Recycling, fees come to more electric gear

Depots now take back old power tools, sports gear – anything with a power cord or battery

Hundreds of additional electrical products – from drills and other power tools to sports equipment such as treadmills – can now be returned to B.C. depots for recycling.

The July 1 expansion of the ElectroRecycle program first launched last fall means consumers are also now paying an extra recycling fee when they buy new products that are covered.

A laser level sold in B.C. now costs 75 cents more, while the fees are $2.75 for sewing machines and $4.25 for exercise machines.

Those charges, which fund the industry stewardship program, are in addition to fees on many other small appliances that kicked in last October, adding $2.25 to the cost of new toasters and blenders, for example, or an extra $10 for a large microwave oven.

“With these new product categories, ElectroRecycle will help divert even more electrical products from disposal to resource recovery,” Recycling Council of B.C. CEO Brock Macdonald said.

“The expanded program will also help municipalities spend less on managing waste.”

Whether the fees charged are separately itemized on a bill or are included in a product’s price depends on the retailer.

Formerly known as Unplugged, the expanded program now covers virtually all consumer electrical products with a power plug or battery that weren’t already being collected by depots through other programs.

It’s the latest in a growing set of takeback programs in B.C. where manufacturers and retailers are required by the province to set up depots to collect and recycle old items, while consumers pay recycling fees to cover the costs.

Electrical product dropped off at ElectroRecyle drop-off locations are sent to processors within Canada and separated into different materials for recycling.

The non-profit program is run by the Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association in partnership with B.C.-based Product Care Association on a long-term cost-recovery basis.

For a full list of depots and accepted products see www.electrorecycle.ca.