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 comprises waste electrical or electronic equipment. Televisions, computers and their peripherals (eg mice, keyboards), whitegoods and fluorescent lighting are all forms of e-waste. Other types of e-waste include:
|Large household appliances
Eg electric radiators, air conditioners, electric fans
|Small household appliances
Eg vacuum cleaners, carpet sweepers, irons, electric knives, electric shavers
|IT and telecommunications equipment
Eg mainframes, copying equipment, telephones
Eg radios, video cameras, DVD/VCR/CD players and recorders, speakers
|Electrical and electronic tools
Eg sewing machines, drills, saws, welding tools, electric mowers and tools for other gardening activities
|Toys, leisure and sports equipment
Eg electric trains or car racing sets, hand held video game consoles, sports equipment with electric or electronic components
Eg automatic dispensers for drinks or food
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 is used to make televisions and computers can be recycled, saving valuable, finite resources. Other e-waste can also be readily recycled.
Whitegoods have been banned from direct landfill disposal since 1 September 2011 and computers, televisions and fluorescent lighting from metropolitan Adelaide have been banned from being disposed of directly to landfill since 1 September 2012.
As of September 2013, those wastes and other e-waste are banned from direct landfill disposal across all of South Australia under the Environment Protection (Waste to Resources) Policy 2010 (W2R EPP).