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How To Recycle Your Old Electronics & Computer Accessories In Montreal

June 13, 2014
How To Recycle Your Old Electronics & Computer Accessories In Montreal

Time for a New Computer?

Thinking about buying a new computer? Time to upgrade or add a second screen? Hold on just a minute! Before you go ahead and buy a new computer, think about what you will do with your old one. Dumping old electronics in the household trash or curbside is not a feasible solution due to the many harmful components they contain. Did you know that the number of materials used to manufacture a computer is estimated at 1000; and many of these materials are harmful or toxic to people and the environment?

Toxic Electronics

Computers and many other household electronics contain a variety of highly toxic substances and materials. Materials like lead, mercury, americium, sulfur, PCB’s, chlorinated and brominated materials, toxic gases and metals, photo and bio-active substances, acids, plastics and their various additives all can be found in your electronic devices! So it goes without saying that disposing of these substances needs some careful consideration.

Where to Recycle Your Old Computer Accessories in Montreal

Good news for Montrealers; there are many ways to recycle your old computer accessories and electronics! Thanks in part to Quebec’s Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA), there are over 350 locations where you can recycle used electronics. The easiest way to find a location near you is through their “find a location” tool on their website. Type in your postal code and the tool will bring up recycling locations nearest to you.

Recycle Your Computer’s Friends Too

Along with your old computer, there are many other household electronics that you can recycle. Some of these recyclable items include:

  • CRT screens and flat screens(LCDs and plasma)
  • Printers, scanners, mice & keyboards
  • Radios, stereo & sound systems
  • Cables and other computer components
  • Televisions (CRTs and flat screens)
  • Televisions with built-in DVD or VHS players
  • DVD and VHS players

Wipe Your Hard Drive!

A quick note here before you recycle your old computer; be sure to completely wipe your hard drives! Moving items to the trash/recycle bin won’t do the job; neither will re-formatting the hard drive. The latter “looks” like your data is removed when in fact it is simply invisible to the operating system. To truly erase all your data you have three options:

  • Make use of free data destruction software online (good option for most users)
  • Physically destroy the hard drive
  • Use a degausser (not usually an option for your average computer user)

Quick Note on Electronic Recycling Companies

Some “recycling” companies actually do more harm than good. Many will ship recycled electronics to third-world countries where they are stripped of any valuable components; often by children. The remaining waste is then dumped in landfills. The thing about this that is so dangerous is that the contaminants in those dumped electronics eventually will find their way back here through air and water currents.

Plus, many people are put at risk and taken advantage of in the process of stripping and disposing of these items. Make sure that you take your old gear to a reputable recycler, who doesn’t use this type of operating practices.
Asking around and checking into the facts is always a good idea! If you’re shopping for office supplies in Montreal, Crites & Riddell has everything you’ll need, including computer accessories. Drop by or browse our website and find what you’re looking for.

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