Until now, Scadding Court’s Market 707 has served primarily as a walk-by eatery, with up-and-coming restaurateurs serving up a variety of tasty treats out of their shipping container storefronts.
As of Tuesday, however, the Market has also become a repository for all forms of unwanted electronics.
Market 707’s Inorganic Market opened April 21 – Earth Day – giving residents in the area a place to drop off old electronics rather than having them go to a landfill site.
“We take anything to do with electronics – cellphones, cables, laptops, keyboards, desktops, printers,” said Sean Coutts of the Inorganic Market. “People can just drop them off and we’ll make sure they get recycled properly.”
Beyond simply filling up already-overloaded landfill sites, electronic goods often contain harmful substances. As the items decompose in landfill sites, these substances are released and can pose a threat to human and animal life and the environment as a whole.
Coutts noted the new shop hopes to make a dent in the amount of electronic waste that winds up in with the regular garbage. He said only 13 per cent of electronics in Ontario are properly recycled when they reach the end of their life cycle, with the rest either going straight to landfill sites or being shipped overseas.
“We take it to a local processor who does the physical recycling,” he said. “It’s demanufactured and the pieces that can be reused are, but they make sure it’s all disposed of properly.”
The shop takes in unwanted goods for free and will even hand out coupons to those who bring in unwanted goods for use at other Market 707 locations.
“Depending on what they bring in, we might give them three to five dollars, which is enough to get something at one of the other stalls,” Coutts said.
Fittingly, the tokens handed out as incentives to those who drop off goods are reused computer chips that have been turned into key rings.
Inorganic Market makes its money through eco-fees collected when electric and electronic goods are purchased, along with nominal fees collected when they bring goods to the processing centre. While these fees may not make a trip to that centre worthwhile for single-family homes, by bringing goods up in bulk, Inorganic Market is able to sustain itself.
Inorganic Market currently runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays outside Scadding Court Community Centre at 707 Dundas Street West. Coutts said the hope is that those hours can be expanded in the summer.
For more information on the market, visit http://irecyclecomputers.com/public/market-707.html