Think You’re Doing The Planet A Favor By Recycling Old Computers? You May Not Be… [UPDATED]

Last night on The National, a story ran that absolutely floored me. They ran a story on what happens to computers and other electronics that get recycled. More often than not they go to rural China where the locals dismantle these items to get every last scrap of usable materials out of them, often at the cost of their health and the environment that they live in. It also turns out that the US and Canada are the two biggest exporters of what is called “e-waste.”

Not the outcome that you would expect now is it…

So, if you’ve been thinking of recycling that old computer, you need to click here first and watch this story. It’s about 20 Minutes long and requires a media player that can play wmv files (Windows Media, QuickTime, VLC). There are also links to companies and organizations who properly deal with these items. Please use one of these organizations the next time you want to recycle your old computer.

UPDATE: I’ve reprinted links to companies that recycle e-waste properly below:

To find a responsible recycler that is not going to export your toxic electronic waste, the Basel Action Network (BAN) has a screening program that vets recycling companies. You can find out more about it at

Global Electric Electronic Processing (GEEP) has 25 physical locations across Canada as part of their e-Collex program. You can find a full list of the Canadian recycling sites here.

GEEP is located at 220 John Street, Barrie, ON, L4N 2L2. Call for more information at 1-705-725-1919 or 1-866-288-8016, or visit their website.

Find out more about Vancouver-based ethical e-waste recycler FreeGeek here.

Learn more about Electronics Products Stewardship Canada here.

Find out about recycling in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C..

3 Responses to “Think You’re Doing The Planet A Favor By Recycling Old Computers? You May Not Be… [UPDATED]”

  1. Have a summary of the companies to deal with?

  2. Send me $2 Million 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: