Where to recycle or dispose of your electronic waste
AUSTRALIANS are among the highest users of new technology in the world.
We can all help to address the e-waste (electronic waste) epidemic by recycling our used mobile phones, accessories, batteries and even computers.
Australians purchase over 2 million computers every year. This makes e-waste, including computers and accessories, a growing problem.
Monitors which contain lead and computers also contain other hazardous materials that need to be disposed of responsibly.
Computers and accessories that are in working order can often be refurbished with new software and some replacement parts. These repackaged computers are generally made available to low-income communities, individuals and community organisations.
The individual materials such as printed circuit boards, cabling, glass and plastics are recovered and then processed so that they can be used as raw materials to produce new products.
It is estimated that over 31 million mobile phones are in use in Australia and millions of old and unused mobile phones stashed away in cupboards and drawers at home and work.
If your mobile is still working and you would like it to be reused, you could have it repaired, pass it on to family or friends, donate it to a charity or sell it to a company that offers cash.
Throwing old mobiles into landfill can potentially be dangerous. Heavy metals in the batteries could penetrate into the environment.
Simply drop them off at a recycling collection point as mobile phones and mobile batteries cannot be recycled in your council recycling bins.
There are a wide range of battery types, many of which contain toxic metals, mercury and lead. Others contain valuable materials like magnesium and zinc.
Buying rechargeable batteries is an important way to reduce battery waste. Each battery can be recharged up to 1000 times, saving you money and reducing pollution from discarded batteries.
Used rechargeable batteries are a hazardous waste and should not be placed in the garbage bin. This includes batteries in laptops, mobile phones, power tools and cameras.
Aldi supermarkets offer a free battery recycling service at all their stores.