Author: Emily Donnelly
Each year, we at Planet Ark receive thousands of enquiries from Australians wanting to know how they can recycle their e-waste. Is there a pick up service? Can I put my TV on the street? What about DVD players, are they accepted?
Well, we're here to answer those questions and bust a few of myths so you know exactly what to do with your old electronics.
FALSE! We get so many calls regarding kerbside recycling and many think that if they put their e-waste on the kerb, it will be picked up and recycled too. This is actually not true and in some places (Sydney's Northern beaches, Wollongong and South Australia) e-waste is banned from landfill. Under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme there are hundreds of FREE drop off locations across the country. There are very few examples of pick up services for domestic quantities as the financial and environmental impact is too high. However, it is worth checking with your local council as each council varies and some may offer a pick up service in your area.
FALSE! Finding a collection point is actually pretty easy. The good news is, households and businesses are able to drop off their end-of-life and unwanted computers, computer accessories and TVs at many places across Australia! Programs like TechCollect have partnered with local councils and waste management organisations to make this possible.
As well as these sites, participating Officeworks stores accept computers and accessories (not televisions) under its Bring IT Back program, which aims to keep old computers and accessories out of landfill.
FALSE! The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme only accepts specific electronic items for recycling. These items include: personal and laptop computers and all cables, tablets, notebooks and palmtops, computer monitors and parts (e.g. internal hard drives and CD drives), all televisions and more (you can look at the full list of items here).
However, there are other programs that do collect a variety of consumer electronics, such as the Storage King e-waste collection point. This program accepts unwanted electronics, computer equipment and mobile phones. MobileMuster (a Product Recovery Program) works with Storage King to keep electronic items out of landfill and conserve scarce resources. The Storage King e-waste collection box accepts items such as mobile phones, DVD players, electronic games and toys.
TRUE! Drop off sites covered by the National Computer and Television and Recycling Scheme are free, however some council or commercial programs do charge a fee.
Other programs like Cartridges 4 Planet Ark, provide you with a free, easy and environmentally accredited way to recycle your used printer cartridges. Cartridges can be dropped off at Australia Post, Officeworks, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-FI (to name a few). To find out more visit http://cartridges.planetark.org/
There are many options for recycling e-waste including visiting our website RecyclingNearYou, which contains information about the recycling and waste services offered by your council as well as local drop-off options for your e-waste.
So, if there is some strange e-waste in your garage or storage room... who ya gonna call?
Emily worked in Planet Ark's media team from 2014 to 2015 after working in technology, business and corporate communications for Ogilvy PR and Howoth Communications in Sydney.