It is an alarming figure and projected to approximately 256,000 tonnes in 2035. E-waste is being sent to landfill at 3x the rate of general waste.
Yes. E-waste covers pretty much anything that plugs into a power point or runs on batteries.
Any domestic or commercial appliances that contain in-built batteries (e.g. electric toothbrushes, shavers, cordless vacuum cleaners, power tools) are known as e-waste too.
YES! Up to 90% can be recycled. Televisions and computers contain valuable non-renewable resources including gold, steel, copper, zinc, aluminum and brass.
A million phones contain an estimated 15-16 tonnes of copper, 340-350kg of silver and 24-34 kg of gold.
Televisions and computers contain hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury, which are toxic to the environment. It can contaminate our soil and then seep into our water supply and eventually our health if not treated correctly.
Sadly, while 3/4 Australians know that their mobile phones can be recycled and reused, only 8% actually do something.
The Victorian Government is banning e-waste in landfills from July 2019 and has announced a $16.5 million package to encourage safe management of hazardous materials found in e-waste, and enable greater recovery of the valuable materials, ultimately leading to a more stable industry and more jobs for Victoria
You can do this by:
– be a smart buyer, pick the right product for your needs
– choose the product/brand that is environmentally responsible
– only spend necessarily in upgrading your electronic technology if there is a need to do so
– learning about e-waste and programs available to manage it. Check out Sustainability Victoria’s E-Waste campaigns at https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/Campaigns/eWaste
– supporting businesses that are working to solve the e-waste problem. Visit Australian Battery Recycling and Innovative Management Solution provider, Envirostream (www.envirostream.com.au)
2017 IPSOS Survey
Department of Environment and Energy
Australian Bureau of Statistics