Challenge 10 - Send your Electronics to a Better Place

Send your Electronics to a Better Place e-waste_in_the_truck_smaller.jpg

Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a growing problem in Canada. It includes computers, cell phones (and their cables and batteries), TVs, printers, stereos and speakers. The heavy metals, flame retardants and rare minerals in e-waste can be extremely harmful to the environment and human health. Some estimate that e-waste only makes up 4% of the waste stream, but it accounts for 70% of the toxic pollution in our landfills.

The best thing is to keep e-waste out of landfill. Repair your old electronics if you can still use them, or donate or sell them to someone who can use them. But if it’s definitely not fix-able, send your e-waste to be safely recycled by the City.


  • Repair, reuse or recycle your old electronics. Upload a photo in the comments below and tell us about it!

How to recycle your e-waste

  • If you live in a house, just set out your e-waste on garbage day. Use the green bag delivered with your waste calendar, or put the waste in a box by the curb (best to put out a number of things at once).

  • If you live in an apartment or condo, talk with your building manager about getting an e-waste collection spot for the whole building. When it's full, they just call the City for collection.

Did you recycle or reuse your old electroncis? Send us a photo and tell us about it below!

Did you take this challenge?

  • catherine sutherland
    Took Challenge 2014-07-08 16:55:50 -0400
    Hi. I have a few times put e-waste out on garbage day. I put it two or three feet away from the garbage, as requested by 311 call centre for the city. I will continue to use this service. I do fix things when possible.
  • Grant Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-07-08 16:12:16 -0400
    I drop off electronics at yearly city recycling day; I try and repair old electronics whenever possible to extend their use I also use rechargeable batteries
  • Amanda Johnson
    Took Challenge 2014-07-06 13:09:41 -0400
    I’ve put my e-waste out for curbside pickup.
  • Derek Wenderson
    Took Challenge 2014-07-06 11:39:53 -0400
    Yes – put out eWaste on garbage day
  • Emily Green
    Took Challenge 2014-07-05 12:47:53 -0400
    I don’t have any old electronics to dispose of right now and my boyfriend likes to keep his old electronics and cell phones (I’ve actually kept both of my previous cell phones too). However, my dad has a spot in our basement where he stores old electronics, so whenever I find any old CDs or cables etc, I bring them home and a few times a year my dad brings all the stuff to be recycled.
  • Ria Bilous
    Took Challenge 2014-07-04 13:16:22 -0400
    One option that people might consider is freecycle! (<a href=“”http://trashnothing.com/toronto-freecycle">http://trashnothing.com/toronto-freecycle">http://trashnothing.com/toronto-freecycle) A lot of times our electronics do still work but we feel like upgrading and just get rid of them: maybe we can donate them instead. Another thing I would really like to see happen is Phonebloks. This company is trying to reduce e-waste by making a phone with replaceable components so if one thing breaks down or needs to be upgraded you only replace the one part. Great idea and they can use all the public support they can get. (<a href=“”https://phonebloks.com/en">https://phonebloks.com/en">https://phonebloks.com/en)
  • Deborah Livingston-Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-06-21 10:00:31 -0400
    I think that it is terrible that our electronics are built and designed to be so disposable. There should be an emphasis on making electronics (e.g., cell phones) which can be upgraded and repaired.
  • Irma Marigsa
    Took Challenge 2014-06-20 16:15:07 -0400
  • David Livingston-Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-06-20 11:11:17 -0400
    At work, we use the large green electronics bin in a common area to collect electronic waste. It gets put out the curb about every six months.
  • David Simmons
    Took Challenge 2014-06-11 23:58:53 -0400
    I dropped off my old VCR recently at a designed City electronics recycling site.
  • Celia Zhang
    Took Challenge via 2014-06-02 12:26:58 -0400
  • John Cowan
    Took Challenge 2014-05-29 09:14:23 -0400
    I think I got one e-waste bag, but that’s no good after I have used it. So I learned here that I can use a box
  • Barbara Hickling
    Took Challenge 2014-05-24 18:24:38 -0400
    When my old 2002 desktop PC failed, it was past it’s prime for my work use (too slow, too small, internet problems, kept blue-screening). I took it apart (soooo dusty) and cleaned it, wiped the hard drive and rebuilt it without a lot of bells and whistles. It works great for just running games (which don’t run under the newer operating systems anyway).
  • Cirlene Pessoa
    Took Challenge 2014-05-23 18:29:50 -0400
  • Andrew J Holownych
    Took Challenge 2014-05-23 15:45:47 -0400
    my wife’s laptop is still going strong after 8 years! i downloaded a program (AVG tune-up) to make it run smoother which has extended its life. hope it keeps going for another few years!
  • Shawn Vanderheyden
    Took Challenge 2014-05-23 06:45:01 -0400
    i’m always amazed and pleased to repair old electronics, even after ‘they’ tell you that it’s ‘cheaper to just buy a new one’ – still running my ‘60gb ipod photo’ after 3 such repairs.

    butler’s appliance service (coxwell / gerrard) is worth the trip and TTL’s repair cafe’s rawk!

    still holding on to a few old electronics before disposing of properly – is it ‘cool’ to have a crt monitor and an ‘electronic organizer’ yet?

    we have a typewriter and a rotary phone that are. ;)
  • Yvonne Ho
    Took Challenge 2014-05-22 15:38:02 -0400
    TD had a e-waste collection day last summer, my family brought our old laptops and tv there to be recycled
  • Jody Yu
    Took Challenge 2014-05-21 17:22:34 -0400
    Done. My sister dropped off our household’s four dead cell phones (one of hers, two of mine, and one of a former tenant) to Staples for electronics recycling. Easy-peasy. :]
  • Patricia McPhail
    Took Challenge 2014-05-15 07:54:23 -0400
    We have used the Environment Days to recycle any old electronics we may have.
  • Katherine A Skinner
    Took Challenge 2014-05-13 13:16:43 -0400
    I bought a new cell phone recently because the old one died but got a re-used phone. The battery is not great, but it works. My old cell phone is waiting for our neighbourhood’s next community environment day
  • Marilyn McKim
    Took Challenge 2014-05-12 21:46:30 -0400
    My husband just bought a new printer. He passed the older one on to a colleague who is happy to have it. We did the same with our used fax machine. I use a hand-me-down cell phone. We take any other e-waste to the Green Living Show each year for appropriate re-use or disposal.
  • Terrie Tucker
    Took Challenge 2014-05-08 08:55:40 -0400
  • Judy Newman
    Took Challenge 2014-05-08 08:36:55 -0400
    This is an ongoing project right now. Good information.
  • John Ellis
    Took Challenge 2014-05-07 20:28:14 -0400
    It is seldom cost-efficient to repair defective electronic equipment. However, we do recycle still working equipment that we wish to replace to friends, family or Goodwill. We appreciate the city’s pick up service for defective equipment.
  • Michael Greason
    Took Challenge 2014-05-07 19:54:24 -0400
    eWaste caused by an upgrade where the old item is still functional should be sold for re-use on eBay. List at 99 cents and offer fair shipping and the marketplace will set a fair selling price. The toxic bits won’t end up in landfill and the new owner will effectively re-use and also probably be very happy.
  • Louis Mikolainis
    Took Challenge 2014-05-07 19:10:41 -0400
    Been saving VCR and cassette player and other electronics for one big pick up.
  • Chris Flanagan
    Took Challenge 2014-05-07 00:01:17 -0400
    I plan to get my cell phone repaired when it eventually has issues rather than just buying a new one as I have in the past.
  • Antoinette Battaglia
    Took Challenge 2014-05-05 14:50:28 -0400
    I dropped off my batteries at the Community Environment Day!