lot of small appliances. With EPR, you do not end up paying his recycling costs through taxes. The fee is paid by your neighbor (the consumer) who purchases the appliances.
Still not sure how ElectroRecycle fits in the grand scheme of it all?
ElectroRecycle is an EPR program for small appliances and power tools in BC! To explain this, here’s a simplified visual of how we fit:
Have more questions about ElectroRecycle or the recycling of small appliances or power tools? We’re happy to chat about our program with enthusiastic recyclers any day! Email or message us on social media.
Alternatively, for questions about recycling other items contact the Recycling Council of British Columbia! Their website is a great resource and their hotline (1-800-667-4321) is open on weekdays for any recycling question you can think of!