Reduce post-holiday clutter by recycling appliances, electronics

Image of fresh toast popping from an old toaster
Once you replace that old toaster, blender, TV or other appliance, make sure it gets recycled. It shouldn't end up in the landfill.

You can drop off old and unwanted items for free across B.C.

For many of us, the latest tech toys and kitchen gadgets can top holiday wish lists. Or maybe you had your eye on a new stand mixer or television during a big Boxing Day sale.

If you've upgraded your small appliances or consumer electronics over the holiday season, you can clear up unwanted clutter when you clear away your holiday decorations. Consider taking your old items to a recycling depot near you — you'll save energy, and it's free.

Depots accept wide range of electronics, toys, musical instruments and more

Old electronics, especially old televisions, can be a source of standby power if they're still plugged in. That's especially true if your TV is an older CRT model, which is difficult to dispose of through Craigslist or other classified listing sites. An old television left plugged in for a year uses enough electricity to wash 119 loads of laundry.

Instead of relegating your older model to a basement or spare room, think about how much you'll really use it, and consider recycling it instead.

Even if your electronics aren't plugged in, you're still taking up room in your home with devices you no longer use or need. Clear up that space and take your old TV in for free recycling from Return-It.

And it's not just televisions and stereos.

Has your child outgrown some electronic toys, or have you gotten rid of an old landline telephone? Return-It depots take those too; check out the full list of accepted electronic products.

Wondering if there's a depot nearby? There are over 200 locations province-wide — use Return-It's map to find one near you.

Kitchen and bathroom appliances another source of clutter

The number of appliances in our homes can be astonishing. From vacuum cleaners to coffeemakers, power tools to hair dryers, they all use electricity. So if you've replaced one, make sure you recycle the old model rather than just stick it away somewhere.

You can recycle over 300 electrical products at Electro-Recycle depots across B.C. From the small (like electric toothbrushes) to the large (like treadmills), you can reduce standby power use by getting rid of all those products you no longer need or use.

Some of the accepted products include:

  • Blenders
  • Stand mixers
  • Food processors
  • Hair dryers
  • Curling irons and straighteners
  • Upright and robotic vacuum cleaners
  • Portable heaters and fans
  • Portable humidifiers
  • Sewing machines and sergers
  • Treadmills and elliptical machines (at certain locations)

The full list[PDF] has over 300 products, so chances are you can recycle what you need to.

More than 2 million electrical products end up in landfills each year; you can help bring that number down by recycling unwanted items responsibly.

There are more than 120 ElectroRecycle drop-off locations across B.C. Find one near you.

Am I charged a fee for recycling products?

No, you aren't charged when you drop off items for recycling.

Whether you're going to a Return-It depot, ElectroRecycle or even a LightRecycle drop-off location, you can recycle most items for free.

That's because the fees for these programs are covered in environmental handling fee or recycling fees charged on new products at the time of purchase.

Find out more from the Recycling Council of B.C. or use their Recyclepedia to find out where you can recycle any item from large appliances to beverage containers.