Solid Waste & Recycling

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E-Waste Stewardship

One of the major issues facing the electronics recycling industry in North America is the cost of transporting electronic waste to recycling processors. Distances between large metropolitan areas incu...


One of the major issues facing the electronics recycling industry in North America is the cost of transporting electronic waste to recycling processors. Distances between large metropolitan areas incur logistics and transportation costs impacting the profitability in recycling electronic waste.

In April 2008 Global Electric Electronic Processing (GEEP) based in Barrie, Ontario launched e-colleX– a unique national electronic waste collection program to complement and augment existing and planned provincial stewardship programs across Canada. The e-colleX program accepts all consumer electronics including portable appliances, electronic games and battery operated devices. Sony was the initial partner in the program as e-colleX provided the opportunity to expand its recycling efforts in collecting all Sony branded products including larger items like televisions and stereos for end-of-life processing. The goal of the e-colleX program is to make electronics recycling more accessible to Canadians.

All of the collected electronic devices are processed at GEEP facilities through a closed loop procedure. In-house processes and proprietary technology ensures that the e-waste is recycled in an environmentally responsible manner, resulting in maximum resource recovery with a zero landfill objective. This provides manufacturers, business customers and consumers with peace of mind in knowing their used electronics have been recycled with security in an environmentally safe manner. As an example, mixed-plastic fractions that would normally go to landfill are processed utilizing GEEP’s proprietary Nano Fuel Technology to produce pure diesel fuel (to drive generators creating electricity to run the Barrie plant).

Currently the e-colleX program manages 29 sites including 14 Sony authorized service centres (which only receive Sony branded products). All Sony products are collected at no charge to the customer; all other brands are received for a nominal processing fee. The objective is to expand the program in 2009 with an additional 25 collection sites and establish a series of collection events working with local businesses. It’s anticipated that other manufacturers will participate in the ecolleX program to augment in-house branded recycling programs. Manufacturer-driven Take Back and Trade In programs are readily facilitated within the e-colleX program providing a vehicle to stimulate sales and increase retail traffic. As a marketing tool for manufacturers of HD and large screen televisions, the e-col- leX program , which accepts all televisions and monitors, can provide a significant incentive to trade old TVs for the new HD models.

The WEEE initiative in the European Common Market has shown that the easier it is for a consumer to drop off an electronic device for recycling, the more successful the collection process will be. The addition of a “trade in incentive” addressing the perceived value of the old electronic device can trigger the decision to move the used product into the recycling stream.

The e-colleX program assures the consumer and the manufacturer that their old electronics will be processed safely and securely with the knowledge that a uniquely Canadian solution has been provided by GEEP in their quest to change the entire electronic waste recycling market in North America. GEEP offers the complete range of equipment and systems for mechanically destroying electronic waste as well as wide ranging recycling services for WEEE materials.

Bruce Parker is Vice President of TechProtect International in Barrie, Ontario. Contact Bruce at

bparker@techprotectinternational.com

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“The program can provide a significant incentive to trade old TVs for the new HD models.”

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“The Easier It Is For A Consumer To Drop Off An Electronic Device For Recycling, The More Successful The Collection Process Will Be.”


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