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July 15, 2013

E-waste recycling gets off to record start

Australians have set a new Guinness World record for e-waste by sending the most amount of computer and television junk to be recycled in a week.

The campaign run in late April 2013 saw over 474 tonnes of old TVs, computers and printers collected for recycling by TechCollect, Carmel Dollisson chief executive said.

tech collect e-waste

“Setting a World Record for the most consumer electronics collected for recycling in one week is a wonderful outcome. It has increased the awareness of the community on the ease and benefits of recycling,” she said.

“We saw Australians clean out their homes, de-clutter their lives and ensure that all of that old, unwanted and unused e-waste didn’t end up in landfill. This is a great outcome for the environment,” she said.

The e-waste collection drive was about raising awareness for Australia’s new National Television and Computers Recycling Scheme (NTCRS). It is estimated that over 90 per cent of old TVs, printers, computers and associated junk like hard drives, can be recycled and made into new items.

e-waste

Up to last year, only 10 – 17 per cent of Australians’ e-waste was being recycled, and roughly 16.8 million TVs, computers, printers and their accessories were disposed of each year. The new NTCRS will increase e-waste recycling to 30 per cent this year, and wants to lift this to 80 per cent over the next 10 years.

The e-waste problem in Australia is growing rapidly with 181,000 tonnes of TVs and computers expected to reach the end of their useful life by 2028. TechCollect is funded by over 60 of Australia’s technology companies who have now committed to recycling responsibly. These companies fund the recycling service which means it is free for households and small businesses.

TechCollect is the industry response to a federal law introduced in 2011, the Product Stewardship Act. This forces companies that manufacture or import computers or TVs to recycle end-of-life product. TechCollect accepts any make and model of computers and accessories, printers or TVs but cannot accept microwaves, power tools or white goods. These can generally be disposed of via council recycling depots.

Even though computers will be dismantled and recycled, all on-board data is the responsibility of the computer owners. They should delete sensitive information if they have any concerns.

Have a look at the TechCollect website for more info.

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