If your broken electronic has a plug or batteries, it can be recycled. But it might be even better for the environment to extend its life. Here’s a look a local organization that has been recycling computers for nearly 30 years: BC Technology for Learning Society.
[Narrator] In British Columbia, if your broken electronic item has a battery or plug it can be recycled. But many electronics can be reused first, and one organisation has been doing that for nearly 30 years.
[Mary-Em Waddington, Executive Director, BC Technology for Learning Society] What we do is take donations of used computer equipment from government and individuals that are interested in seeing their equipment repurposed and given back to someone that needs it. And that could be at a school, nonprofit organisation, First Nations community, or a low income family home.
[Narrator] Over the past 20 years, Metro Vancouver has donated almost 2,000 computers to BC Technology for learning.
[Greg Smith, Senior Director of Corporate Services, Metro Vancouver] Metro Vancouver’s vision is one of innovation and collaboration and this is just one of those tools that lets us get the technology out of the waste stream, back into the hands of people that will use it.
[Mary-Em Waddington] When you know what damage e-waste can do, leaching lead and cadmium into water and land, extending the useful life is awesome and knowing that it does make such an impact into someone else’s life is such a great thing. Everything is refurbished. We really want to make sure that this is a quality, clean product that someone gets for the first time.
[Technician] Okay, perfect.
[Mary-Em Waddington] There is a staggering gap of people in this province that don’t have computers or laptops in their home. During the pandemic when schools were shut down, you can imagine some families with five kids having to share one computer or maybe even one cellphone to do their instruction at home. The vision is really to see that everyone has equal access to technology and to the internet in the province.
[Narrator] Once electronics are no longer useful, components and metals can be reclaimed and used to make new products.
Find out where you can drop off old electronics and batteries at mvrecycles.org