This is a problem that is continually increasing as the years go by. Electronic waste – everyone wants the latest phone, the biggest TV, the smartest ipad, the fastest computer, the best remote control toys …. And so it goes on. So what do we do with the “old” ones, the “outdated” equipment?
A huge percentage of them will be sent to landfill. In Australia, household electronic waste is increasing at a rate which is three times the general waste increase. And this will keep on increasing. Only about 1 percent of TVs, or 10 percent of computers are recycled in Australia. A lot of consumers are keeping their old devices, thinking they might need them some time in the future.
A survey of 1000 people in Australia’s main cities indicates that about one third of them take e-waste to an appropriate designated collection site, and a quarter of them put their e-waste in their household rubbish bin, most likely ending up in landfill. Unfortunately those 1000 people surveyed are not representative of the general population. The proportions of people in the general population who recycle are significantly lower.
There are toxic chemicals in this e-waste, such as mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium. Obviously this contamination is deleterious to the health of the land, the animals, and the people, and is likely to go on increasing.
Some basic, sensible options for unwanted electronic equipment, include donating or selling unwanted applicances, toys, ipads etc; see if you can repair them before throwing them out; and recycle – recycle – recycle! The website for Clean Up Australia will help you find a recycler in your vicinity. Look at the National TV & Computer Recycling Scheme website for more instructions on how you can dispose of your computers and tvs. The Mobile Muster is the best way to deal with your phones. Check them out.
Nearly all the electronic components can be recycled. As well as glass and plastic, devices contain metals including cobalt, tin, antimony, and precious metals platinum, gold, silver are also able to be retrieved. In fact a tonne of circuit boards can yield more gold than 100 tonnes of unprocessed gold ore.
If you have checked out all the websites, and come to the conclusion that it is too difficult for you to decide what to do with your e-waste, don’t just give up and throw it in the bin. Contact a reputable e waste rubbish removal company. Not only do they deal with old furniture and white goods, or garden rubbish and broken down vehicles, they know precisely what to do with electronic waste.