What’s the big problem?
Electronic waste is growing at three times the rate of general household waste in Australia.
Western Australians produce around 25kg of electronic waste each every year.
An estimated 140,000+ tonnes of televisions and computers reach the end of their life each year in Australia – the equivalent of about four 2km-long trains full of iron ore. More than a third of this goes into landfill.
If recycled, 99% of discarded mobile phone components can be recovered, returned to the supply chain and used to produce new items.
When electronic waste ends up in landfill it’s a big loss – for the environment, our resources and the economy.
Many of these items use finite resources such as metals and glass, as well as those that are resource intensive to create such as plastic. They also cost money. Recovering, dismantling and then recycling these products creates jobs, saves space in landfill and salvages valuable materials which means manufacturers will have to produce less from scratch.
The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme has achieved major inroads in this area since launching in 2011 when recycling rates were just 17%. Today, three of every five e-waste items are being recycled around Australia - but there’s still room for improvement.
What can you do?
Understanding how you can easily recycle your household’s electronic waste is just a few clicks away – just don’t put it in your normal household bins!
The good news is, once these items are recycled appropriately via a local council-run e-waste collection point, around 90% of the items’ weight will be re-used or manufactured into new products.
Steps to reduce and recycle your e-waste
- Wait until an item reaches the end of its life before replacing it
- Never dispose of electrical items in your general waste bin
- Check if the manufacturer runs a take-back scheme or what dedicated recycling schemes - like MobileMuster - are available near you.
- Find a local drop-off point or visit your local council’s website to find out when the next e-waste collection is
- Hang on to it until then
- Drop it off, confident in the knowledge you’ve done the right thing