Here you will find a list of frequently asked questions. If you still can’t find what you are looking for after reviewing these questions, please feel free to contact us.
- What is AlarmRecycle?
AlarmRecycle is a recycling program for used or expired smoke alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and combination smoke & CO alarms. Since October 1, 2011, BC residents have been able to drop off their smoke and CO alarms for recycling at AlarmRecycle drop-off locations across BC. The program is managed by ReGeneration.
- What products are accepted by the AlarmRecycle Program?
Products accepted free of charge at collection sites across BC:
- Smoke alarms
- Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms
- Combination smoke & CO alarms
- Is the environmental handling fee a government tax?
The environmental handling fee is NOT a government tax. No part of the fee is remitted to the government, though HST is applied to the fee.
- How are the smoke and CO alarms recycled?
After you bring your smoke or CO alarm to an AlarmRecycle drop-off location, it is transported to a recycler for processing and then broken down into different parts. The resulting materials are then recycled as much as possible. We continue to work with recyclers to maximize the amount of materials that can be recycled. Any materials requiring special handling are managed according to all applicable provincial and federal regulations.
- What about smoke detection units used in commercial buildings?
The program does not accept devices that perform only the detection function and not the alarm function, e.g. a smoke and/or CO detector unit connected to a building-wide monitoring or alarm system. These types of units are typically installed in commercial buildings and are outside the scope of this program. These types of units are defined by the CAN/ULC-s529 standard.
- What does the environmental handling fee pay for?
The environmental handling fee covers all program costs, including the collection, transportation and recycling of smoke and CO alarms.
All collected fees stay in the AlarmRecycle program and provide British Columbians with an environmentally responsible recycling option for their old and expired smoke and CO alarms.
- Do I get a refund when I recycle my smoke or CO alarm?
The recycling fee is not a deposit, so you won’t get a refund when you recycle a smoke or CO alarm. However, there is no charge to drop off your smoke and CO alarms at any AlarmRecycle drop-off location.
- Is there a limit to how many smoke or CO alarms I can drop off at one time?
The maximum limit for return at one time is 40 smoke or CO alarms. If you have more than 40 units, please contact us and we will arrange to pick them up free of charge.
- What do I do with products that are not accepted by the program?
For disposal options for products that are not accepted in the program, call the Recycling Hotline at 604.732.9253 in the Lower Mainland and 1.800.667.4321 in the rest of BC.
- What if there is no where to recycle alarms in my community?
The program intends to have a province-wide collection system in place and efforts to fill existing collection gaps are ongoing. Please hold on to your used or expired smoke and CO alarms until a collection site is established in or near your community. For other disposal options, call the Recycling Hotline at 604.732.9253 in the Lower Mainland and 1.800.667.4321 in the rest of BC.
- How do I get more information on the AlarmRecycle program?
For more information on the AlarmRecycle program, please email BCalarms@productcare.org or 604-592-2972 ext. 219.
- Where do I take my smoke & CO alarms for recycling?
Refer to the Find a Collection Site page or call 1-800-667-4321 to find a collection location near you. Each AlarmRecycle location has a drop box available for recycling smoke and CO alarms – free of charge. The maximum limit for return at one time is 40 smoke or CO alarms. If you have more than 40 units, please contact us and we will arrange to pick them up free of charge.