Manitoba

Hundreds of old electronics diverted from landfill thanks to Winnipeg e-waste drive

Hundreds of old electronics are being diverted from landfills thanks to an e-waste collection drive in Winnipeg on Saturday.

All electronic items collected are recycled or refurbished and donated

Aira Villanueva organized Saturday's e-waste collection drive. She is participating in a country-wide competition through the Electronic Recycling Association. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Hundreds of old electronics are being diverted from landfills thanks to a free e-waste collection drive in Winnipeg on Saturday.

Aira Villanueva, a third-year university student, created E-Waste Manitoba this year to encourage people to donate old devices so they could be properly recycled or refurbished.

The drive, held Saturday afternoon outside of Maples Community Centre, had no shortage of items being dropped off.

"It's doing great," Villanueva said. "We're getting a lot of printers. There's also been a lot of laptops and computers."

The event, hosted in partnership with the Electronic Recycling Association, accepted a long list of items including printers, computers, tablets, stereo equipment, headphones, charging cords, CDs, DVDs, VCR players, microwaves, vinyl disc players and security cameras.

The organization was at the event with a mobile shredder available to destroy drives.

Items that don't work will be recycled in an environmentally friendly way, Villanueva said, adding items that do work will be given new life.

"We refurbish them and donate it back to students, charities and families who need these old electronics," she said, adding the items stay in the community.

Winnipeggers were invited to drop off old electronics Saturday outside of Maples Community Centre to be recycled or refurbished and donated. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

The event was part of a country-wide competition Villanueva is participating in through the Electronic Recycling Association. She is one of 10 participants competing for a $10,000 scholarship. The winner is selected based on who brings in the highest quantity and quality of materials.

"This is a huge amount [of] money that will go toward my university," she said, adding she is studying to become a teacher. 

Villanueva is planning a second electronic waste collection drive on May 16 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. outside of the Ralph Brown Community Centre at 520 Machray Ave.

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