Business Recycling News

Managing end-of-life electronics in the workplace

By Ashmeeta Subra 10 April 2024

Electronic gadgets and appliances help with our productivity at work, but what happens when it’s time to unplug and say goodbye to them? Here is some advice to help you manage your office e-waste.   

Waste from electronic products is a growing issue in Australia, with the average Aussie discarding about 21.6 kilograms of them in 2022. Electronics almost always contain valuable materials including metals like gold, silver and copper that can be recovered and used in the production of new items. Previous Planet Ark research has found that over 95% of the materials used in mobile phones and accessories can be recovered, with some even used to make items from stainless steel to plastic pallets.  

The following are electronics for which there are recycling services you can use to keep valuable materials in circulation, promoting a circular economy and reducing landfill waste. 

Participate in reputable recycling schemes 

As electronics can contain hazardous materials, it is important that they are handled, recycled, and disposed of in a regulated and responsible manner. Product Stewardship Schemes aim to minimise health and environmental risks across a product’s lifecycle, from production to disposal. These schemes include:  

To eliminate any security fears, ensure you are choosing reputable recyclers and wiping any data before handing your device over for recycling (MobileMuster offers this service themselves, so you don’t need to worry about your data when recycling a device with them). 

Lease your tech equipment  

Consider a more sustainable alternative to traditional ownership by leasing tech products rather than purchasing new. Under this business model, devices are returned at the end of lease term to be refurbished, resold or recycled.   

With leasing, you can avoid frequent electronic upgrades and easily manage your tech during office moves without the hassle of transporting owned equipment. Your organisation may even be eligible to claim a tax deduction for the operating expense of leased products.  

Get the team involved 

Take a day in the office to declutter, set up recycling systems, and sort through items to determine what can be discarded, donated and recycled. Our previous article breaks down workplace recycling to help you and your colleagues set up a recycling system at work and encourage people to use it. By implementing an office-wide recycling effort, individuals become more conscious of their waste habits and contribute to a greener workplace culture. 

Check out our Recycling Stardom Guide or War on Waste Toolkit for tips on how to reduce waste in your organisation. 

For more information on a variety of items you can recycle, visit Business Recycling. 

Ashmeeta Subra
With background in international relations and marketing communications, Ashmeeta is excited to use her skills to encourage positive environmental actions through Planet Ark. She believes that by taking small actions, we can help make a big difference and be good stewards of our planet. Outside of work, she loves spending time in nature and enjoying downtime at the beach.