Bill Vowles at The Hut has been working with Encorp to get electronic recycling incorporated into his recycle centre.

Bill Vowles at The Hut has been working with Encorp to get electronic recycling incorporated into his recycle centre.

Recycling electronics in Princeton not easy

Old electronics have a way of invading our homes. They collect dust in our basements and garages. They become a nuisance.

  • Sep. 8, 2011 6:00 p.m.

Old electronics have a way of invading our homes.  They collect dust in our basements and garages.  They become a nuisance.

Every time a customer purchases an electronic device in B.C. they also pay an environmental handling fee. These fees vary depending on the electronics – a levy for a computer is $5.50, laptop $1.50, printer or fax machine $6.50, for a television the cost can be up to $31.75 even ipod and computer mouses, cameras and satellite receivers are hit with the fee.  Many consumers don’t mind paying the fee because they know their old electronics, when they have outlived their use, will be shipped for recycling, but in Princeton such is not the case.

Most old electronics in Princeton are hauled to the landfill.  There is no recycle location for them.  In fact, land fill users are charged a disposal fee to deposit their old electronics there.  Neither the landfill operator, Ross Ferguson,  nor Bill Vowles at The Hut, who both participate in various recycling programs provided through Encorp have been able to find a way to bring an electronic recycling program to Princeton.

“The electronics recycling program is administered by Encorp Pacific,” stated Vowles.  “They are the stewards of the program.”  Vowles applied for the program  three years ago and still has been unable to offer the program to Princeton residents.  “We have been told we don’t have the volume here to have the program,” stated Vowles.  “We might be a low volume centre, but we are still paying for that service.  Every time we purchase any electronics, there is a recycling fee attached.  The Source, Home Hardware and Sears all sell electronics and yet we don’t have a program.  Encorp is not offering it to us.”

Bill and his wife Anne have been running a recycling depot for years.  “We should have the electronic recycling service available to us,” Vowles continued.  “We have the storage and we already have the Encorp contracts.  There is an Encorp truck here every week and we get asked every day by residents if we recycle electronics here.  The truck is already coming through town and stopping here.  It just doesn’t make sense.”

Vowles doesn’t believe many Princeton residents will be bothered to haul their old electronics out of town for recycle either.   “It just isn’t realistic to think everybody is going to haul their old used stuff out of town,”  he said.   “Why can’t we add onto the trucks already here.  Every TV has mercury in it as do computer monitors.  Contaminating the environment more should be everyone’s  last  desire including Encorps.  Electronics more than likely are buried at our landfill right now and this could be easily changed.”

The city of Quesnel and Cranbrook have challenged Encorp’s policies.  “Why are people paying for a program they don’t have access to?” Vowles asked.  “We are not the only community wanting answers to that question.”

There is an electronic recycling depot in West Kelowna and much of the Princeton recycling is going there already.  It makes sense to many that adding in a weekly electronics haul along with the other recyclables is a no-brainer.  “It shouldn’t matter if there are just a few electronics being recycled each week,” said Vowles.

Vowles feels that the recycling process could be made better.  “My understanding was when this electronics recycling program came in that it would be an add on to all depots, but it hasn’t turned out that way.  “If a truck is going to a recycle centre anyway that does handle old electronics why are we not being included in that process.”

Sandy Sigmund, Chief Marketing Officer for Encorp did confirm that much of what their Encorp trucks pick up at the various recycling centres is dropped off at numerous consolidation sites.  Aluminum cans go to five different locations before eventually being shipped to Barea, Kentucky for final processing.

“Plastic jugs are baled together, washed, shredded and eventually made into pellets,” said Sigmund.  “Aluminum cans are recycled and back on the shelves within six weeks.  Glass is made into fibreglass insulation and old electronics go to several different facilities.”

“We have requirements that a recycle centre must meet to become an electronics recycling depot,” stated Sigmund.

For now, Sigmund encourages recyclers to go online to their site to find a location drop off nearest to them or watch for Drop Off Events.  “We had one in Princeton at the Princeton Arena on June 11, 2011,” stated Sigmund.

Vowles want to find a way to give Princeton their own drop off location and are not ready to give up just yet.  Quesnel stared legal action to get a centre there and now they have one.,” stated Bill.

“Everyone in Princeton is paying this environmental levy ever time they buy electronics, but yet Princeton is not getting any money for an electronic recycle depot.  We need to find a way to change that.”

 

Just Posted

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read