Whether it’s a scrap tire, an old computer or TV, or a can of leftover paint, recycling turns your old stuff into new products and protects the environment in the process.
Electronics is one of the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Technology continues to evolve at an incredibly rapid pace, making electronics like TVs or computers easy to replace. The challenge of this rapid replacement is that these electronics contain some measure of potentially poisonous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and others - which makes them toxic if not dealt with properly.
Recycling your electronics is globally responsible
A primary objective of Alberta's electronics recycling program is to prevent computer equipment from being shipped to poor countries where they are illegally dumped, and scavenged for their precious metals. As these electronics are taken apart in primitive conditions, toxic materials seep into the environment, contaminating the land, water and air - putting people at risk.
By bringing your electronics to a municipal collection site you make sure your old electronics are processed safely and responsibly right here in Alberta.
What is recycled in Alberta
Televisions and computer equipment are accepted for recycling at municipal collection sites throughout Alberta. Click here for the list of products that can be recycled under Alberta’s electronics recycling program.
How they're processed
Electronics are picked up from municipal collection sites, businesses, schools and universities etc. across the province by six registered processors. These processors safely disassemble them and separate each of the different materials according to the program's requirements. Commodities like metals, plastics and glass are collected and sold to be made into new products.
What it becomes
Televisions and computers contain a number of valuable materials that can be broken down and reused. The steel, aluminum and copper metal found in the wires, cables and circuitry is used as feedstock for new products. The glass from television and computer screens is melted down, separating the lead, and reused in the manufacture of new products. The plastic from the cases, keyboards and mouse are processed to produce plastic flakes or pellets used to make new consumer products.
Not only are discarded tires ugly to look at, they also pose a number of health risks. They present a fire hazard that can produce toxic fumes. When left out in the open, they collect water and become a breeding ground for mosquitos including those carrying West Nile Virus. The good news is, while tires are nasty when they're discarded, they're a valuable source of material that can be turned into new products and new jobs.
What is recycled
Almost every type of tire can be recycling in Alberta. The most common are those found on your car or truck. However, Alberta's tire recycling program includes off-road tires and specialty tires that are used on construction and industrial equipment. The six million tires Albertans discard every year are diverted from landfills, made into shred or crumbs and put to good use once again as new products.
How are tires processed
The scrap tires are picked up from tires shops, vehicle dealers, automotive repair shops or municipal collection sites across the province by the registered tire processors. The tires are run through a shredder, which is the final stage of processing for almost half the scrap tires generated in a year, and the other half of the tires are processed into crumb rubber.
What it becomes
Recycled scrap tires are turned into:
- Drainage material in municipal landfills, replacing expensive washed rock
- Playground surfaces
- Sidewalk blocks, matting products and roofing tiles
- Mulch for landscaping
- Whatever innovative Albertans will think of next!
Find out more about the products made with Alberta's scrap tires.
Prior to 2008, Albertans took their paint to a household hazardous waste roundup for disposal. However, latex paint can be remade into new paint and oil-based paint can be used as a fuel source in the energy recovery process. Since April 1, 2008, home owners and painting contractors alike have flocked to Alberta's paint recycling program because they want their leftover paint and paint containers safely recycled instead of incinerated.
What is recycled?
Most household paints, varnishes and stains are accepted in the program. Paint aerosols (or 'spray paint cans') are also accepted. Please visit this link for the complete list.
How is paint processed?
Alberta’s registered paint processors pick up the paint from municipal collection sites and commercial painting companies across the province, and take it to their facilities where it is separated and packaged for shipment. Processing of paint and paint containers is handled by downstream processors approved by Alberta Recycling.
What it becomes
Latex paint is recycled into usable paint, the majority of it processed and then sold right here in Alberta for environmentally conscious purchasers. Oil based paint is most often used in fuel mixes to provide alternative fuel sources. Aerosol containers, paint cans and plastic pails are recycled as metals and plastics.