Transmission & Distribution
From cell phones to street poles: Nokia has plans for our e-waste
By Anthony Capkun
October 21, 2020 – Nokia and Greener Acres Canada Inc. announced they will work together to develop and upgrade Canada’s utility pole infrastructure to “green poles” that can power “smart cities and broadband communications across the Canada”.
“As people upgrade their phones, computers, tablets, gaming consoles and other electronic items, we need to find new ways to keep e-waste out of landfills and reduce its impact on our environment,” noted Jeff Yurek, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Nokia and Greener Acres have come up with a very exciting plan to turn this waste into a new resource for building smart cities that will benefit all Canadians and support a circular economy.”
According to Nokia, Canada is replacing roughly 4 million utility poles across the country annually. The partners’ vision is to replace traditional poles with “green poles” manufactured from 48,124 tons of recycled electronics waste collected annually in Ontario.
“For many Nokia employees, we call Canada home… and we’re excited to be part of the solution for recycling e-waste that would previously fill up landfills into these next-generation smart green poles […]” said Nokia Canada’s Shawn Sparling.
Greener Acres plans to produce up to 1000 smart city green poles every day.
“While we are a small Ontario-based business, we have big plans to change the status quo on e-waste […] Nokia is the right partner as we embark on this endeavour to eliminate waste by diverting it from landfill, supporting the circular economy while enabling cities across Canada to become smart cities and towns,” said Meni Mancini of Greener Acres.
“Cities with the new eco-friendly poles will be able to transform into smart cities that leverage communications infrastructure, IoT devices and sensors to power smart streetlights, metered parking, transit systems, wastewater systems, traffic signals, and more,” says Nokia.
This announcement comes on the heels of the Ontario government introducing a new regulation that will require producers to collect and safely manage the full life cycle of their electrical and electronic equipment. The regulation, which will be enforceable on January 1, 2021, also promotes the reuse and refurbishment of products so they can be resold.