Here are 6 great reasons you should recycle your old electronic equipment

Back to school and Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping season will soon be upon us, meaning it’s likely we’ll be in a frenzy purchasing new phones, computers, and electronics galore.

But before we dump our old gadgets to make room for the new, there are some important things to consider — like where exactly you’re disposing of your old electronic equipment.

Did you know that you can easily recycle your old portable and desktop computers, printers, video gaming equipment, e-scooters, non-cellular telephones, and a whole lot more at Return-It electronics locations?

And, as for why it’s so important to do so, we’ve rounded up six good reasons, according to Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA), the not-for-profit organization that operates regulated recycling programs across Canada and has, to date, diverted over 1M tonnes of electronic waste from Canadian landfills through its provincial ‘Recycle My Electronics’ programs. In BC, the program is managed and operated by Return-It, with 292 collection sites across the province.

Hint: the main reason to recycle your electronics — it’s just plain easy.

1. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint

Huguette Roe/Shutterstock

According to EPRA, recycling our electronics is an essential part of the overall solution to the issues facing our climate. “Recycling e-waste ensures the resources inside are recovered, recycled, and reused — reducing our overall carbon footprint and lessening our dependence on mining for new resources,” states the organization’s website. Recycling diverts e-waste from landfills, where it can emit greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and other harmful toxins. Really, it’s a no-brainer.

2. Recycling 1M tonnes e-waste could power 4M Canadian homes

The EPRA has diverted 1M tonnes of e-waste from landfill so far. But there’s likely much more out there.

What does 1M tonnes of electronic waste look like we hear you ask? According to EPRA, if you filled the backs of pickup trucks with 1M tonnes worth of electronics, the trucks would stretch from Vancouver all the way to St. John’s, Newfoundland, and back again.

And, to put into terms of power, recycling 1M tonnes of e-waste would save the energy equivalent to powering over 4M Canadian homes for an entire year. Doesn’t this make you want to plan your next trip to your nearest Return-It Electronics location?

3. You’ll improve your sustainable behaviour

recycling electronics


It’s pretty clear that we need to do better for the environment on a lot of fronts, so why not start embracing more environmentally sustainable behaviour by recycling our electronic items?

Our electronics contain resources including plastic, glass, gold, silver, and copper, and many of which can be used over and over again without losing their properties. Landfill is no place for your end-of life electronics.

4. It’s an opportunity to have an environmental impact

According to EPRA, 80% of Canadians have unused electronics at home. That means whether they’re tucked away in the basement, garage, or stashed away in a drawer, most of us have electronics literally waiting to be safely and securely recycled. Basically, the opportunity to make an environmental impact is just waiting to be seized.

5. You’ll be helping divert waste from landfill

recycling electronics


We can all do our part to help Canada achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and preserve our environment for generations to come.

By recycling your old electronics, you’re contributing to the EPRA’s efforts to assist retailers, electronic producers, and manufacturers in meeting their legislative obligations throughout Canada, while making sure we can create a world where piles of old electronics are not sitting in landfills or harming our environment.

Plus, when you bring your old, unusable electronics to a Return-It Electronics location, you’re helping to ensure the safe and secure destruction of personal data stored on your hardware, protect the health and safety of workers and handlers, prevent e-waste from being illegally exported or handled by irresponsible recyclers, and decreasing overall environmental issues for the planet. So really, the question is why you wouldn’t recycle your electronics?

6. It’s easier and more convenient than ever

recycling electronics


With so many Return-It Electronics locations across BC, we’re spoilt for choice with nearby places to bring our old electronic devices to. All you have to do is drop off your equipment, and you’ve done your duty.

To find a Return-It Electronics location near you, click here.


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