At Capital Junk, we understand how challenging it can be to dispose of e-waste, and how imperative it is that this waste is disposed of properly. This is why we offer professional electronic waste removal and recycling services — to make it that much easier to get rid of your e-waste responsibly. We’ve got your trash and your back.
With 10 years of experience under our belts, we are well equipped to remove and dispose of your e-waste — and all your other waste for that matter. When you enlist the help of our electronic recycling services, you can rest easy knowing that we are thorough and cautious.
Our team of waste disposal experts in Ottawa is committed to meeting all of your junk removal needs and making sure that all of your stuff is sorted and diverted correctly. We want you to understand the impact that improperly electronic devices can have on your health and on the environment — and why it’s worth your while to hire professional help with.
We are happy to provide tips for Ottawa homeowners to help them get rid of their e-waste easier, and more responsibly. It’s essential to know what your e-waste does to the environment, how to get rid of it, and the materials it contains. You can trust that we will make your e-waste removal a quick, easy, and eco-friendly process.
What Is E-Waste?
E-Waste is defined as any discarded electronic device — this includes computers, TVs, phones and even refrigerators. Think of e-waste as anything that you need to plug in or turn on.
According to the City of Ottawa, e-waste accounts for 3000 tonnes of the waste added to our landfill every year — that’s equivalent to 300 garbage trucks full of material.
When not appropriately discarded, this waste can be detrimental. This is because when left in a landfill, these devices emit hazardous toxins like volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).
What Does Ottawa Consider as E-waste?
Items that constitute as e-waste in Ottawa and are not accepted for curbside pickup include:
When the Time Comes to Dispose of Your E-Waste
Let us guess — your garage is packed with old computer monitors, printers and an old mini fridge. It’s time to get rid of all this stuff you don’t need anymore. The thing is, where do you start? We promise that the process seems more daunting than it really is.
Before You Get Rid of E-Waste:
E-waste, as established, is not something you can leave out on your front lawn for pickup. It requires a bit more attention and for good reason because mistreated e-waste can be hazardous.
Be sure to take precautions and plan ahead when you decide that it is time to get rid of your e-waste (Spoiler: The time is now).
1. Sort Your E-Waste
As we’ve mentioned, not all electronic materials were made equal — some depots or retailers will only take specific devices. That said, when you finally sit down to address the e-waste you’ve accumulated, you need to go through your things and sort them as per your city’s outlined regulations.
It’s also important to sort through your e-waste to identify the different types of devices you need, and what you want to hold on to, pass on, donate or recycle. After you sort through what you have, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re working with. This will help you to better plan your next move.
2. Wipe Your Data
Is there any data on the devices you are getting rid of? If you are getting rid of a computer or phone, you’re going to want to wipe off any remaining data. We’re not suggesting someone will go through your information, but it’s always good to take precautions.
3. Remove Your Batteries
Batteries also need to be disposed of responsibly, but because they are not considered e-waste, it’s important to address them separately.
Batteries are actually classified as Household Hazardous Waste. What you may not know is that batteries can short circuit and are usually not completely dead when you dispose of them.
4. Identify the Drop-Off Depots in Your Area
To identify the best place to drop off your electronics, you can use tools like Waste Explorer or RecycleYourElectronics. These resources list off the depots in your area, as well as the retailers who will take back your electronic devices.
Some cities will even offer e-waste drop off days where you can get rid of all of your electronic devices in one go at no cost! Check out your city’s site to see what their offerings are.
5. Enlist the Help of a Professional
Sometimes certain drop off depots will only take specific electronic items, which can become a headache — even though there is a method to the madness.
To streamline your process and make things easier altogether, enlist the help of a junk removal company who can come remove your e-waste.
When you enlist the help of our e-waste removal services, we’ll take on the job of making sure everything is disposed of responsibly. All you have to do is point us in the direction of what you want removed!
How to Properly Dispose of E-Waste
According to a United Nations study, 44.7 million tons of e-waste was discarded in 2016. Only 20 percent of that waste was properly disposed of.
These are the best ways to make sure you are disposing of your e-waste properly:
Understand Your City’s Regulations:
E-waste isn’t accepted for curbside pickup, which makes it that much harder to recycle and get rid of. The thing is, not every electronic device is considered e-waste, and some e-waste can be dropped off while others are considered hazardous materials.
You want to make sure you are bringing your waste to the right place that will dispose of, or repurpose, your item in a way that is environmentally sound. That said, when it comes to disposing of your e-waste you do have options — it’s just about staying educated!
Before getting rid of your electronic waste, you can always check out our blog to learn about the recent changes in e-waste regulations.
It’s important to stay on top of your city’s e-waste management resources and regulations. After all, there is hazardous e-waste material that will need to be treated in an entirely different way.
Keep yourself updated on the goings on, and what your cities rules are regarding e-waste – including what they define as e-waste, and what depots they have available for you to drop your electronics off at.
Drop Off Depots & Take-Back Retailers
Every city has drop off depots where you can bring your e-waste to have it discarded responsibly. It’s all about being educated and doing your due diligence to figure out when these depots are open, and if they have any restrictions.
For example, Habitat for Humanity’s Restore works with the Ontario Electronic Stewardship to collect e-waste and reduce the number of electronic devices that get sentenced to the landfill.
These stores get paid to collect e-waste, but all profits are put towards building homes in the community. If there is a restore in your area, be sure to check out what items they accept for e-waste.
In addition, there are also retailers who will take back your used electronics — you just need to confirm which ones will take it back! Fortunately, there are tons of resources online to help you identify who will take your e-waste, what you can bring, and where to bring it.
Capital Junk understands how frustrating it can be when you want to get rid of your electronics responsibly but just don’t know how to. That’s why we have a comprehensive recycling guide to help you find the proper disposal site and recycling depot in Ottawa to help you get rid of your e-waste.
Donate to Charities
Sometimes, you may not even need to recycle your e-waste — you can give it to someone to re-use! Find a local charity to donate your old items to or enlist the help of a junk removal company that will donate your re-usable electronic devices to affiliated foundations.
There’s an App for That!
As we’ve mentioned, improper recycling of e-waste is usually due to a lack of education.
There are tons of apps for different cities that help residents to better identify what constitutes as e-waste in their region, what they can get rid of, and how to get rid of it all!
For example, the Ottawa Collection Calendar app informs users of what waste is being picked up when, and shares what depots are opened when to collect different waste that isn’t accepted through curbside pickup.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, the app had 66,000 users in 2017 alone!
Adopt Effective & Safe Recycling Practices
The thing is, not everyone recycles e-waste properly — improper recycling is just as detrimental as sending electronic devices to a landfill.
According to the World Health Organization, there are outdated recycling techniques like burning cables to retrieve copper from electronic devices. These types of hazardous practices put workers and surrounding areas at risk by exposing hazardous substances.
When you choose a company to collect your old items, be sure that you are educated on their recycling practices. Capital Junk, for one, utilizes a recycling center to make sure we responsibly recycle everything that we collect.
The Hazard of E-Waste
E-waste is known for containing a wide variety of volatile organic compounds, and chemicals that are notoriously bad for the environment. Indium, for example, has been linked by medical communities to pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema.
The material is commonly used in flat screen TV’s, smartphone touch screens and tablets, among other products. It is a good bonding agent and conductor of electricity, which is why it’s so commonly used in these devices, but when sitting on a landfill it can be incredibly harmful to humans.
E-waste contains a wide variety of toxic components that are harmful when left untreated or unaddressed in a landfill; they can contaminate water, soil and the air — among other things. Typically, this waste contains hazardous materials like:
The Contamination & Health Risks of E-Waste
Different electronics contain different properties that can wreak havoc in a landfill. CRT monitors, for one, contain chromium and lead among other hazardous properties. This is why it’s so important to be aware of your e-waste practices — because they can be detrimental.
While the recovery of precious materials is essential to the recycling process of e-waste, there are some recovery practices that are not environmentally sound.
Sometimes acid is used to extract these materials from e-waste, which releases acid into a landfill’s local water sources. You’re better off letting a company you can trust get rid of your e-waste
E-waste comes into direct contact with soil when it gets sent to the landfill, which usually results in this material and its toxic properties seeping into the land. After all, this waste is packed with heavy metals that take a toll on the environment.
When e-waste gets sentenced to the landfill, its toxins get released into the air, which leads to pollution. This pollution impacts both those working in and around the landfill, as well as the habitats of animals in the area.
Air contamination and water contamination can make their way into your homes — so it comes as little surprise that the toxins in e-waste are commonly linked to various health issues. These health issues include — but aren’t limited to — impaired mental development, lung damage, liver damage, cancer and kidney damage.
The Valuable Materials That Come from Your E-Waste:
While e-waste contains harmful materials, it also contains some rare, valuable metals — which is why it’s so important that this waste is thoroughly recycled!
According to The Balance Small Business, over 320 tons of gold and 7,500 tons of silver are used around the world annually to make electronic devices. In total, these products contain $21 billion in valuable metals.
That’s a lot of valuable material in one old electronic device that has been sitting in your garage for years, that you are only now getting rid of.
Apple was clearly on to something when they created their robot Daisy to take apart old iPhones to re-use its materials — your e-waste is a gold mine! Unfortunately, when electronics end up at the landfill and not in the hands of a responsible recycler, these materials get wasted.
What Is E-Waste Mining?
E-Waste mining (or urban mining), the process of recovering these materials, was once labour-intensive. Now, it’s now become automated and streamlined for maximum time and cost efficiency.
Balancing the cost of recovery labour with the profit of restored materials has been a long-time struggle, but with advanced technology, we are getting further ahead in our progress.
After all, these cost benefits are now becoming more and more apparent when compared to the fees that come with mining these natural materials from the earth. According to the American Chemical Society, it costs 13 times more to extract these materials from the earth than it does to obtain them through e-waste mining.
The Precious Metals in Your E-Waste
These are the valuable materials you probably didn’t even realize are in the devices you use daily:
According to the Environmental Science & Technology journal, a cathode-ray tube TV alone — in other words, those old school TVs that look like pc desktop computers — contains roughly 450g of copper, 227g of aluminum, and 5.6g of gold.
Copper is used in most electronic devices and is one of the few materials that don’t depreciate in value after being recycled. It was actually estimated that over 30% of the world’s copper comes from recycling.
Since gold can’t corrode, it makes for a great conductor in various electronic devices not limited to circuit boards.
According to The BBC, your phone is made up of upwards of 60 elements, including rare metals like iridium. This precious metal is dense and processed from platinum ore. The material is most commonly used in touch screen technology.
Between your computer, TV and smartphone, most of your devices have silver in it — and we all know how valuable silver is and how it can be effectively repurposed.
Rhodium is an incredibly rare element that is used in jewelry and automatic catalytic converters.
Palladium is a rare and valuable silvery-white metal material that is used in jewelry, cars, phones and electronic devices. At one point, this material was actually worth more than gold! The material typically is resistant to oxidation and corrosion.
Our E-Waste Initiatives:
At Capital Junk, we pride ourselves in our environmental practices — which includes our treatment of e-waste. We form partnerships and take part in various initiatives to keep our junk removal services environmentally sound.
Ontario Electronic Stewardship Program:
We are proud participants of the Ontario Electronic Stewardship Program, a not-for-profit organization that is committed to fulfilling the obligations outlined by the 2009 Ontario Waste Diversion Act. The program works to hold members accountable for environmentally responsible electronic recycling practices.
Teamed Up with Charities:
Capital Junk is teamed up with a variety of reputable charities. We are committed to donating your items if they are still in usable condition. We donate the items we collect to charities like The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity.
Capital Junk’s E-Waste Practices
What E-Waste Will We Take?
We are prepared to take any of your electronic waste that isn’t hazardous. We will collect and dispose of any of these e-waste items as well as other household items you’ve been meaning to get rid of.
Our Recycling Centre:
When you enlist our e-waste removal or electronic recycling services, you can rest easy knowing that we are committed to making sure your items are recycled responsibly and kept out of local landfills.
In fact, all of the e-waste we collect goes right to our recycling center where we address every item individually collect to make that it is diverted appropriately.
How Does it Work?
Capital Junk boasts a streamline junk removal process because we know how stressful junk removal can be.
Book Your Appointment:
Book your appointment online and we will give you a two-hour time slot.
We will give you a call 15 minutes before we arrive, to make sure you are ready for us!
When we arrive on site, we will assess what you need hauled away and will give you a complimentary quote based on how much room your stuff will take in our truck. You can click here for more information about our pricing.
Same Day Service:
When we get the green light, we will get started and haul your stuff right away!
We will bring everything we collect to our recycling centre where we assess every individual item and divert it accordingly to be recycled, reused or donated.
About Capital Junk:
With over a decade of experience under our belt, Capital Junk is a leader in full-service junk removal. We are based in Ottawa, but serve surrounding cities not limited to Toronto, Mississauga, Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.
Our team is equipped to haul away all of your things and make sure they are disposed of responsibly. We are proud to be a green junk removal company that is committed to keeping the environment clean when we clean out your home. Whether you need furniture removal, yard waste removal or e-waste removal, we are happy to help — there is no removal project too big or too small for us.
Why hold on to old things that you don’t need anymore when we can do all the heavy lifting for you and get the job done quickly and efficiently? We offer a same-day-service — that is after you give us the green light when we present you with a complimentary upfront quote.
When you are ready for our services, all you have to do is book an appointment and we’ll give you a two-hour time slot. Don’t worry, we’ll give you a courtesy call 15 minutes before we arrive on site. Get in touch with us today.