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For the last 10 years, Scott McIntyre of Intyre Electronic Recycling has recycled everything from broken treadmills to electric toothbrushes in an environmentally friendly way in order to prevent the chemicals they contain from leaching into the earth.
Intyre is an OES (Ontario Electronic Stewardship) approved collection site. OES is a non-profit, industry-led organization established by manufacturers, retailers, and other stakeholders to develop a waste diversion plan for e-waste, and ensures that materials are sent to audited and approved specialized recyclers for processing.
They started out just accepting items such as computers, TVs and fax machines but soon realized they could include a much larger range of electronics in the program.
According to their website, since the OES program began in 2009 they have diverted over 67 million devices from landfills.
“We have at least 30 to 40 yard containers that come in from the landfill,” said McIntyre. “We don’t do anything within the District of Muskoka as they’re contracted out elsewhere but we service as far as Bancroft to Parry Sound. We manage 18 separate landfills through the Recycle My Electronics program, which is Canada-wide and overseen by the government.”
All items fall into one of three categories: electronics, household appliances and TVs. McIntyre says when he’s asked what sorts of items they accept for drop-off, he tells people it’s easier to say what they don’t take. Fluorescent light tubes, paint, propane BBQ tanks and furniture are a no-go; other than that you are free to drop it off.
“This past summer was the busiest season we’ve ever had,” said McIntyre. “People are starting to realize we’re here in the community and about all of the stuff we accept. Some people will even come down just to bring an electric toothbrush to make sure it doesn’t end up in the landfill.”
The average container takes four hours to be sorted and wrapped before it is sent for recycling. Everything that leaves the depot in a container gets processed and turned into reusable material and stays within Canada.
“There’s a lot of collectors out there who don’t recycle things properly so everything that comes in our door is classified as end-of-life. We make sure that everything is properly sorted so that items are not sent to developing countries or even sometimes people will bury old electronics in the ground,” said McIntyre. “There are severely toxic chemicals and if it gets sent overseas things are burnt and people can get really sick.”
McIntyre also picks up items from local computer shops and organizations like Community Living Huntsville and the Salvation Army.
Collection amounts triple in the summer and the 28 skids a week collected the rest of the year becomes more than 80 during the summer months.
“Everybody wants to recycle and we live in a throw-away society so it needs to go somewhere. Nothing shocks me that comes through the door anymore,” said McIntyre, who worked in manufacturing as a prototype maker for more than 20 years before opening Intyre. “Over the years I think I’ve hit the three million pound mark of goods that have been recycled.”
Intyre is the only depot of its kind in Huntsville and there is only one other company in Muskoka, located in Bracebridge.
Intyre Electronic Recycling is open Monday to Friday from 9-5 and Saturdays from 9-12, but if you’re just looking to drop pieces off and go, you are able to do that 24/7. It is completely free of charge to drop goods off.
They are located at 7 East Airport Rd, Huntsville. You can contact them at 705-789-8142.