Lifestyle & Parenting

e-Waste No More

April 22, 2019

We are living in a digital world, connected and dependent on technology each and every day. And, unfortunately, that means electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world, with nearly 48.5 million tonnes in 2018. What’s more, is each Canadian produces roughly 20 kg of e-waste each year and 75 per cent of old electronics continue to be stored in households and not recycled. We chatted with Sami Ahmad, GM of Best Buy Canada in Surrey, about how his company is helping to change this. —Noa Nichol

best buy

Hi Sami! What is e-waste and why should we be worried about it?

E-waste is anything that is electronic or contains electrical materials that is nearing the end of its useful life. Popular e-waste items include computers, tablets, televisions, mobile phones and larger items such as appliances. Many of these products may still be valuable and can be reused, refurbished or recycled and kept out of landfills.

Why do you think so many electronics end up in landfills?

Research shows Canadians get a new cellphone every two years. There are new products launching and upgrades to older versions. We’re purchasing more electronics today than we have in previous years. But we’re also recycling more. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in Canada take part in programs designed to remove electronics from the landfill for the safe and responsible recycling of items. Electronics recycling companies are continuously testing new and innovative ways to create sustainable practices in the electronics industry.

What e-cycling options are available at/through Best Buy?

Best Buy partners with third parties such as e-Cycle Solutions and Call2Recyle across Canada. Everything from old 8-tracks, boom boxes, and wires to CD players are brought to our stores for recycling. Rechargeable batteries, cellphones, ink cartridges and computers are just some of the items we see recycled regularly. Electronics can be recycled at our stores during store hours every day we’re open. More information on what we accept for recycling can be found at or by asking a Blue Shirt at one of our stores.

How about trade-in options?

Some devices might be eligible for trade-in. It’s an easy process where you get a Best Buy gift card for the value of your device to use toward purchasing new tech. The first step is going online to to find the trade-in value of your device. You can also bring your tech into your local store and a Blue Shirt can help you out. The trade in value varies by product. Accepted products include cell phones, tablets, computers, and even game consoles. You can find more information about what products and models are included at

In what cases is each of the options mentioned above appropriate or inappropriate?

We recommend recycling anything that contains electrical components or materials and is no longer of any use to you. If your tech is fairly new, in good condition, and you believe it can be useful to someone else check to see if it is eligible for trade-in.

Personal question: what’s the last electronic item you recycled, and why?

A cellphone. I like to keep up with the latest designs and features on my phone because it’s used so often. I have me calendar on there, my favourite apps, photos, it’s all on my phone. I’m inspired by Best Buy’s commitment to recycling electronics. Through our electronics recycling program we helped recycle 3 million pounds of electronics in 2018. I want to make sure I’m doing my part in keeping e-waste out of landfills.


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