Maple Ridge recycling depot ready to take more

Electric toys, exercise machines, vinyl records can be dropped off starting July 1

Maple Ridge Recycling Depot process worker Ken Olimb displays some of the new items being accepted at the facility. Items such as old records and lightbulbs can now be recycled at the depot.

Maple Ridge Recycling Depot process worker Ken Olimb displays some of the new items being accepted at the facility. Items such as old records and lightbulbs can now be recycled at the depot.

Trying to find some more breathing space in your garage?

Does your basement need some serious cleaning to get rid of that “stuff?”

Starting Canada Day, the Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot will accept more items for disassembly and reuse and end-of-life processing.

“There’s a lot of new stuff coming on,” recycling society executive-director Kim Day said Wednesday.

Starting July 1, electric toys, television game devices, remote controlled cars, tread mills and any other electric-powered exercise machines, old vinyl records, eight-track tapes and DVDs can all be taken to the depot.

The same goes for electric lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, lamps, sewing machines and any kind of light bulb, from compact fluorescent, to incandescent, LEDs and halogens.

“All power tools are now covered as well,” including power saws, she added.

The new list of acceptable recyclables reflects provincial legislation expanding the products for which manufacturers are now required to take responsibility.

“We’ve always taken of this stuff, but they’re now covered by an extended producer responsibility program.”

Before, with many items, the depot would either sell or recycle products. But under an EPR program the manufacturer has to ensure that another company will collect the items at the depot for final recycling and disposal.

The Ministry of Environment’s product stewardship program requires producers to manage and collect what they produce, until the end of the life of the product.

Fees paid by consumers that are either identified separately or part of the price of the goods, pay for the program.

Day said Encorp Pacific, which collects beverage containers and electronics, and Product Care, which handles paint, pesticides and small appliances, are working on announcing the new list of accepted items.

That list will be added to the newsprint, cardboard, paper, plastic containers, computers, dishwashers, televisions, laser printers, laptop computers, telephone books and toasters currently accepted at the depot.

“It’s an exciting move and we’re happy the Ministry of Environment is doing this and keeping going with all of the extended producer programs,” Day said.

Day said the next big step happens in 2014, when printed paper, such as newspapers, is added to the product stewardship program, requiring publishers and manufacturers to ensure each product is recycled until the end of its life.

Packaging also will be included in that step, with the aim of reducing the amount of cardboard and plastic used to market each product.