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Younger Ontarians Stockpile Old Laptops, Cell Phones and Handheld Devices, RecycleYourElectronics.ca Survey Finds

Eco-Conscious Millennials Likely to Recycle

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/17/14 -- Note to editors: There are three photos and a video associated with this press release.

RecycleYourElectronics.ca is reporting a surprising lack of awareness on the part of eco-conscious millennials about electronics recycling and is encouraging those accumulating old gadgets to #BreakUpWithYourStuff.

Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES), which operates RecycleYourElectronics.ca, said it was startled that only one in five people aged 18-29 had reported recycling out-of-use electronics in the past year despite a full 80 per cent saying they would recycle a water bottle. OES, a non-profit organization, is hoping to break through with a lighthearted video depicting the potential social consequences of holding on to old gadgets.

"Our survey of millennials in Ontario indicates there is quite a bit of room to increase rates of electronic reuse and recycling within this demographic," said Melanie Wilde, OES Executive Director. "We were struck by the fact that millennials are generally passionate about the environment and recycling other items, so there's a tremendous education opportunity."

Instead of being refurbished or recycled, gadgets are left to clutter crawl spaces, with the most popular locations being closets and shoe boxes. While it is well known that people replace their devices frequently, they also seem to carry emotional attachments to old gadgets. When asked why people are hanging on to old devices, most point to the need for them to serve as backup one day (47%) or no particular or sentimental reason (22% and 10% respectively).

Other key findings from Ipsos Reid research:

--  The majority (3 in 5) of millennials say they are environmentally
--  One half of millennials feel they should recycle out-of-use electronics
    - however, only 1 in 5 do
--  1 in 3 millennials have heard of a program for disposing of electronics
    in Ontario
--  2 in 3 millennials feel that improper disposal of electronics is a
    concern, primarily due to pollution and filling up landfills
--  The majority of respondents had a laptop, smartphone and printer (92%,
    79% and 72% respectively)
--  Plastic water bottles (80%), wine/beer bottles (76%), paper products
    (75%) and old clothing (51%) are more likely to be recycled than
--  Top three barriers to electronics recycling include inconvenience (40%),
    lack of information (28%), and concern about personal data / information
--  More than 1 in ten millennials in Ontario would rather give up food for
    a day than their phone

"We wanted to do something creative and fun to engage with millennials," said Sandra Pakosh, OES Director, Communications. "Public awareness campaigns intended to motivate action have evolved the last several years and organizations like ours have to be more innovative with content. We created a video-an entertaining online asset to proactively go out to our audience through blogs and social media."

To learn more and to locate a drop-off location or depot near you, visit RecycleYourElectronics.ca.

About Ontario Electronic Stewardship

Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES), a not-for-profit electronics industry organization, oversees the responsible reuse and recycling of end-of-life electronics. OES offers a convenient, secure and no-charge way for Ontario residents and businesses to recycle electronics. Service providers are held to high environmental and health and safety standards. This program is helping to create a cleaner environmental future for Ontarians.

To view the video associated with this press release, please visit the following link:


To view the photos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:




(i)Methodology Note: The RecycleYourElectronics.ca Millennial Survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid between March 10 and 13, 2014 and polled 500 Ontarians aged 18-29.

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