‘Unplugged’ program set to launch

More than 100 Unplugged depots — including the one in Aldergrove — are set to open their doors on Oct. 1.

Electronics and other materials are now being accepted at recycling depots.

More than 100 Unplugged depots — including the one in Aldergrove — are set to open their doors on Oct. 1.

The program collects more than 120 types of small appliances, ranging from electric toothbrushes to vacuum cleaners, and is expected to divert approximately two million items from the landfill each year.

The locations will accept old and broken small appliances for recycling at no cost.

The Aldergrove location is the Aldergrove Bottle and Return-it Depot, 27482 Fraser Hwy. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This is a welcome addition to B.C.’s industry-managed and funded recycling programs,” said Brock Macdonald, the executive director of the Recycling Council of British Columbia.

“By diverting small appliances from municipal waste streams, Unplugged will recover valuable resources, promote conservation and reduce waste management costs for local governments throughout the province.”

Unplugged will also help save energy by recycling materials such as aluminum, which takes 95 per cent less energy to recycle than it does to make it from raw materials, or steel, which uses 74 per cent less energy.

“We are proud to see that the small appliance industry has developed a program to help British Columbians recycle their products and keep them out of the landfill,” says Environment Minister Terry Lake.

“These programs have helped put B.C. on the map as an environmental leader and we are happy to continue this tradition.”

“We know British Columbians are ready for a program like Unplugged. In fact, a recent survey found almost all (97 per cent) would consider participating in a small appliance recycling program, while nearly 90 per cent would encourage others to take part,” said Larry Moore, president of CESA.

After an appliance is brought to a drop-off location, it is transported to processors in Western Canada and separated into different materials which are then recycled. Metals will be smelted down and recycled into other metal products, while plastics and glass will be sorted and sold or reused in various manufacturing processes.

CESA has partnered with B.C.-based Product Care Association (PCA) to set up and operate Unplugged.

“We are happy to have the support of a wide number of retailers, municipalities, and manufacturers who see the importance of the Unplugged program,” says Mark Kurschner, president of PCA.

“We will continue to work with recyclers to maximize the amount of materials recycled through Unplugged,” adds Kurschner. “And by setting up a comprehensive, province-wide network of drop-off locations, will ensure British Columbians can recycle their old or broken small appliances as part of their regular routine.”

As a non-profit program, Unplugged will be fully funded by a recycling fee applied to new products brought into B.C. by small appliance manufacturers and retailers. The recycling fee covers all program costs, including collection, transportation and recycling, and may be included in a product’s price or displayed as a separate charge at check-out. The program will operate on a cost-recovery basis and all fees collected will stay within the program.