Recently, I decided to buy a new TV and an HD PVR to boot:Â I'm out and about a lot, the television scheduling gods were against me (taping more than one program on my VCR at the same time was impossible) and a PVR was incompatible with my eons-old TV.
But I wasn't just willing to trash the old TV -- it still worked -- so I lined up a friend who was willing to take it, but it got me thinking:Â if my old TV hadn't been working anymore, what would I have done with it?Â Just dumping it in the trash wasn't an option. TVs are filled with lead and I didn't want that ending up in a landfill.
I started doing some research, sure that there would be a recycling option available here in Toronto through the city, but what I found was discouraging, to say the least.
It turns out that dumping it in the trash would have been the easiest solution and one that I'm sure many people would opt for because they couldn't be bothered doing anything else.
But there are other options!
Below is a list of what I discovered you can do with unwanted TVs across Canada.Â In some places, the options are rather limited right now, so if you can, hold on to old non-working TVs until recycling comes to town (my friend Becky, who took my TV, has a veritable TV graveyard in her basement, waiting for just that opportunity to arise here in Ontario). You can also drop off all Sony products for no charge at designated spots; just click here for a list of sites.
The one encouraging sign? Many governments are working on projects that involves up-front charges on future TV and electronics sales that will cover the costs of future recycling projects.
* If there's something I've missed or if you know of any companies that offer environmentally responsible recycling services that I haven't listed, please post a comment to let me know, and I'll update the list as soon as possible.
Alberta â€¢ Drop off your electronics for recycling at 250 depots across the province; for info, go to www.albertarecycling.ca.
British Columbia â€¢ Drop off your electronics for recycling at 92 sites in a program led by the Electronics Stewardship Association of British Columbia and managed by the not-for-profit stewardship corporation Encorp Pacific; seeÂ www.encorp.ca/electronics.
Manitoba â€¢ Temporary drop-off locations were established this year from May 1 to Sept. 30; in 2007 some 305,000 kg of electronic waste was kept from landfills due to the initiative, which has existed for two years. Visit www.greenmanitoba.ca to see if you'll have another chance to drop off electronicsÂ next year.
Newfoundland and Labrador â€¢ Not yet available.
New Brunswick â€¢ In Northumberland County, there's a springtime e-waste collection period, during which TVs are collected and theÂ tubes are recycled. I'm waiting to hear back from other county officials.
Northwest Territories â€¢ NotÂ yet available.
Nova Scotia â€¢ Starting Feb. 1, 2008, Nova Scotians were able to recycle TVs responsibly -- hurrah! VisitÂ www.acestewardship.ca for info on the 34 drop-off centres. The province charges an environmental handling fee on electronics that funds the program, but that means there are no charges levied at the drop-off centres.
Nunavut â€¢ Not yet available.
Ontario â€¢ The province is establishing a program as of April 1, 2009.Â After it launches, there will be info in local newspapers about collection sites, and I'll be posting a link for a website that will allow you to search for a site by municipality and postal code. For now, drop off TVs for a fee in Brampton, Ont., at Sims Recycling Solutions, www.saveourplanet.ca/television-monitor-recycle.html.
Prince Edward Island â€¢ Not yet available.
Quebec â€¢ Check out the Recyc-QuÃ©bec site atÂ www.recyc-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/client/fr/gerer/maison/detail.asp?id=152 for a list of companies that accept TVs for recycling.
Saskatchewan â€¢ The province has TV recycling and 70 drop-off centres --Â impressive! VisitÂ www.sweepit.ca.
Yukon â€¢ No TVÂ recycling yet, but Yukoners can take old computers and TVs for reuse to the Yukon chapter of Computers for Schools (www.yecs.ca), which is operated by the Yukon Entrepreneurship Centre Society.