Globally we produce more than 50 million tonnes of e-waste annually, 700,000 tonnes of which is generated right here in Australia. To put 700,000 tonnes into perspective – it is equivalent to the weight of 125,000 jumbo jets worth of e-waste every year. Can you imagine 125,000 jumbo jets being dumped into a landfill?
So how do we correctly dispose of those tonnes of electronics we no longer can use?
Do you know what to do with your e-waste?
E-waste contains a lot of useful and valuable materials, yet despite all of this it continues to be landfilled as unregulated household waste in many parts of Western Australia. Sending these materials to landfill means the resources they contain are lost. So why is as much as 63% of e-waste is still ending up in our landfills?
While the eastern states are leading the way by making e-waste recycling mandatory, Western Australia still legally allows e-waste to go into our landfills. Our e-recycling rate is only half that of the eastern states.
Over the last 10 years, we have been working hard to solve the e-waste problem for WA and through our process, 92% of all the e-waste we receive is recovered, recycled and diverted from landfill. Hazardous materials are safely treated and useful materials are directed forward into the circular economy.
If you agree that we shouldn’t continue sending our electronics to landfill, you can help us by using your name and signing this petition. Together, let’s tell our government that we want to solve the e-waste problem once and for all.
How do I find my nearest e-waste drop off location?
To find your nearest e-waste drop off location simply visit www.totalgreenrecycling.com.au/free-dropoff-locations and type in your postcode to be directed to your local collection point.
What are my other options?
Here in Perth, you have multiple options for ways to dispose of your electronics:
- Bringing your e-waste to your nearest collection point. This is the best way to ensure your e-waste is recycled through an accredited recycler.
- Taking your e-waste to your local council’s drop-off event. Check your council’s website if there are any planned.
- Placing your e-waste on your verge for verge side collection. If your council offers these, please make sure you separate your electronics from any other general waste to ensure it doesn’t wind up in our landfill.
Is there a cost involved?
It depends. Fortunately, there is no longer a cost involved with recycling electronics such as computer-related items and TVs due to the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme brought by the government in 2001. (Learn more about the NTCR scheme in our blog post.)
This means that you can visit your local drop off facility – whether it’s Officeworks or your local recycling centre, and responsibly dispose of your old telly or computer free of charge.
However, not all electronic items are covered by the scheme and accepted in by collections points. Items that are not yet covered by the scheme are known as ‘bycatch’ and will generally incur fees to be recycled correctly. Things like microwaves, toasters, radios, speakers etc. might attract a small fee or may not be accepted at all.
We recommend always calling your chosen drop-off location to gain advise on where to best take your items.
What not to do with your e-waste
It goes without saying that dumping your old computer into our nature is not only environmentally unfriendly but also illegal.
If you are found illegally disposing of your e-waste you can now be fined and reported to crime stoppers as a part of the Western Australian environmental watchdog’s new partnership with Crime Stoppers WA, who are now targeting environmental crime. (Read the full Media release.)
Simple rules to follow:
- Do not put electronics into your yellow bin.
- Do not litter.
- Don’t illegally dump your e-waste.
If you are unsure what to do with your electronic items, please contact your local council to find out.