Brought to you by
Ecycle Solutions provides innovative recycling services for electronics and expanded polystyrene (EPS) for all industries and businesses, with Australia-wide coverage including remote communities. Find out more.
Electronic waste (e-waste) in Australia is a growing problem and a national waste priority. Small businesses can use the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme to recycle their old or broken computers for free. There are also a number of independent companies that recycle, refurbish or reuse computers and accessories in Australia.
Why should I recycle computers?
Australians are some of the highest users of new technology in the world, purchasing nearly 5 million computers 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 and waterways.
Computers can be reused, refurbished or recycled, recovering non-renewable resources like tin, nickel, zinc and copper and keeping them in use.
Some states such as the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Victoria have banned electronic products from landfill.
Under the Australian Government’s 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:
- Ecycle Solutions
- Sustainable Product Stewards Pty Ltd
- The Activ Group Solutions Pty Ltd (Ecoactiv)
There are also a number of independent companies that recycle, refurbish or reuse computers and accessories in Australia. Both pick-up and drop-off services are available through these operators.
What happens when they're recycled?
Computers and accessories in working order can be refurbished with new software. 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.
More information and sources
Learn more about the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.
Download our free e-waste recycling signs for workplaces.
Find out how to recycle other electrical appliances.