E-waste in Australia is a growing problem and a national waste priority. Computers in landfill are toxic; instead, they can be reused, refurbished or recycled. Under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, every company that makes and/or imports televisions and computers into Australia is required to pay for the end of life recycling of these products. There are four organisations that recycle televisions, computers and accessories under the scheme for households and small businesses: TechCollect, Drop Zone, E-Cycle Solutions and Electronic Product Stewardship Australasia. You’ll find other recycling options by searching below.
Computers & Accessories
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Australians are some of the highest users of new technology in the world, purchasing over 2.4 million PCs every year. Unfortunately, as technology changes many of these end up in landfill where toxic materials such as mercury, lead, beryllium and cadmium can leach into the environment. Computers and computer parts present a good case for recycling because of their large volumes, high toxicity and good resource recovery potential of non-renewable resources like tin, nickel, zinc and copper. Additionally increasing community concern has led to the banning of e-waste, including computers, monitors, laptops and printers from landfill in some council areas.
A national, industry funded, computer and TV recycling scheme was launched in May 2012 for householders and small businesses. The Federal Government worked with industry and all states, territories and local governments to develop this product stewardship program. To find out the latest information about the program, click here.
There are also a number of independent companies that recycle, refurbish or reuse computers & accessories in Australia.
What Happens When It's Recycled?
Computers & accessories in working order can be refurbished with new software and made Internet-ready. These repackaged computers are generally made available to low-income communities, individuals and community organisations.
Electronic waste collected for recycling undergoes a manual dismantling process. The individual materials from the hardware such as printed circuit boards, cabling, glass and plastics are recovered and then processed so that they can be used as raw materials to produce new products.