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How to keep old electronics out of landfill

Australia produces more than 650,000 tonnes of e-waste every year

Australia is one of the biggest consumers of electronics in the world. As a country, we produce more than 650,000 tonnes of e-waste every year. 88% of the 4 million computers and 3 million TVs bought here every year end up in landfill. Try to resist upgrades and recycle properly at our e-waste drop-off day on Saturday 24 November 2018.

Tech products are developed with a deliberate lifespan and become outdated due to function or style. This quick cycle of outmoded technology creates catastrophic waste. People are constantly discarding their smartphones, DVD players, computers, TVs and other electronics.

Tech products are created with a finite lifespan.

The environmental impact

This poses 2 environmental problems. The first is the increased mining and procuring of materials for new technology. TVs and computers, for example, contain valuable non-renewable resources, including gold, steel and copper.

The second issue is the huge quantity of electronic waste going to landfill. Some of these items can be highly toxic. There’s arsenic in cathode ray tubes and mercury in flat screen TVs. These substances can seep into groundwater, contaminate soil and enter our food supplies.

Take action

Try to reduce your consumption and resist the upgrade if you don’t really need it. Don’t throw your e-waste in the red bin. This will send it to landfill. You have a few other options:

  1. If your item is broken, try The Bower’s Repair Café, as it might be returned to working order.
  2. If your item still works but you just don’t want it, OzRecycle, will help you give it away.
  3. If your item is truly done for, take it to our e-waste drop-off day on Saturday 24 November. See which items we take and what you can do with those we don’t. You don’t have to live in our area to use this service.

Bring your e-waste to our drop-off day.

The e-waste we collect is diverted from landfill and around 95% of raw materials recovered are recycled. While many recycling suppliers send e-waste to developing countries, everything we collect is processed here. Leaded glass is separated from other glass and sent to a lead smelter for extraction. Steel castings are recycled locally as scrap metal.

Find out more about the journey of e-waste from drop-off to re-use in the video below.

Embedded content: https://cityofsydney.wistia.com/medias/3nfciyv8m4

Posted . Last updated .

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