Reducing e-waste in the GTA

Toronto, Ontario

The teams from eight GWLRA properties across Toronto have partnered with an outside service, Electrobac, to make e-waste diversion accessible to their building occupants. Electrobac is a Canadian company that supports the circular economy by increasing accessibility to proper e-waste collection, reuse, recycling, and disposal.

At participating locations, teams set up e-waste collection bins, which accept broken and unwanted electronics including cellphones and tablets, cables and chargers, ink cartridges, and more. Tenants and visitors can easily drop off their devices in one of the secure bins, while embedded sensors track the contributed items.

Once a bin is ready for pick-up, the bins are emptied and the provider permanently destroys all information on the devices. Each item is reviewed to determine whether it could be immediately reused, or refurbished and then reused, which avoids all waste by re-entering the device into circulation. If the electronics are deemed to be at end-of-life, they are recycled by Recycler Qualification Office (RQO) approved recyclers. Through the e-waste recycling process, precious metals are salvaged and then used to manufacture new devices.

580 mature trees preserved
9,637 litres of oil not burned
21,737 plastic water bottles recycled

In 2022, Electrobac collected 7,650 end-of- life or unwanted electronics from GWLRA properties, or 1,319 pounds of e-waste. Diverting these electronics from landfill avoids adverse environmental effects, including the leaching of toxic chemicals that would occur when buried in a standard landfill.