Old radio equipment recycling.
Old radio equipment—ready for electronic recycling.

With NGRP transitions nearing completion, some of the focus at E-Comm has turned to dealing with the thousands of old radios from police and fire agencies and BCEHS that have been returned as a result of the switch to the new P25 technology.

When a mobile radio arrives at E-Comm from an agency, members of the technology and shipping teams record the serial number and the radio unit number and remove any other distinguishing identification marks. “We grind inscribed numbers that identify it as E-Comm property, open the unit up and use a centre-punch to disable a chip which, in turn, renders the radio unusable,” said Blair Kent, E-Comm Wireless Operations Manager. Some of the mobile radios date back to 2000.

grinding inscribed numbers off old radios.
E-Comm Technology Services staff grind inscribed numbers off old radios.

“Not all radios wind up in the recycling bin,” added Kent. “We’re disposing the vast majority of radios, but some still have a bit of life.” E-Comm will keep a number of refurbished radios to be used as spares and loaners for the agencies, or when they need extra equipment for special events.

In addition to the radios, other parts are also recycled including speaker microphones, chargers and batteries.  And there’s even a nugget of value in the in the old radios. “There’s a very small quantity of gold in them,” said Kent.