Why Recycle?

Increasing amount of eWaste

Product obsolescence is becoming more rapid since the speed of innovation and the dynamism of product manufacturing / marketing has resulted in a short life span (less than two years) for many computer products. Shortened product life span coupled with computer sales that are increasing at an average of 15% per year will result in a doubling of the volume of obsolete computers over the next five to six years. To compound the problem, the switch from analog to digital transmission will require everyone who owns a television to switch to High Definition Television (HDTV) Receivers. Televisions have the same environmental problem as computer monitors, namely Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) and the associated lead content contained within. With television ownership penetration approaching 100% of households and computer ownership penetration over 63%, the need for consumer participation in proper eWaste recycling programs will be paramount over the next decade.

Waste valuable resources

Electronic products are made from valuable resources, including precious and other metals, engineered plastics, glass, and other materials - all of which require vast amounts of natural resources to source and manufacture. When we discard obselete electronic equipment, we are also discarding these valuable resources and causing an additional tax on our environment to access virgin materials to manufacture new products.

Alberta Electronics Recycling Program

Canada's first Provincial Electronics Recycling Program went into effect in Alberta on October 1, 2004.

In the initial phase of the program, televisions, computers, printers, monitors, and peripherals are collected by municipalities at designated collection points, or at eWaste round-up events.

A non-profit organization - the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) - will manage the province-wide Electronics Recycling Program on behalf of Albertans. Alberta's previous Tire Recycling Program was consolidated ito ARMA in order to gain greater efficiencies in managing the recycling system across the province. ARMA manages the recycling programs through two separate divisions - Tire Recycling Alberta and Electronics Recycling Alberta.

A Point-of-Sale Environmental Fee, ranging from $5.00 to $45.00 depending on the item, is placed on each electronic product included in the program. The fees will cover the costs of collection, transportation, recycling, education, awareness programs, and electronics-recycling-related research & development.

The eWaste Recycling Program is a key part of the Government of Alberta's strategy to reduce the annual per capita waste going to landfills from the current level of 750 kilograms per person, to 500 kilograms by 2010.

Why are used electronics a concern?Many electronic products, in particular personal computers, have complicated assemblies comprised of more than 1,000 materials - many of which are highly toxic if released into the environment.

Alberta is among the best in the world at recycling!