Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What Happens to Your TV?

Do you know what happens to your TV once you've taken it to an Eco Station?

Televisions and other e-waste items are packaged and delivered to the Global Electric Electronic Processing (GEEP) at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre for recycling.

Workers at GEEP remove the plastic casing from around computer monitors and televisions. 

The yoke is removed from cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions and the copper wiring is taken out.

The tubes are removed and sent to a company that will separate and recycle the glass and lead.

Workers remove circuit boards and other components from televisions, monitors and computer cases. 

The circuit boards and other e-waste components are sent through a chain shredder where they are pulverized. This releases individual materials for recycling.

Ferrous metals like steel are separated out via an electromagnet. Non-ferrous metals like aluminum, brass, and copper are recovered by an eddy current separator.

Workers on a sorting line also help remove materials like motors, transformers, stainless steel parts, circuit boards, and mixed plastics. 

Shredded plastics are separated out and sorted using advanced machinery.

Recovered materials can then be used in the manufacture of new products. This reduces the need for plastics production and mining of precious metals. 

- Photos provided by the City of Edmonton


Monday, November 21, 2016

Myth or Fact: Bare Soil Before Winter

"Should my soil be clean and bare, so it can breathe over winter?"


A thin layer of mulch over your garden beds will help keep the soil alive and well in the cold winter months. Bare soil is dying soil.

Many of us are busy preparing our yards and gardens for winter. We tend to rip everything out of the garden and leave our bare soil to endure the harsh winter ahead. This is not the best thing to do.

Mulch is a layer of organics (often wood chips or chopped up plant material from pruning) that will break down over time and help the soil stay alive. Soil can breathe easily through the mulch. A good mulch layer protects the soil from the cold winds that would dry out bare soil and kill soil microbes. Mulch also protects the soil from snow cover during winter, providing warmth and keeping moisture in.

Mulch it up!
The cheapest and easiest way to get mulch is to gather prunings from your garden clean-up, cut them up into 2 - 5 cm pieces, and scatter them over your garden soil to create a protective layer. Smaller pieces will break down more quickly into the soil. You can also use wood chips, but these are often harder to find and will take a while to break down depending on the size. During the gardening season, you can also add grass clippings as a mulch to protect your soil while the garden is in use.

By mulching your soil you will be
  • protecting it from the wind
  • allowing soil microbes to thrive
  • helping the soil to stay moist
Want to learn more?
Image source: Senior Gardening


Monday, November 14, 2016

Businesses Invited to Tap into "Circular Economy"

Is your business keen to reduce waste and boost efficiency? Or close loops in production and tap into new markets?

Join the City of Edmonton, along with the National Zero Waste Council and the Recycling Council of Alberta for a business luncheon and learning opportunity. Prominent corporate social responsibility expert, Coro Strandberg, will share tips for incorporating circular approaches to business strategy, design innovation and stakeholder engagement. She will also share the National Zero Waste Council’s new Circular Economy Business Toolkit.

Date: Tuesday, November 15 , 2016 
Time: 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  
Location:  Heritage Room, City Hall
Cost:Free of charge; Pre-registration required

Register to reserve your spot, as space is limited!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

WasteWise Top Ten

WasteWise, our sorting app, launched roughly one month ago. To date, the app has been downloaded over 4,000 times, and over 31,000 item searches have been made.

We know that some items cause a lot of confusion for residents. WasteWise is a quick source of answers, and also provides us with up-to-date data on which items Edmontonians need to know about.

We pulled together the top ten most-searched items. Test yourself, and test your friends!
Do you know where these items go? 
  1. Pizza box - 905 hits
  2. Shredded paper - 624 hits
  3. Styrofoam - 595 hits
  4. Plastic wrap - 511 hits
  5. Plastic take-out container - 467 hits
  6. Plastic bag - 463 hits
  7. Plastic container - 427 hits
  8. Aluminum foil - 398 hits
  9. Metal food can - 376 hits
  10. Styrofoam egg carton - 351 hits
Stumped? Check your WasteWise app for the answers!
WasteWise on Google Play or iTunes.

Did you know?
Users can also suggest search terms if they don't find what they're looking for. Some of the most interesting suggestions include "Donald Trump," "ex-boyfriend," and "ten pin bowling ball."