Electronics recycling program icon

Electronics RECYCLING PROGRAM

StEWARDSHIP

Overview

Launched in 2004, ARMA’s Electronics Recycling Program was the first in Canada to recycle computer equipment, televisions, and select office equipment, and over the last 20 years, ARMA has worked to expand the list of eligible electronics. Albertan’s participation in this program over its lifetime has resulted in over 11.6 million electronics recycled by six ARMA-approved processors. This means over 229,000 tonnes of electronics have been processed and diverted from local landfills!

Once processed, components from the electronics, different metals, glass, and plastics are all used to create new consumer products. Also, since 2004, over 15,000 tonnes of hazardous material have been safely and properly handled during recycling. Last year alone, 229 tonnes of lead, 0.30 kg, of mercury, 3.23 kg. of cadmium, 9.70 kg. of beryllium, and 1.08 tonnes of antimony have been diverted from landfills. 

OVER
0

tonnes of electronics have been processed since 2004

Eligible Products and Fees

Following is the list of eligible electronics in Alberta’s Electronics Recycling Program and the environmental fees charged on the sale of new products effective October 1, 2021.

Visual display and all-in-one devices

Televisions, monitors and all-in-one computers (processing unit combined with a monitor):

  • Less than 30″ screen size – $2.50
  • 30″ screen size or larger – $6.00
Computers and servers
  • $2.00
Laptop, tablets, notebooks (portable computers)
  • $0.80
Printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines
  • $3.00

More Detailed Information

For more detailed information please see the current Products, Definitions, and Fees.

Electronics expanded

Since 2004, Albertans have been recycling their end-of-life TVs and computer equipment and starting September 1, 2020, the list is EXPANDING under a pilot project for which the data collected will inform our provincial government and others on how they can advance electronics recycling in the future.

Frequently asked questions

Electronics are one of the fastest-growing waste streams 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. ARMA works closely with municipalities and processors across the province to ensure electronics are recycled safely and responsibly so they don’t end up in landfills. 

What is recycled?

Televisions and computer equipment are accepted for recycling at municipal collection sites throughout Alberta. See our ePilot Electronics page for the list of expanded products that can be recycled under our pilot project.

How are electronics processed?

Electronics are picked up from municipal collection sites, businesses, schools, universities, etc. across the province by registered Electronics 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. The materials processed in Alberta’s electronics recycling program are processed locally and are not sent to, or ‘dumped’ into developing countries.

What does it become?

Electronics 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 mice is processed to produce plastic flakes or pellets used to make new consumer products.

Is the information on my computer secure when it is recycled?

The electronics recyclers registered with ARMA adhere to registered processor compliance requirements to ensure the safe and proper disposal of personal information found on devices. However, ARMA recommends wiping your device or hard drive before dropping it off at a collection site to give yourself additional peace of mind.

Is there a risk of my old computer that I just dropped off ending up in a third-world country?

No, unlike other programs, a primary objective of ARMA’s program is to prevent end-of-life computer equipment, TVs, and other devices from being sold or shipped to developing countries where environmental and safety abuses may occur. Material is processed at registered recycler sites in Alberta.

Can I recycle other electronics in Alberta like microwaves, vacuum cleaners or toasters?

In May 2020 the Government of Alberta approved a two-year pilot project to expand the types of end-of-life electronics products that will be accepted through the program. This program was extended through March 2024 in order to continue diverting materials from landfill. Learn more.

What can I do with my printer ink and toner cartridges?

Printer ink and toner cartridges are considered peripheral items within the electronics program and therefore may be accepted in small amounts at your local electronics recycling depot. Please check the Depot Finder to find a location near you and call them to verify that they will accept these items.

Additionally, you can find a list of manufacturers and how they manage their cartridges at https://everycartridge.com/canada/.

I have a number of old electronics, who should I contact to collect them?

You can contact one of our registered processors to arrange a pick-up.

You can also contact 4-H Alberta to collect old electronics and tires from farms, acreages, and residences, as part of a fundraising initiative. Please contact your local club for more information.

Can businesses drop off their old computer equipment, copiers, fax machines, scanners and TVs at any of the Electronics Depots listed by Alberta Recycling?

The majority of electronics recycling depots accept end-of-life electronics from businesses. Search the Depot Finder to locate an electronics recycling depot near you and give them a call to verify acceptance of your material. If your business has any questions regarding recycling electronics, please contact us at electronics.albertarecycling.ca or call us toll-free at 1.888.999.8762.

What happens to the TVs and computers that are dropped off for recycling or picked up from businesses?

They are picked up by registered processors and transported to their facilities, all located in Alberta. The products are disassembled into metals, glass, and plastic. These commodities are then shipped to approved companies for further processing or manufacturing into new products.

ARE THERE ANY FUNDRAising opportunities for charities in this program?

Yes, the Electronics Recycling Roundup is designed to encourage schools, non-profit organizations, and community groups to increase awareness of recycling and raise funds for their organization (or on behalf of an organization), while making it easier for Albertans to recycle their old electronics. Click here for more information on the Electronics Recycling Roundup fundraising opportunity.

Can I RECYCLE SOLAR PANELS?

Included in our ePilot program, we have created a solar panel recycling program. The intention of this program is to gather data and evaluate the processes and volumes of solar panels in Alberta.

Take your electronics out of the picture. Recycle.

Environmental Fee Info

The environmental fees Albertans pay when purchasing new electronics help fund the cost of recycling them.

Albertans are some of the most dedicated recyclers in the world. Residents and businesses have recycled 11.6 million electronics since 2004. Registered electronics processors broke down this material at their approved facilities right here in Alberta, separating it into various metals, glass, and plastic. These recovered commodities were then shipped for manufacturing into new computer components or industrial metal products, to name a few of the end uses for your old electronics.