Phase I of the Fluorescent Lamp/Computer Recycling Initiative, which was launched in Alberta on February 6, 2001, is underway. The initiative targets municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals. More than 70 participants, including the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association, have voluntarily signed up. Phase II will target the private sector. Participating recyclers collect and process fluorescent bulbs and computers before safely recycling the components into new products.
Ownership of PCs in Alberta is the highest of any province in Canada. Calgary has two electronic waste dismantlers and brokers, which receive and dismantle close to 125,000 computer systems per year combined. Equipment is dismantled by hand, valuable parts are separated and little is reportedly landfilled. The plastics are sent to Calgary or Edmonton recyclers, metals and cables to the U.S. and circuit boards to Asia. Some parts are re-sold to local computer reclaimers. The remaining metals are sent to smelters. These companies suggest that they have a throughput capacity to handle/dismantle all of the computer waste volume generated in Alberta up until 2005.
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