E-Recycling Tips For The Holidays

The Christmas season is fast approaching and there are likely some cool new electronics on your wish list this year. But with all the excitement around the new gadgets that will be under the tree, what often gets overlooked is what will happen to the old electronics they’ll be replacing.

Used electronics are one of the biggest contributors of waste in Canada

In fact, 80% of Canadians say they have one or more obsolete electronic devices in their homes. So, as you add new electronics to your collection it’s important to get rid of old ones so that they don’t start taking up space and gathering dust.

Here are a few e-recycling tips for the holidays to help you find a new home for your old electronics.

Clear Up Space Before the Holidays Begin

A great way to ensure you don’t end up with a lot of clutter after the holidays is to preemptively get rid of any electronics you’re not currently using. Check your garage, closets, attic, and anywhere else you might be storing old items to see if there's anything not in use.

Any electronics that you’ve replaced with a new version can obviously be gotten rid of. And anything you haven’t used within the last year can probably be removed as well. Be honest with yourself. If you don’t feel like you’re going to use it again then it’s time to get rid of it.

Recycle Old Electronics That Can’t Be Reused

Once you receive all of your flashy new gifts you’re going to want to start thinking about the best way to dispose of all the old items you don’t need anymore.

Any electronics that are broken, not working, or too old to be used should be recycled at the nearest registered location. Alberta Recycling has 442 registered recycling depots located throughout the province if you’re looking for somewhere to take your items.

Recycling old electronics doesn’t just save space. It also helps the environment.

Electronics contain a number of toxic chemicals and metals that can negatively impact ecosystems, cause air pollution, and jeopardize people’s health. By recycling your electronics, you’re ensuring these items will be disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

Sell Your Old Electronics

If you have electronics that are still in good condition that you no longer need, you can probably sell them to make some extra money. You’d be surprised how much people are often willing to pay for second-hand electronics. There’s usually a pretty good market for these sorts of items since they’re a lot cheaper than buying new.

There are plenty of online marketplaces available to sell used electronics, including eBay, Craigslist, and Kijiji. Do some research beforehand to see what similar items are selling for, and then create an online ad. If you’re lucky, you’ll clear some space in your home and make a nice profit.

Donate Your Electronics

Christmas is the season of giving, and if you really want to do something nice you can always give away or donate your old electronics to people that need them.

Have a look at any electronics you no longer need and think about any friends or family members that might be able to use them. Maybe one of your siblings is starting school and needs a laptop. Or perhaps one of your friends is moving into a new place and could really use a TV.

You can also likely donate your electronics to a charity or nonprofit organization. There are programs available that refurbish old electronics and donate them to schools, libraries, and other causes. Do your research and see if there are any viable options in your area.

Take it One Step Further: Go Waste-Free

The holidays can create a lot of waste in addition to old and used electronics. Here are a few more tips to help you have a waste-free Christmas season.

Avoid disposable plates and cutlery

When hosting holiday parties it can be tempting to use paper plates and plastic knives and forks to make the clean-up a little easier. But while this means less dirty dishes, it leads to a lot more waste. Plus, using real plates and cutlery is a great way to add an extra bit of class to your gathering.

Waste-free gifting

When choosing and preparing your gifts, try to think about ways you can reduce waste. Giving an experience like tickets to a show is always popular and results in little or no waste.

When wrapping your gifts use reusable materials like craft gift bags made from recycled paper, and try to choose quality gifts that will stand the test of time.

Dispose of your tree properly

Most municipalities have a location where you can drop off your old tree, or they might even have a curb-side pick-up service. Do some research to find the best way to properly dispose of your tree.

Recycle Holiday Packaging

Most gifts come with lots of wrapping and excess packaging. Ensure you gather up all of these materials and recycle them properly. If you have any questions about what can be recycled, contact your local municipality.

Christmas is an exciting time of year, but try to keep in mind the amount of waste you’re producing. Recycling and reducing waste is often easier than you think, and knowing you’re helping the environment is a great reward.

A waste-free Christmas can be a fun Christmas, too!