Alberta government approves expanded electronics recycling
New project to support job creation, grow the economy and help municipalities divert more e-waste
The Alberta government is kick-starting an expanded electronics recycling project that will support job creation, grow the economy and help municipalities divert more reusable material from landfills.
Through a two-year $43 million pilot project, the Alberta government has approved the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) to use reserve funds to recycle up to 24,600 tonnes of electronics products that were not accepted previously in the program.
Municipalities will receive funding for collecting the additional electronics included in the recycling expansion. Currently, municipalities do not receive compensation to manage electronics that are outside ARMA's existing program.
The expanded electronics recycling products include: audio visual equipment, telecom, cell phone and wireless devices, electronic gaming equipment, small home appliances, portable power tools, toys, musical instruments and solar panels. There will be no cost to consumers to recycle the additional products during the pilot.
An expanded program would also divert up to an additional 12,300 tonnes - the equivalent weight of 8,785 average cars - from landfills annually.
Recycling and waste management are essential services in Alberta during the pandemic. Municipal and collection sites remain open and Albertans are encouraged to practise physical distancing when bringing their recycling to collection sites.
Many collection sites have implemented COVID-19 mitigation measures and continue to manage electronics recyclables. In fact, the project could help offset other waste products currently destined for landfills as a result of the pandemic's impact on reduced sorting capacity at some municipal sorting facilities.
The pilot will inform the possibility of a permanently expanded electronics program. ARMA will conduct community and stakeholder engagement prior to launching the two-year pilot.