Lack of awareness about e-waste recycling in Australia

by Ewaste on October 4, 2012

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Are we good recyclers? That depends on what you think should be recycled.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics almost every Australian household (99%) participated in some form of recycling or reusing of waste in the 12 months prior to March 2009, a very positive statistic and one that has been gradually rising for the last decade.  With the help of our local councils we have learnt how to recycle, the 2009 ABS report on waste management states that 95% of households recycled or reused their paper / cardboard / newspapers, 94% recycled plastic bottles, 93% recycled glass and 90% recycled plastic bags. Unfortunately what we haven’t yet learnt or in many cases are simply unaware of is the importance of recycling electronic equipment. The ABS report stated that nearly a quarter (23%) of electronic equipment and more than half (51%) of household appliances disposed of in the 12 months to March 2009 were placed with the non-recycled garbage for kerbside collection.

Why should e-waste be recycled?

E-waste is essentially any old electrical equipment, anything from computers, televisions and fridges to mobile phones and toasters that are no longer working or required. Our thirst for all things electrical seems to be insatiable, hence our e-waste pile is growing faster than we know what to do with. Unfortunately that means the majority of it ends up in landfill, leaving heavy metals and other toxic components of e-waste to leach into the soil and more dangerously contaminate the water table. Mercury, Cadmium and Lead are among the most toxic leachates.

Why don’t we currently recycle e-waste? Why does our e-waste end up in landfill?

According to the Environment, Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC), Australians discarded 16.8 million electronic devices in 2007/8. Only 9 per cent of this was recycled while 88 per cent, or 14.7 million devices, were sent to landfill. The remainder was exported. When the ABS asked why households did not use appropriate hazardous waste disposal services or facilities, 67% said it was because they did not generate enough materials to warrant use of these services or facilities. Surely if these people understood the consequences of disposing electronic equipment in landfill they would embrace the idea of recycling all electronic equipment, no matter how small it may seem.

How to dispose and recycle your old electronic equipment safely

1800ewaste is Australia’s leading ewaste collection and recycling service. We are passionate about diverting as much electronic equipment from landfill as possible. We believe in prolonging the lifespan of valuable materials by recycling all that we can, currently 95-98%, by weight, of all the materials we collect are recycled for future use. Our service is professional, fast and reliable, we’ll come to you, collect your ewaste and deliver it to the appropriate recycling facility.  1800ewaste only recycles with ISO14001 accredited Australian recycling facilities.

If you’re interested in having your e-waste recycled please give us a call today

1800EWASTE, 1800 392 783

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