E-waste is a major concern within our community and an increasing number of electronic products are reaching the end of their lives. If you are switching to digital television, it is less expensive and more environmentally friendly to buy a digital set-top box or digital television recorder than to replace and dispose of your current television. But if the time has come to replace your tv, please dispose of it responsibly.
Televisions and computers contain valuable non-renewable resources including gold and other precious metals, and hazardous materials including lead, bromine, mercury and zinc. That’s why there are penalties for dumping of these products, including outside collection sites and charity bins. By recycling them, we can recover useful materials and at the same time reduce the health and environmental risks that come from using them as landfill.
The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, due to kick off in the middle of this year, will provide Australian households and small businesses with access to free collection and recycling services for televisions, computers, printers and computer products. The scheme’s targets commence at 30 per cent in 2012/13, rising to 80 per cent by 2020/2021.
Under the regulations, all electronics importers, such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, will have to sign up to an approved provider – the first of which is international supply chain DHL, and announcements of other successful applicants are expected shortly.
These providers will introduce free collection services, starting from the middle of this year. Information on where and how to access the services will be publicised in your area as they become available.
DID YOU KNOW?
• 138,000 tonnes of new television, computers and computer products were sold in Australia in 2007-08
• In the same year 106,000 tonnes (16.8 million units) were disposed of. This is close to 5kg or one unit per person
• In 2007-08 only 10 per cent (by weight) of these were recycled and the rest went to landfill
• The volume of televisions and computers reaching the end of their useful life is expected to reach 181,000 tonnes or 44 million units by 2027-28
• This will be a 171 per cent increase in weight terms