Australia’s E-Waste statistics

by 1800ewaste on October 4, 2012

As a developed country, Australia’s E-Waste statistics are surprisingly shocking.

E-Waste encompasses all old technology, cluttering your home, garages and landfill, either in a state of disrepair, obsolete, or simply something that has been replaced by its newer, shinier model.

This includes microwaves, mobile phones, computers and everything in between.

Unfortunately, as technology continues to improve, advance and be replaced at an exorbitant rate, the statistics continue to climb.

Computers are considered to be the most frequently upgraded electronic device and as such contribute greatly to the disastrous E-Waste statistics.

Within Australia, 500,000 computers were recycled in the year 2006.

While this may at first seem like a great figure, compare it to the 1.6 million simply thrown away, 1.8 million in storage and 5.3 million simply sitting unused on shelves and gathering dust. Add to this the estimated 2.4 million new computers Australians are estimated to buy each year and you get just a slight insight into the E-Waste pandemic.

Consider how much computer equipment you have within your home; personal computers, old and new, working and broken, printers, laptops, scanners, keyboards, speakers and the list goes on!

It is easy to demonstrate how such buildup could occur.

Considering electronics in general, Australian homes each contain an average of 22, including appliances, video game consoles, telephones and computers.

Again, consider your own home. Add up the amount of TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, phones, fax machines, microwaves, phones, video game consoles and computers you have in use, and those you may just have sitting around unused.

When you decide to get rid of these things as they break or get replaced, how will you dispose of them?

Will you let your technology become another E-Waste statistic?

Nevertheless, perhaps the most significant electronic product currently and in the near future being discarded as E-Waste will be televisions with the onset of digital signals and removal of the analog signal.

Australia has already begun advertisements outlining the 2010-2011 deadline for our own signal to turn permanently digital, ensuring that starting even now and continuing for the next few years, the rate of analog TV sets becoming obsolete and turning into E-Waste will jump significantly.

This means that while many would have simply purchased digital set top boxes for their existing televisions, those who can afford it will most likely replaced their old television with a new digital one.

Lastly, it is important to note that electronic waste now encompasses the largest portion of waste disposed not just in Australia but worldwide.

Bearing these facts and statistics in mind, it is important to focus on the correct disposal of E-Waste in order to create the least impact on the environment.

Originally posted 2009-10-13 16:08:03.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian Kirke December 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

It’s all very well to ask “how will you dispose of them?” and piously declaim that “it is important to focus on the correct disposal of E-Waste in order to create the least impact on the environment.” But how does the ordinary citizen dispose of e-waste “correctly?”

Ewaste December 16, 2009 at 10:05 am

Hi Brian, We agree, it is all too difficult for the individual to dispose of ewaste correctly in Australia at the moment. We are trying to help the ever increasing pile of ewaste by offering a collection and recycling service in all of the mainland state capitals. We’ll come to you, collect your ewaste and deliver it to the appropriate recycling facility. Please give us a call on 1800 392 783 (free call) to let us know how we can help you. Thank you.

Pranay Sharma December 15, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Good day,
Its all good to see that people are concerned about e-waste; but the question that bothers me is What happens to the e-material after we chuck it out in bin? Where is it recycled and most importantly HOW is it Recycled? We all know what hazardous material all these electronic item carries from plastic to mercury ….

Ewaste February 10, 2011 at 3:27 am

Hi Pranay,
We recycle all of the ewaste we collect at recycling facilities within Australia – have a look at our article “How is electronic waste recycled?” for more information about the recycling process.
Thanks for your feedback.

:) April 18, 2011 at 10:54 am

I can see that E-waste is a significant issue, but I’m not entirely sure how it compares to other waste products. How much of Australia’s total landfill is E-waste? Is it really a problem compared to all of the other waste products generated?

Ewaste May 10, 2011 at 7:52 am

Hi there,

The amount of electronic waste being sent to landfill is three times more than municipal waste and in 2009, 234 million electronic waste items were sent to landfill in Australia alone. With the introduction of digital television and our obsession with upgrading our phones, computers and televisions, electronic waste is a very real threat to not just Australia, but the world.

Feel free to browse through our articles for more information on the dangers of ewaste, and keep checking back as we add more.

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