As of July 1, 2019 e-waste is no longer accepted in any bin or landfill site across Victoria.
Instead, it must be taken to dedicated e-waste drop-off points where it will be collected for resource recovery.
What is e-waste?
It is electronic waste if it’s got a plug, battery or cord and you want to throw it away. It includes old phones, computers, household appliances, power tools and electronic toys.
Why is recovery important?
There is more and more electronic waste. The amount is increasing three times faster than general municipal waste. When you consider what is inside electronic waste, it makes sense to recycle valuable materials instead of burying it in landfills. E-waste contains a whole range of valuable and non-renewable materials, such as tin, nickel, zinc, aluminium, copper, silver and gold. Large amounts of electronic waste are therefore important to recycle, especially since lead, silver and zinc may become extremely scarce by 2030.
For example, a million mobile phones contain an estimated 15 tonnes of copper, 345 kilograms of silver and 29 kilograms of gold. When you consider there are more than 22 million discarded mobile handsets in Australia and growing, we’re throwing away a lot of precious resources.
Recovery is also important to avoid hazardous waste. Many forms of e-waste contain heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium as well as ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons and flame retardants. Even in small amounts, these dangerous chemicals can cause environmental contamination. But when you multiply it by the millions of e-waste items being left in landfills, the situation becomes much more serious.
Where do I take it?
Household batteries, mobile phones and printer cartridges can be recycled at the following locations:
Are there any charges?
Most e-waste is free to dispose of except for the following items that attract a fee:
- Heating or cooling equipment
To find out more about e-waste, visit ewaste.vic.gov.au