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The Toyota Prius uses nickel metal hydride batteries
Today electric vehicles (EVs) represent 7% of all new car sales.  This marks a significant shift towards sustainable transportation. In Australia, the average age of a fossil fuel car on the road is 10 years. While we are well-versed in the end-of-life processes for traditional vehicles, there is still much to learn about the ageing of high-voltage EV batteries. Importance of EV battery recycling Research conducted last year by the University of Technology Sydney revealed that by 2030, 30,000 …
e-waste impact continues to grow
The concept of urban mining, like so many other recycling terms needs to be explained.  The general populace understands primary mining where resources in the ground are mined.  Urban mining though is a new term that needs to be simply explained in terms of recovering precious metals from electronic objects that have outlived their useful life.  Rather than these items going into landfill and potentially harming our environment there is a significant business opportunity in using recycled minera…
lithium recycling development
Ecobatt, part of the Ecocycle group of companies has given the go-ahead for a new $30 million lithium battery recycling plant. Importantly, creating a total processing precinct for batteries at the group’s headquarters in Campbellfield, Victoria.  To be operational in late 2025 the plant will use cutting edge technology from Europe. The plant will be able to process more than 30,000 tonnes of batteries per year. Above all it will provide an unmatched sustainable solution to Australia’s anticipat…
The recycling of LEDs needs more focus
With the need for energy efficient-lighting solutions increasing, the recycling of old LEDs and mercury bearing lights needs more focus.  Zoltan Sekula, of e-waste recycler Ecocycle believes more needs to be done.  “Increased public awareness and educational campaigns are required.  We must help people understand the regulations surrounding the ban on lighting products containing mercury”.  Zoltan believes that whilst the total amount of lighting products being recycled has increased in recent y…
e-waste ban in WA
In a decisive move towards a sustainable future, Western Australia (WA) is poised to implement a groundbreaking e-waste landfill ban this year, marking a pivotal moment in the state's commitment to environmental stewardship. The comprehensive ban, a result of an inclusive public consultation process concluded last November, encompasses a diverse array of electrical and electronic items, including household essentials such as televisions, mobile phones, computer screens, data storage, refrigerato…
10th anniversary of the adoption of Minamata
October 2023 marked the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Minamata Convention.  A deal that showed the importance of international diplomacy when it comes to supporting environmental and health issues.  It should be noted there are now 147 parties that have ratified the agreement.  The agreement calls for countries to phase out mercury use in products.  As well as that the agreement seeks to ban the opening of new mercury mines, and limit mercury emission into the environment.  Australia w…
Global changes in supply and demand
With the introduction of the Minamata convention there is a need to understand the global changes in supply and demand for mercury.  Current estimates suggest a downward trend in both supply and demand.  The supply of mercury from primary mining has not decreased as much as initially expected.  Indeed, mercury recovery from by-products of nonferrous production has not yet been implemented extensively.   Currently Japan’s small amount of mercury is exported after being refined. In response to an …
e-waste impact continues to grow
Without a doubt the impact of e-waste continues to grow with its significant impact on the environment.     Indeed, only 12% of the nation’s computers are recycled. At this time, Australia is the fourth highest generator of e-waste per capita in the world.  Poorly managed e-waste means heavy metals and hazardous waste such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants leak into the environment.  Clearly, the risks of data leaks are also increased if the device’s storage aren't caref…
Mercury Batch distiller
Managing mercury risk is an important issue for many Australian industrial companies.  Mercury causes very harmful and lasting health impacts due to its toxicity.  The World Health Organisation ranks it in the top ten chemicals for public health concerns. The Minimata Convention, adopted in 2013 is a global health treaty. It was ratified by many countries to raise awareness, and control mercury supply and trade.  Importantly, its aim was to reduce the use and release of mercury into the envir…
Ecocycle continues to invest in mercury waste
Importantly, the Minamata convention became a reality in Australia last year for mercury waste.  This convention was the result of the historical problems caused by the mercury poisoning of Japanese fisherman, who suffered neurological problems.  Mercury and other chemicals were released into the sea near their fishing grounds. Arguably the most toxic chemical to humans, Australia joined 136 other countries in ensuring that mercury could no longer be transported to landfill.  As a result of us j…
Recycling Safety a Priority at Ecocycle
US Federal data on recycling safety, shows the injury rate in the waste and recycling industry fell in 2021, reaching its lowest point since 2006.  US Labor Statistics  reveal that the injury and illness rate  fell from 3.4 incidents per 100 full-time employees, to 2.2 incidents in 2021.  Industry commentators feel these numbers reflect an historic improvement in worker safety in the solid waste industry.’ Definitive data for recycling is not available for Australia.  However, the impact of C…
Profiting From The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET)
The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) makes it cheaper for both businesses and householders to improve their energy efficiency. Since launching in January 2009, VEET provides a rebate for replacing old, inefficient appliances or sealing windows. A major area is getting rid of halogen lights and fluorescent tubes, and replacing them with LEDs, creating a fantastic opportunity for electrical contractors. How You Can Get Started With Victorian Energy Efficiency Target VEET works like t…
Lighting recycling in Australia: A complete guide to recycling lighting waste
The best way to tackle our growing lighting waste problem is to recycle old lights — here’s a guide to recycling lighting waste: Australia is facing a serious lighting waste challenge, however lighting recycling is on the rise as people realise how easy and convenient it is. Millions of old light bulbs, tubes and lamps are thrown into landfills around the country every year even though it’s bad for the environment. A guide to recycling lighting waste What types of lighting can be recycle…
How to recycle lighting: LED bulbs, smart lights, mercury-containing lamps
People are switching on to the benefits of lighting recycling to protect the environment and combat our growing waste challenges. Millions of old light bulbs and lamps still end up in landfill every year, even though most lighting waste should be recycled. There are a variety of benefits to recycling lighting waste, such as preventing hazardous materials like mercury from contaminating habitats and waterways. When mercury-containing lights are disposed of into landfill, the mercury can …
International E-waste Day aims to boost awareness of recycling electronics
With about 50 million tonnes of e-waste generated globally, International E-waste Day is an important day to spread the word about recycling old electronics. More than 110 organisations from 48 countries took part in the latest International E-waste Day to shine a light on e-waste and encourage the public to recycle more. E-waste is made up of a range of products from personal devices such as smartphones to household appliances like white goods and air conditioners. The International E-…
Mercury and the environment
Mercury and the environment - Mercury is the most hazardous metal on the EPA’s list of industrial pollutants. If not handled or recycled correctly it is a very potent neurotoxin to humans. The largest source of mercury pollution entering our landfills is from the dumping of mercury containing fluorescent tubes and HID lamps. Australians consume over 60 million fluorescent tubes and HID lamps every year. Only around 10% of these are recycled, with the balance being carelessly dumped into landfil…
Six months on, how is Victoria’s e-waste ban faring?
More than 75 waste transfer and recycling sites across Victoria have been upgraded for e-waste collection and storage since the state’s e-waste ban started last year. The Victorian government has already committed $10.6 million to helping local governments upgrade e-waste collection services through the first round of the e-waste infrastructure support program, according to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The e-waste ban began last July, and includes anything with …
Why recycling lighting waste in Australia is so important
Did you know that the mercury contained in one fluorescent tube can pollute 30,000 litres of water beyond a safe level of drinking? This statistic alone should encourage everyone to recycle their lighting waste, and yet 95 per cent of mercury-containing lamps are still sent to landfills in Australia. The millions of used light bulbs that end up in landfill are dreadful for the environment, but we can turn this around by recycling lighting waste and urging others to do the same. Here are…
What is the future of lighting waste?
The future of lighting waste is looking brighter as light bulbs become greener and smarter, however we still have a long way to go. In Australia, millions of light bulbs are discarded into the rubbish bin and eventually end up in landfill every year. In fact, authorities estimate 95 per cent of mercury-containing lamps are still sent to the garbage tip despite free recycling programs that operate across the country. Fortunately, there are positive steps being taken as people switch to m…
3 reasons why your business should recycle X-rays and film
If your workplace has old X-rays and silver-based films gathering dust, why not recycle them and get back that space while doing the right thing for the environment. Digital radiography has largely replaced the need for traditional X-rays, however there is still a lot of old X-rays and films hidden away in hospitals, medical clinics and radiology centres. Old X-rays and silver-based films can be recycled easily, whether it’s a small amount lying around the home or commercial-scale quantiti…
Why schools play a vital role in teaching children about recycling
Our kids learn a lot of what they know at school, so there’s no better place to teach the next generation about the importance of recycling. Young people discover how to read, write, count and more at school, but recycling is one of the best lessons we can teach them. Recycling and sustainability are ideas that can be taught early on, whether it’s in a lesson plan or not. Encouraging youngsters to put paper, bottles and cans in the recycling bin can start a life-long journey of recyclin…
How dentists can better manage waste and become more sustainable
Dentists can make their practices more sustainable and improve their environmental footprint by recycling old dental amalgam, equipment and other waste. Dental fillings and electronic waste (e-waste) hold small amounts of mercury and need to be recycled to prevent the mercury from contaminating and poisoning the environment. The average dental surgery is estimated to generate half a kilogram of mercury waste every year, largely made up of used dental amalgam. While paper, glass bottles …
This is how recycling can save your business money
If your team cares about protecting the environment and lowering business costs, then an active recycling program for your workplace may be the answer. Recycling has become a serious agenda item for Australia’s business community, as regulations and public pressure mount on organisations to improve their environmental footprint. According to the HP Australia Environmental Sustainability Study 2018, 79 per cent of consumers believe companies and brands should be responsible for their impact…
Where can I recycle mercury?
Recycling mercury-containing items found around the home and workplace is good for the environment, so it’s vital to know where to recycle them in Australia. Mercury is used in many household items, including batteries, light bulbs, mobile phones, laptops and even dental fillings. Recycling mercury-containing products keeps items that have reached the end of their useful life away from landfill and protects the environment from mercury contamination outbreaks. Where can you recycle mercur…
Why do we recycle e-waste?
With new electronic devices becoming cheaper and more widely available, the need to recycle electronic waste, also known as e-waste, has never been more important. E-waste is more than just old mobile phones and televisions — it includes anything that plugs into a power point or runs on batteries and has reached the end of its useful life. E-waste includes broken items, as well as obsolete products that have been replaced by newer models. The rapid growth in electronics technology has s…
How to safely dispose of mercury-containing lamps
With millions of mercury-containing lamps and light bulbs dumped in landfill every year, recycling old lamps and lighting waste has never been more important. Mercury-containing lamps include small compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) fitted in homes, fluorescent tubes often found in offices and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps used for streetlights. Mercury-containing lamps are the single largest category of products with mercury, according to the Department of the Environment and Energy.…
Emotional attachment, frugality hinders e-waste recycling in Australia
Australians are holding onto electronic waste rather than recycling it because they’re thrifty and have emotional attachments to old devices. Frugality and attachment were the main reasons people kept old electronics at home, according to new research conducted by Monash University. The research, which involved 650 people across three studies, showed at least half of the participants owned two or more computers, while 16 per cent owned at least four. Electronic waste (e-waste) has grown…
How do I dispose of mercury?
Ordinary items like light bulbs, batteries and mobile phones contain toxic mercury, which can lead to serious health consequences unless it’s recycled. Fortunately, there are only small amounts of mercury in most everyday products, meaning they are safe to use at home and in the workplace. That said, mercury-containing waste like used batteries can produce health and environmental hazards if this waste is thrown in the general waste bin and makes its way to landfill. Recycling mercury-c…
Ecocycle buys first AI-powered mercury-safe technology
Ecocycle has acquired the first automated ‘mercury-safe’ flat screen recycling machine from Irish firm FPD Recycling, as Australia’s e-waste challenges mount. The FDP PRO is a fully automated recycling system that can safely and efficiently recycle flat panel displays, including televisions, monitors and laptops. It can depollute up to 60 displays in an hour and features a state-of-the-art filtration system to protect workers from exposure to mercury, lead and other hazardous materials. …
How to dispose of and recycle mercury-containing waste
Mercury can have a catastrophic effect on human health and the environment when mercury-containing waste is dumped in landfill instead of being recycled. Mercury is found in plenty of everyday items from your ceiling lights to the batteries in household devices, and even in your dental fillings. But when things containing mercury reach the end of their useful life, it’s important to dispose of them responsibly rather than throwing them in the general waste bin or putting them in the cupboa…