Electronic Waste (E-waste)
What is E-waste?
E-waste includes all products with a power cord or battery that have reached the end of their useful life.
Examples of e-waste include:
- Computers (e.g. monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards and mice)
- Telecommunications equipment (e.g. faxes, mobile phones and cordless phones)
- Small household appliances (e.g. toasters, vacuums and microwaves)
- Electrical and electronic tools (e.g. sewing machines, drills, electric mowers and electric toys)
Entertainment equipment (e.g. cameras, game consoles, DVD players and stereos)
From 1 September 2013, under the Environment Protection (Waste to Resources) Policy 2010, all electronic and electrical waste will be banned from landfill in metropolitan Adelaide. This means you cannot place e-waste into your kerbside bins or put it out for hard waste (whitegoods are an exception). E-waste must be taken to a suitable recycler.
Why recycle E-waste?
E-waste contains non-renewable materials such as copper, nickel, tin, zinc and aluminium. Sending these valuable materials to landfill means they are lost forever and cannot be reused. When this happens, our only option is to mine for new materials.
E-waste also contains hazardous materials including lead, mercury, cadmium and lithium. Sending these hazardous materials to landfill means they may leach into the environment.
Almost all components of e-waste can be recycled. In fact about 90% of what is used to make televisions and computers can be recycled. It was estimated 29 million televisions and computers reached the end of their useful life during 2011/2012 alone. That is a lot of material that can be recycled! For more on what can be recycled from e-waste, click here.
What can I do with my unwanted E-waste?
TVs and Computers can be recycled for free!
Through the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, which is funded and run by the television and computer industry, householders and small businesses can drop-off their unwanted televisions and computer products for free at selected collection locations across South Australia.
Items that will be accepted for free regardless of the brand or age include televisions (analog, LCD, flat screens), computer monitors, computer towers and printers, scanners, keyboards and mice. Residents and small businesses are permitted to take up 15 TV and computer items.
TVs and computers can be taken to these sites for free disposal:
- Adelaide Waste and Recycling Centre, 181 Morphett Road, North Plympton
- Beverly Waste and Recycling Centre, 2-6 Toogood Avenue, Beverley
- Pooraka Waste Transfer Station, 61 Research Road, Pooraka
- Integrated Waste Services, Lot 254 Hines and Wingfield Roads, Wingfield
- Heathfield Resource Recovery Centre, Scott Creek Road, Heathfield
- Office Works Trinity Gardens (computers only, limit of five items per person), 210–212 Portrush Road, Trinity Gardens
- Southern Region Waste Authority Landfill Seaford Heights, 112 Bakewell Drive, Seaford Heights
- Edinburgh North Waste Recovery Facility, Bellchambers Road, Edinburgh North
Some of these sites listed above will accept other e-waste but will charge a small fee. This fee covers the cost of dismantling the electronic waste to recover all the materials. Other businesses that accept e-waste for a small fee include:
- Aspitech, 149 Holbrooks Road, Underdale
E-Cycle Recovery Facilities,12-14 Baulderstone Road, Gepps Cross
- Advanced Recycling Technologies, 13 Chrysler Road, Lonsdale
- Daws Road Recycling Centre, 76 Daws Road, Edwardstown
Do not dump your unwanted items in the street, at a reserve or park, or along roadsides or other community areas. Leaving any waste on the kerbside without permission is considered illegal dumping and can incur fines.
The hard waste collection service offered by the City of Mitcham does not include e-waste. Click here for more information on the ‘At Call’ hard rubbish collection service.
Trying to recover any precious metals or recoverable materials from your unwanted e-waste is dangerous. Cracked and physically broken televisions or computer screens can expose you, council staff and recyclers to hazardous materials as well as broken glass. You should ensure your television or computer is returned for recycling in one piece, and should not attempt to dismantle and salvage any components.
For further information please contact the Waste Management Officer at the City of Mitcham on 8372 8888.
Alternatively, please visit Zero Waste SA to find more information on electronic waste, as well as other types of waste.