Electronic waste is growing at three times the rate of general household waste in Australia.
Here in WA, we produce around 25kg of electronic waste each every year. Yet, over 63% of our electronics end up in our landfills. (Learn Why we need to ban e-waste from landfill now.)
It’s time we stop and think about the ways we consume and manage our electronics. Luckily, we can all do something to reduce the environmental impact of the electronics we buy.
The good news is, when your items come to the end of their lives, we can recycle it here locally and ensure it doesn’t end up in the dumpster. Once these items are collected via a local council-run e-waste collection point or event, around 90% of the items’ materials can be re-used or manufactured into new products.
1) Don’t update with every release
In a perfect world, we would all wait until your electronic items reach the end of their life before replacing it.
However, innovation and progress are important too. Understandably, the latest technology might have features that will make our work more effective or save our business money by introducing new functionality. (Like our new optical sorter does.)
But not always do we make decisions based on function. And even if we do, it’s good to fact check with the seller or manufacturer what upgrades we’re actually receiving.
Did you know the new laptop or mobile phone you’re buying may have a fancy new camera or a bigger screen but its capability most likely hasn’t improved that much? According to Moore’s Law experts, we are now reaching the end of the growth period and the speed and capability of our computers are at its physical limits.
2)Repair your items
We mentioned the Right to Repair movement before. It’s becoming more apparent that people are calling for their basic rights to repair their items rather than having to toss them out each time battery runs out or screen cracks.
New fully repairable items such as FairPhone are becoming a hit in Europe. Multiple repair cafes are popping up around Australia.
We recommend trying to order any spare parts from ifix.com where you can also learn how to fix your item. Or grab a coffee at your nearest repair cafe on the weekend and see if they can help.
3)Donate don’t hoard
If your electronic gadget is still working consider extending its life by either selling it or passing it on to friends and family. We find local Facebook groups and Gumtree work well.
Remember to remove any data on your phone and laptop before you sell or give it away.
4)Recycle your e-waste correctly
If your electronic item is well and truly dead, recycle it properly. E-waste does not belong to the yellow or red lid household bin. (Learn why in our fun educational video.)
It’s to be taken to your nearest drop-off location point.
As always, let us know any questions in the comments below.