Circuit boards can contain gold and other precious metals – Photo: L. Craig
For most of our customers, once their recycling is dropped off, it’s out of sight, out of mind. But for London Drugs, the recycling bin is just the beginning of the process.
We do our homework, choosing recyclers who know where your materials go and what happens to them. This is especially important when it comes to electronics, which can contain some pretty hazardous materials.
So here are some quick notes on what goes where when you bring it to our big Blue Box.
Electronics – TV’s, computers, VCR’s, printers and other electronics are shipped to either GEEP (Alberta, Sask. & Man.) or E-Cycle where they are separated into components such as plastic, glass, circuit boards, tubes, and various metals. Non-toxic materials are sorted and bundled for sale as commodities for remanufacture. Both GEEP and E-Cycle are certified through ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004.
Circuit boards and TV tubes are sent to smelters where they are safely melted down and their precious metals recovered.
NO London Drugs electronics for recycling are shipped offshore unprocessed.
An Electronics Disassembly Line – Photo: L.Craig
Small Appliances – As with electronics, all our small appliances are disassembled in Canada and separated into commodities.
Cell Phones and Batteries – These items are handled through the Call-2-Recycle program, the only free used battery and cellphone collection program in North America. Cellphones are recycled, refurbished and/or resold. When resold, a portion of the proceeds are donated to select charities. None of the broken down material makes its way into landfills. Batteries are processed at North American facilities, in BC, Ontario, Quebec and Pennsylvania, for recovery of cadmium and lithium.
Recycled Paper returns to London Drugs as products.
Paper and Cardboard – Cascades Recovery is our partner for recycling paper and cardboard. It is sorted and bundled up at their Surrey facility and sent to Canadian mills for remanufacture into paper products. Some of our recycled cardboard even makes its way back on to store shelves as recycled toilet tissue!
Soft Plastics, Bottles and Medication Containers – These are also collected by Cascades Recovery and sent to Orbis or Merlin Plastics in Delta, BC.
Styrofoam™ – All expanded polystyrene from London Drugs packaging that customers return is sent to Foam Only in Coquitlam, BC where it is compressed for remanufacture as polystyrene. This is a process that uses no heat and releases no toxins.
Light Bulbs, CFL Bulbs and Fluorescent Tubes – Compact Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, so they must be handled with care. All of our light products are recycled through the LightRecycle program, managed by ProductCare. Bulbs are crushed in a controlled environment, so all toxins are filtered out and recovered.
As you can see, recycling is a complex science that goes well beyond the Blue Box. By working with top suppliers, we are doing our best to ensure we are part of the solution, not creating new problems down the line. If you want to know more, follow us on Twitter @WTGreenDeal, or comment below. We’re happy to talk more recycling with you.