SHAWVILLE – The electronic waste collection day, held at the Pontiac Waste Transfer Station, February 1, was a great success. The public brought computers, printers, lots of old televisions and more. “This is a better response than some collections we’ve done in Gatineau,” said Edith Desrosiers, promotion agent for Valoritec who, along with EcoExpo Pontiac, sponsored the event.
Valoritec is a Gatineau-based non-profit organization that promotes recycling and proper management of electronic and information technology waste (e-waste). The collection day was a local effort, initiated by EcoExpo Pontiac, to keep recyclable and potentially dangerous materials out of land fill sites.
Electronic devices contain toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, beryllium and mercury. These products are potentially hazardous for human and animal health if not disposed of properly.
When asked about the possibility of a permanent collection site in the area, Tom Orr, who provided the facilities for the Saturday drop-off, said “I’m sure we will go ahead in the near future with an area within our site, but as you know, these sites are governed by the Quebec Ministry; that means more permits and more inspections. It is never simple!”
Orr also took the opportunity to comment on the regular household recycling program: “We are having a hard time with some of the recycling not being clean and also non-recyclable material being put in the bins. This can double the cost of the recycling, which isn’t cheap in the first place. Please remind people to clean and properly sort their recycling!” Orr added that people can call the office if they need more information.
“On the upside, handling recycling locally creates jobs,” Orr said, giving the example of Bristol’s move to add recycling to its regular seasonal garbage collection, which is worth at least one more job to his company. “If we could get the other 11 municipalities on board we could create 3 additional jobs,” concluded Orr.
Most municipalities have a list of what is recyclable posted in their office and on their websites. It is in taxpayers interests to respect the available program to keep costs down.