How Small Appliances Are Recycled

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Ever wonder how small appliances are recycled once they’re dropped off at a depot? ElectroRecycle collection sites receive more than 5 million kilograms every year of vacuums, electric saws, hair dryers, and other small appliances from British Columbians. It’s a staggering number that includes thousands of products made of valuable materials that can be recycled.

Watch our new video to unveil the mystery behind recycling small appliances!

Diving Into ElectroRecycle’s Canadian Recycling Process

Here’s how our recycling program transforms your old appliances into eco-friendly resources that can be used to make new items.

1. Find a Nearby Recycling Location

It all starts with you. The first step is to locate a nearby recycling center which partners with our program. The best part? Its free to drop off your small appliances and power tools at our collection sites.

2. The Collection and Transportation

Once dropped off, your small appliance is placed in a large container. And what happens next is where the magic begins. When this container is full, it’s picked up by a truck and transported to a state-of-the-art recycling facility right here in Canada.

3. Manual Sorting and Mechanized Processing

Next, this step marks the heart of the operation and the part that answers those lingering questions about recycling. At our partner recycling facilities, a combination of skilled staff and mechanized equipment sort and separate products by material type. Products move along a conveyor belt and are broken down by knowledgeable workers. The materials continue along a conveyor system that directs and refines the materials depending on features such as weight, colour, and size. 

Overall, materials like metal and plastic are divided into material types and broken down into smaller pieces and pellets.

4. Creating New Products

Lastly, raw material outputs and pellets are sent to refineries which convert them into a range of usable commodities. Steel, copper, plastic, and more are used to create new products. This gives the materials that once made up your old appliances another life as different products!

So How Much is Actually Recycled?

Overall, an impressive 95% of the material collected by ElectroRecycle is recycled. This not only reduces the burden on landfills but also conserves valuable resources, contributing to a more sustainable and circular economy.

Visit our Accepted Products Page to discover the 400+ types of electrical items we take – from electric luggage scales to microwaves, we recycle products throughout your home. Then, drop products which are beyond repair at one of our 230+ collection sites for free, and help create a greener, less wasteful future, one small appliance at a time.

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