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 or 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 televisions for free. There are also a number of independent companies that recycle, refurbish or reuse televisions in Australia.
Why should I recycle televisions?
Televisions can contain toxic materials that can leach into the environment and waterways when sent to landfill. Recycling televisions allows these materials to be recovered and used again. Other materials that can be recovered are metal, plastic, glass, and precious metals.
Older televisions that contain cathode ray tubes (CRT) can contain up to 4kg of lead and other toxic materials such as mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Lead is an cumulative poison which can contaminate groundwater and have harmful effects on human and animal health.
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)
The Australian Government worked with industry and all states, territories and local governments to develop this product stewardship program. There are also a number of independent organisations that will accept televisions for recycling. Both pick-up and drop-off services are available through these operators.
What happens when they're recycled?
Some television components may still be usable, enabling certain parts of the device to be reused. To recycle the television, it must be broken down into its many different components, which must and then undergo a recycling process.
The glass from cathode ray tubes (CRT) contains a high concentration of lead and therefore cannot be sent into the normal glass recovery process like glass bottles. CRT glass is typically crushed and cleaned. One of the major reuses for CRT glass is in manufacturing of new televisions and computer monitors.
Circuit boards are shredded down to a fine powder and separated into plastics and precious metals. This material can be reformed into a range of products.
Plastic casings are shredded and tested for their content. Once the type of plastic has been identified, the plastics can be melted and extruded for use in new products.
Scrap metals are typically melted down to form new metal-based components.
More info 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.