03 Jan
2018 Recycling Guide: What is e-waste?

2018 Recycling Guide: What is e-waste?

Technology use grows exponentially every year, and with it, a new waste issue. We have a wide range of machines and tools to assist us in every part of our lives. And while new models are designed to be environmentally safe and with biodegradable elements, we still create large amounts of electronic waste.

As one of our values, we’re passionate about our environment and sustainability. That’s why we started this series to share advice on safe recycling, what regulations and criteria to look out for, and some ideas on how to reuse, reduce, and recycle!

Hidden toxins

Many people don’t realise that their mobiles, computers, and tvs carry hazardous materials inside. These can then leak into the environment and contaminate water sources and soil.

Many people also don’t know that:

  • E-waste makes up for 70% of the toxic chemicals found in landfill, such as lead, mercury, and cadmium
  • It grows three times faster than all other waste types
  • For people, it can cause respiratory problems, reproductive and developmental issues, and issues with nervous system problems   

The list of items with hazardous waste includes:

  • all electronic devices (eg. keyboards and speakers)
  • batteries (also those in your mobile phones)
  • electrical appliances (eg. toasters and blenders)

Here’s a detailed breakdown of what e-waste is made up of.

The National Recycling Scheme

In response to this growing crisis, the government established the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) in 2011. They provide households and small businesses access to local recycling services and drop-off points.

They recycle 40 000 tons of computers, TVs, printers, batteries, tablets, and mobile phones annually. Read about their implementation in WA here.

E-waste drop off locations

Our BRS in the City of Stirling is one of the recycling sites that accept e-waste. All working electronic appliances and items in good condition can be dropped off at Bay 5.

For all other appliances, the e-waste bins are located in the Hazardous Household Waste section. Simply ask for directions at the gatehouse or at the counter. There is no charge to drop off.

We also accept other items like:

  • acids, alkalis, and aerosols
  • household and car batteries
  • fluorescent lamps and tubes
  • gas cylinders
  • paint and household cleaning and gardening chemicals

Contact the lovely team at the BRS for more information.

Stay tuned for the rest of the series! Our next article covers what criteria to look out for when purchasing appliances.