Unsure About E-Waste: Properly Disposing Excess and Unused PCBs
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godfrey chu 4 months ago
I've ordered several different PCBs over the years from JLCPCB in 5 pcs quantities. Some of the design I only needed 1 or 2 pcs, the other 3 or 4 remaining PCB aren't used. Some PCBs ended up not being used at all as I discovered design flaws on my side. They are all in HASL finish. Now, I have a lot PCBs that I need to get rid of. Pretty sure the PCBs going into the garbage is NOT appropriate. I live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada but can't find a definitely answer on if I can recycle them or not in that location. This made me wonder how everyone else deals with this problem?
deskpro256 4 months ago
Hi, I also have this problem, mostly mentally. But over the years I have made many PCB's, I keep some to myself, for future me to look at how terrible they were :D I used to work in a place where they had a special bin for these kind of waste, so I know we have at least something done. You could write to your home or other city waste management company about this. We also have special bins in stores for used electronics and batteries, that's where I'd put them, since most used electronic devices have the same stuff in it. In Latvia a lot of people still don't recycle, keep throwing trash on the ground, drive their expensive car/jeep to a forest to dump out a couple of bags of garbage. That's why one of our biggest waste management companies invested in cool apparatus that can separate metal, paper and plastic all in one go, so people don't need to recycle. I also try not to order PCB's unless absolutely necessary and try to make one at home, single sided, self etchable and be done with it :D That way I can have it ready in an hour, test it and know if it failed or not. But when chips and designs don't allow me to do that then I have to order them and have to make sure I did everything correctly by waiting a day to really check it out. But at the end of the day, even if the waste companies say they recycle them, some people have tested that claim with fake "garbage" that has a GPS tag and found that they still went to some 3rd world country to stay in a land fill where locals burn the PCB's to get out metals and other stuff. And then the big happy rainbow green cloud countries blame the poor countries and China for pollution, even though they pushed all manufacturing to the cheap child labor countries :D
andyfierman 4 months ago
In the EU there is something called the [Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_Electrical_and_Electronic_Equipment_Directive) Companies have to abide by it by law but it eventually trickles down to cover domestic waste at local amenity waste disposal sites (a.k.a. Tidy Tips in the UK). Deskpro's suggestion of contacting whoever handles your local waste collection and disposal would be the place to start. Look them up on the web and see what the local council offices have to say about it. I don't know what the Canadian equivalent would be but this is what my local city council site looks like: [https://www.york.gov.uk/WasteAndRecycling](https://www.york.gov.uk/WasteAndRecycling)<br> <br> and this is quite impressive: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWl0OFbYz9s](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWl0OFbYz9s)<br> <br> Mainly concerned with domestic waste but there will be similar links you can find to commercial waste collection and processing for your locality. <br> <br> <br> <br>
andyfierman 4 months ago
This may be of some help: [https://weee-forum.org/international-waste-country/ca/](https://weee-forum.org/international-waste-country/ca/)
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