Ecycle refers to the recycling of electronic waste, an issue that concerns us all.
Electronic waste is one of the biggest, if not the biggest issue the waste industry faces today. Electronic waste, or ewaste as it is now more commonly known is being generated at three times the rate of any other municipal waste stream. However unlike other municipal waste in Australia, there is no national or even state-based infrastructure for removing it, let alone recycling it. Australia’s pile of ewaste is increasing at an alarming rate, and even more alarming is the rate at which we’re depositing it into landfill, where the toxic components are left to leach into the surrounding environments.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – the general waste catch phrase is just as appropriate for ewaste.
The concept, otherwise known as the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle has been around for a long time and has formed a strong principle on which many waste streams have been reformed, could ewaste be next?
Experts the world over say it is the rate at which we ‘consume’ electronic gadgets that is exacerbating the ewaste issue. For example, the average mobile phone is built to last a minimum of 5 years, but with the rate of updates and new models emerging most consumers are more likely to get a new phone every two years. The situation is no different when it comes to computers, cameras, televisions, etc. So whose responsibility is it to ‘reduce’, the manufacturer? Should they simply offer less? Or is it the consumer? Should they control their thirst for the new and shinny?
Reuse is the second R and like Reduce it also leaves us asking questions. The reuse of computer equipment and other second hand electrical equipment has without doubt benefitted millions, which of course is not the issue. The issue arises when the second hand equipment inevitably is no longer useful, leaving the second hand user, often the underprivileged, with the ewaste problem. Typically they simply cannot afford or do not have the facilities to dispose of the electronic equipment safely and environmentally. Tragically much of the ewaste exported to developing nations ends up creating more trouble than it was worth.
Thankfully the final R, Recycle, poses no questions for ewaste – it is quite simply, the solution. Just like we currently recycle glass bottles, plastic bags, newspapers, cans etc we can also recycle our old electronic equipment. Facilities are currently recycling 98% of the electronic equipment collected into secondary raw materials for future use. This process not only prevents the ewaste ending up in landfill but it also prolongs the life of the precious resources used to make the equipment initially.
Australia is without a national scheme for either domestic or commercial ewaste recycling.
Unfortunately to date the Australian government has not set in place any sort of national recycling scheme; consequently the vast majority of ewaste is sent to landfill. In fact 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.
Take responsibility for your ewaste. Turn computer disposal into computer recycling with 1800ewaste.
1800ewaste is Australia’s leading ewaste collection and recycling service. We’re 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 ewaste recycled please give us a call today
1800EWASTE, 1800 392 783