Why you shouldn’t put e-waste into the yellow recycling bin

Australians send more than 20 million tonnes of waste to landfill every year.

We just put things in the bin and the council takes it away. It’s out of sight and out of mind. But the amount of waste we generate is a big problem, and it’s only getting bigger.

If you put e-waste into your yellow-top bin, it is treated as contamination by the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) operators and will most likely end up in the landfill.

MRF = Material Recovery Facility is a facility which accepts your recyclables form the yellow-top bin. This facility sorts and segregates the materials so it can be prepared for end markets and be used again in manufacturing.

What could happen if you put wrong things into a yellow bin

If you put e-waste into your bin it is treated as contamination by the MRF operators and will end up in the landfill.
If you put batteries of any type into your yellow bin, it can cause a fire inside of the garbage truck.

Some e-waste such as fluorescent backlights contain hazardous chemicals and this material not only contaminates the other recyclables in the stream, it exposes waste-workers to hazards and may result in a WHS incident.

Garbage truck fires

If you put any type of batteries into your yellow bin, you may cause a fire inside of the garbage truck. Just like it happened only a month ago in the City of Cockburn.

As you can see in the video above, batteries can and will combust when crushed!

FB post about garbage truck fire

REMEMBER: Each time you put any of these into your yellow bin, you risk the lives of truck drivers as well as exposing workers to toxic chemicals at the MRF facility.

There are actual people handling your waste which you put into your bin. It doesn’t all just magically get recycled by fancy machines. So please avoid putting hazardous items into your yellow-top bin.

Less contamination, more savings

A significant cost of running a MRF is due to dealing with contamination of yellow-top bins. The contamination arises when people put the wrong things into yellow bins such as electronics. This is causing everyone’s councils’ rates to be more expensive.

So if YOU recycle properly, YOU will help us ALL save money!

So please save us all some money and troubles by thinking twice about what you throw into your yellow bin.

You can learn about Where to drop-off your e-waste and What constitutes e-waste in one of our previous videos.


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