What is E-waste?
Wikipedia describes E waste as below:
“Electronic waste or e-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices”
Australian businesses and homes are constantly accumulating more electronic devices by the day. As we upgrade to the latest version, we then look to dispose of outdated or broken technology. In the past, these often ended up put in kerbside collections, which were then placed in landfills. The toxic materials used in making these devices could potentially leach from badly managed facilities into the environment.
That’s why things needed to change.
Is E Waste recyclable?
The short answer here is yes, most of it.
The issue with this that electronic devices covers a fairly broad range. Some devices (think fridges) can be recycled by metal recyclers.
Specialist e waste recyclers may not want to receive products like that, as they are set up to remove, recover and recycle the precious metals contained in e Waste such as computers, television screens, laptops, mobile phones, iPads, speakers, headphones and more. The electrical componentry in these types of gadgets often contains heavy metals – think lead, mercury, gold, cadmium and more, that are environmentally damaging if not managed appropriately. Circuit boards and capacitors often contain other chemicals that require specialist management.
These metals, if removed and recovered, are then sold and reprocessed into further products. This revenue subsidizes the recycling process.
On the flip side of that, general metal recyclers may not want e Waste as they may not be licensed for or able to manage these heavy metals, and other toxic substances often found in E waste.
So its important to make sure that the right products go to the right recycler. E Waste cannot go to landfill – so before you put it in the bin, do the planet, and the environment a favour – take the time to find a local recycler.
Is there a national initiative in Australia to recycle e Waste?
Yes. Product Stewardship Legislation currently covers TV sets, computers and related products. There is a national recycling scheme covered by this.
Do you know where your E Waste is going?
Nationwide Waste Solutions provide ethical and socially responsible E Waste recycling services to our customers. Contact us to find out more.
Other services offered by Nationwide Waste Solutions include: