With the advancement of technology, electronic products have an increasingly rapid replacement rate. Electronic products are often inappropriately disposed of into the general waste stream, where they end up in landfill potentially harming the environment, as well as wasting valuable resources.
Did you know?
A large number of what is labeled as "e-waste" is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that can be recycled for materials recovery and reused.
Metric tons of e-waste
are disposed worldwide every year.1
- 12.5% 12.5%
is currently recycled.2
Worth of recoverable materials
are lost to landfills across Canada.3
Keep on reading to find out how reusing and recycling your electronics makes a difference for the environment.
E-Waste, the next frontier in conserving the planet
We live in the era of hypertechnology. Electronic products and gadgets have infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives; enabling societal development, creating new opportunities, and allowing for the easiest and fastest information acquisition and exchange we’ve seen in history. But that technology has a cost, it is creating its own toxic footprint: electronic waste.
E-waste broadly covers waste from all electronic and electrical appliances such as computers, mobile phones, digital music recorders/players, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions (TVs)…
High obsolescence, leading to a high replacement rate, makes e-waste one of the fastest waste streams. This new kind of waste is posing a serious challenge in disposal and recycling, making it an environment and health concern that needs to be addressed.
What are the challenges surrounding e-waste and the benefits of electronics recycling
When electronic products are inappropriately disposed of in the general waste stream, they are being sent to landfills, in Canada and abroad, which has a heavy cost on the planet and for the taxpayers:
- Sending electronic waste to decay in landfills is harmful to the environment & ecosystem resulting in:
- The contamination of air, soil and water by the release of hazardous materials & chemicals (lead, cadmium…)
- The waste of recyclable materials, such as plastic and ores, that could be reused in new products
- The pollution generated by mining and producing new materials is far greater than that of recycling and reusing materials
- The cost of waste disposal, transport and landfilling is high and supported by taxpayer dollars. The total annual cost for the collection, processing and disposal of 4.9 million tones of waste is estimated at over $1 billion for Ontario’s taxpayers.4
The more efforts we make in the diversion of waste from the general waste stream, the greater the portion of that money can be allocated to other programs benefiting the community.
Unfortunately, there is also a lack of public awareness on electronics recycling options and best practices that limits the results we could obtain by working together within communities. Canadians, through the blue bin recycling program, have demonstrated their commitment to having a positive impact on the environment. It is now time to go one step further and build good habits where electronics are involved.
How working towards a circular economy is the way of the future
As overall diversion efforts have stalled at 25%, Ontario is seeking new ways to revitalize its recycling programs, a global trend has been to explore ideas that close the resource loop, a system where nothing is wasted, where valuable materials are reintroduced in the economy instead of wasting away in landfills.
Following other countries’ model, Ontario is expanding on the idea of circular economy to encourage businesses to design long lasting, reusable and easily recyclable products.
- Improve how their products and packaging are designed in an effort to reduce waste
- Design innovative ways to recover, recycled and reintegrated end of life products and packaging into the economy
How ADL Process contributes to the recycling of e-waste
ADL Process helps communities and businesses who are trying to offset their environmental footprint by engaging in the recovery and recycling of materials from the e-waste stream.
We operate on reverse logistics. It means that we are inverting the usual manufacturing process; instead of building products, we take used electronic products apart to recover materials. We reinsert those materials into the economy by supplying them to manufacturers, who will in turn reuse them to create new products instead of using new materials.
Additionally, we make sure all harmful materials recovered during the recycling process are disposed of according to environmental regulations, and are not reintroduced into the environment polluting soil, water and air.
Start The Conversation
Contact us for more information and stay up-to-date with ADL Process.
ADL Process is committed to help individuals, communities and businesses understanding the challenges surrounding e-waste, and to promote disposal and recycling best practices through community awareness events and educational initiatives to the public.
Interested in making a difference in your community or as a business? Start getting involved, learn more about:
1 United Nations. “Waste Management.” Web Accessed April 11, 2015.
2 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Fact Sheet: MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRONIC WASTE IN THE UNITED STATES.” Web Accessed April 11, 2015.
3 Natural Resources Canada, 2006.
4 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), New Waste Reduction and Resource Recovery Framework Legislation, April 15, 2015.