More than 175,000 tons: that’s the amount of waste Quebec Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA-Quebec) spokesperson Martin Carli said the organization recycled in a decade on the occasion of the organization’s 10th anniversary and World Environment Day.
“If we filled semi-trailer trucks with all these electronic products, we would have a 500 km line,” he said.
In the last year alone, EPRA-Quebec received more than 17,800 tons. It should be noted that this is probably a larger number of devices than the annual average, as they are smaller and lighter than 10 years ago.
Carli said, however, that there is still a lot of work to do to ensure that all those old computers, phones and televisions get a second life, with many of them collecting dust in a basement.
A year ago, a Léger survey indicated that 65 per cent of Quebecers still keep obsolete equipment in their homes.
Carli will be present at the special collection organized on Sunday in front of EPRA-Quebec’s offices, at 5005 Blvd. de Lapinière, in Brossard.
PRESERVING THE ENVIRONMENT
“We must not put these devices on the side of the street because they can end up anywhere,” said Carli. “But don’t be under the illusion that it will end up in the recycling bin because it won’t.”
To get rid of your old electronic products, you have to drop them off at one of the 1,000 EPRA-Quebec collection points that cover the province.
Collection points are listed on the organization’s website.
“This approach creates several benefits for the environment,” said Carli. “First, it allows us to recover from these devices resources that are still perfectly useful, such as gold, which is used for its excellent electrical conductivity and the fact that it does not corrode. These materials have already been extracted from the ground, so if we recover them in the devices, well, we reduce the pressure on mining.”
In addition, some toxic components such as mercury or lead can cause damage if released into the environment.
“So it’s important to dispose of these substances in the right way,” said Carli.
— This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 5, 2022.