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When electronics are disposed of in landfills, burned or left on the land and exposed to rain, snow and wind, materials can leach out that are harmful to the environment and human health. Recycling electronics helps keep these pollutants out of our environment.
Electronics also contain valuable materials such as aluminum, copper, plastics and precious and rare metals, which can be recycled into new products. Recycling old electronics into new products minimizes environmental impacts related to extracting raw materials through mining and other activities.
Electronics, such as laptops, desktop computers and printers are now accepted for recycling in the Northwest Territories (NWT).
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has put in place Electronics Recycling Regulations under the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act. A Plain Language version of the Regulations is also available.
The regulations identify a list of electronic products that, when distributed new in the NWT, are subject to an environmental handling fee.
The fees collected go into the GNWT Environment Fund to help cover the costs of running the Electronics Recycling Program.
Electronics are safely and responsibly collected at recycling depots or at one-day electronics collection events coordinated by the GNWT. Bottle depots in the 10 largest communities accept electronics so residents can conveniently bring their electronics and beverage containers to one recycling depot.
Residents in communities without a recycling depot are encouraged to use electronics recycling depots in neighbouring larger communities until a collection event is held in their community.
Recycling electronics uses the same means of transportation and consolidation used for beverage containers. This is efficient and less expensive.
Electronics are transported from communities and consolidated at beverage container processing centres in Inuvik, Hay River and Yellowknife.
The electronics are prepared for shipping at these facilities and sent to a registered electronics recycling facility in Alberta that meets environmental health and safety standards.