As Australians increase their reliance on technology, disposing of unwanted electronic and electrical products (e-waste) in an environmentally responsible way is becoming an increasingly important issue.
E-waste is banned from direct disposal to landfill and must not be placed in any household bin. E-waste can contain hazardous materials including heavy metals and glass which if broken or damaged pose an unacceptable environmental hazard. Also, around 90% of what's used to make televisions and computers can be recycled, saving valuable, finite resources. Other e-waste can also be readily recycled.
E-waste can be recycled by householders using a range of mechanisms.
Where to recycle
Televisions, computer and computer peripherals
Householders can recycle televisions, computers and computer peripherals for free at a range of ongoing sites across South Australia. Many more free drop-off sites will establish across the state by the end of 2013 in addition to special drop-off events. For details of the sites and other e-waste recycling options visit Recycle Right or contact your local council. The television and computer industry funds the recycling of materials from these sites under theNational Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, a product stewardship scheme.
Householders can also recycle fluorescent lighting (eg CFLs) for free. Simply visit any Banner Hardware or Mitre 10 hardware store. Selected lighting stores and councils will also recycle your old globes for free. Refer to Recycle Right to help find your local store.
Scrap metal merchants will collect whitegoods for recycling for free in many areas - you may need to use one nominated by your council. Otherwise contact your council about your nearest drop-off options. Visit Recycle Right to see local recycling options.
- Normal batteries (dry cell, alkaline, non re-chargeable) can be disposed of in normal rubbish collection.
- Rechargeable batteries (nickel/cadmium, mercury, lithium, hearing aid, watch, camera, little button batteries) must be disposed of at the Hazardous Household Waste Depot.
- Car batteries (lead acid batteries, lead acid gel) can be disposed of at local metal recyclers, battery retailers, scrap yards, bottle/can depots or Hazardous Household Waste Depot.
- Mobile phone batteries can be disposed of at most mobile phone retail outlets, Mobile Muster or the Hazardous Household Waste Depot.
Business waste is not accepted at the Hazardous Household Waste Depot. Contact your waste disposal company.
Other e-waste is accepted for recycling by many commercial or local transfer stations and recyclers, including some sites that offer free TV and computer recycling. Disposal may be free or involve a fee. Visit Recycle Right to see your local recycling options.