Recycling program aims at diverting millions of appliances from landfills

Recycling program aims at diverting millions of appliances from landfills.

Michael Schellinck

Michael Schellinck

When the microwave just doesn’t heat food anymore or the coffee pot doesn’t brew, people don’t have to toss them in the trash.

A new provincewide initiative aims to divert more than two million appliances from being tossed in landfills.

The Unplugged: the Small Appliance Recycling Program starts Oct. 1.

The program is being introduced by the Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association, a not-for-profit organization comprised of representatives from small appliances manufacturers and retailers. The association works in partnership with B.C.’s Product Care association to operate the program throughout the province.

British Columbia is the first province to regulate an end-of-life program for small appliances.

Michael Schellinck, executive director of the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, said the facility has always accepted small appliances for recycling. Prior to Unplugged, customers were charged a small fee when they dropped off items.

“For us there is zero effort for transition, it’s going to be nice and smooth,” he said. “Things are going to be recycled a little bit better.”

Schellinck said the exchange is a big advocate of ensuring all products that can be recycled are recycled, adding that the new program will force manufacturers to create greener products that are easier to recycle.

Money will also be available to recycle small components in appliances that were too small or time-consuming to remove to recycle.

People can recycle a range of products, from electric toothbrushes and toasters to countertop microwaves and vacuum cleaners.

The products are divided into 14 categories with a corresponding fee, which will be included either in the products price or as a separate charge at the register. Fees can range anywhere from 25 cents for a small item such as an air freshener to $10 for a large countertop microwave.

If people are uncertain if a product falls under the Unplugged program, Schellinck encourages people to contact the exchange.

He added there are many other programs available to recycle a variety of items and it could be taken under those. People can contact the exchange at 250-758-7777 or visit the facility located at 2477 Kenworth Rd.

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