Televisions, computers and smartphones keep us entertained and connected, but our appetite for electronics is creating some serious waste and recycling challenges.
Australians love their electronic devices, with almost nine in ten Australians owning a smartphone and 76 per cent of us owning a laptop, according to a 2018 Deloitte survey.
But old and broken electronic devices have become a big problem for the environment, with Australia becoming one of the leading e-waste generators in the world.
Fortunately, recycling e-waste is gaining traction in Australia, as households, workplaces and authorities learn about the benefits of recovering and reusing old electronic devices.
Here is our guide to recycling different types of electronics, also known as e-waste:
How to recycle TVs
Most households have at least one television these days, however we are upgrading our sets more often than ever before to keep up with new technology.
Recycling TVs is fairly simple in Australia thanks to the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, which supports collection points at council transfer stations and some retailers.
If you have an old TV that you no longer want, head to RecyclingNearYou to find your closest collection point.
How to recycle computers, monitors and printers
Generally, homes and small businesses with one or a few computers can take their old machines to their local council waste and recycling depots for recycling at no cost.
It’s important to recycle computers because they contain toxic-heavy metals like lead and mercury that can contaminate waterways and the wider environment if dumped into landfill.
You can find your closest collection point at RecyclingNearYou, otherwise retailers like Officeworks run recycling programs, where you can drop off up to five items for recycling including computer monitors and printers.
How to recycle MacBooks and laptops
However, you should also check whether the manufacturer offers a take-back service.
For example, Apple runs a take-back service where you can trade in your old MacBook and other devices for recycling and receive a store credit in return.
How to recycle mobile phones
There are more than 23 million unused mobile phones hidden away in our drawers and cupboards, according to the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA).
Yet, we can recover 99 per cent of the materials in recycled mobile phones, meaning there are millions of devices out there that could be used to make future products.
Individuals and small businesses can do their part for the environment by heading to MobileMuster to find a nearby collection point.
Alternatively, you can pick up a free MobileMuster satchel from Australia Post and send it to them for recycling.
How to recycle large volumes of electronics
If you’re a business or large organisation looking to boost your e-waste recycling, the team at Ecocycle can assist.
Ecocycle is one of Australia’s most experienced e-waste recyclers, offering commercial-scale recycling programs for all electronic and electrical goods.
Just give us a call on 1300 32 62 92 or fill out the form below and one of our recycling experts can tailor an e-waste recycling program to your needs.