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Unplugged, the small appliance recycling program, to launch in B.C.

On Oct. 1 British Columbians will be able to recycle their used or broken small appliances at over 100 convenient drop-off locations through a new and unique program called Unplugged, the small appliance recycling program.

Unplugged will divert approximately two million small appliances previously destined for the landfill, helping to reduce pollution, save energy, and protect the environment.

Introduced by the Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association (CESA), Unplugged is the first small appliance recycling program of its kind in Canada and the only government-approved small appliance recycling program in B.C.

The program will accept more than 120 small appliances for recycling, ranging from toasters and electric toothbrushes to countertop microwaves and vacuum cleaners.

Unplugged will also help save energy by recycling materials such as aluminum, which takes 95 per cent less energy to recycle than it does to make it from raw materials, or steel, which uses 74 per cent less energy.

After an appliance is brought to a drop-off location, it is transported to processors in Western Canada and separated into different materials which are then recycled. Metals will be smelted down and recycled into other metal products, while plastics and glass will be sorted and sold or reused in various manufacturing processes.

CESA has partnered with B.C.-based Product Care Association (PCA) to set up and operate Unplugged throughout the province.

As a non-profit program, Unplugged will be fully funded by a recycling fee applied to new products brought into B.C. by small appliance manufacturers and retailers.

The recycling fee covers all program costs, including collection, transportation and recycling, and may be included in a product's price or displayed as a separate charge at check-out. The program will operate on a cost-recovery basis and all fees collected will stay within the program.

Accepted electrical products are divided into 14 different categories such as: kitchen countertop, time measurement, weight measurement, garment care, air treatment, floor cleaning, personal care and designated very small items (e.g. air fresheners), with a corresponding fee attached to each. 


Fees include:

Kitchen Countertop - Motorized (e.g. Blender)                           


Kitchen Countertop - Heating (e.g. Toaster)                               


Kitchen Countertop - Heating: Coffee/Tea (e.g. Coffee Maker) 


Large Countertop Microwave (1 cubic foot or larger)                  


Small Countertop Microwave (Less than 1 cubic foot)                


Time Measurement (e.g.Clock)                                                   


Weight Measurement (e.g. Bathroom Scale)                              


Garment Care (e.g. Iron)                                                             


Air Treatment (e.g. Air Purifier)                                                   


Desk and Tabletop Fans                                                             


Personal Care (e.g. Hair Dryer)                                                   


Large Floor Cleaning (e.g. Carpet Cleaner)                                


Small Floor Cleaning (e.g. Handheld Vacuum)                           


Designated Very Small Items (e.g. Air Freshener)                      



A full list of accepted products and fees can be found at

British Columbians can also receive program updates and submit their questions through the online Ask Unplugged button, or find a drop-off location in their community through the easy-to-use locator map.