I came across an interesting flier the other day while I was shopping at a home decor store. It was a small appliance recycling program that accepts over 120 small electrical appliances, ranging from electric toothbrushes to countertop microwave ovens. Every year in the province of British Columbia, Canada alone there are more than 2 million small electrical appliances that end up in the landfill each year. Unplugged is a non-profit recycling program in British Columbia, that helps minimize the waste by recycling these items and also helps save energy as it takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum rather than to process raw materials (others include: recycled steel 74% less energy, recycled glass 30% less energy).
In 2007 other industry-managed recycling programs in the province reduced 121,000 tonnes of potential waste and 267,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s the same as reducing 72,950 cars off the roads each year!
What`s accepted and what`s not
Small appliances from kitchen counter tops to hair dryers and even garment steamers. Pretty much anything that is powered by electricity or batteries that is not a large appliance like a dishwasher or bigger like commercial or industrial use. Built-in appliances like ceiling fans and some microwaves are not accepted, as well as refrigerant like air conditioners and dehumidifiers. And of course, if your small appliance is filled with food residue, liquid or vacuum bags just make sure they are cleared out before you drop off the appliance.
Find one in your local area
Unplugged has over 100 drop off locations, to find one in your local area you can either search on-line or contact your local city`s recycling centre to find out details. How the programmed is funded is that there is a recycling fee that is either incorporated in the price of the small appliance or added on top after check out, similar to the purchase of televisions and computers. So for example, a microwave would have a fee of $10.00 and a blender would be $2.25. It may be a bit of an extra cost on top of your new purchase, but it`s well worth the cause with the results it has shown in minimizing pollution and preserving energy.