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E-waste FAQs

As of 1 July 2019 e-waste is no longer accepted in any household bin (so not into landfill) across Victoria. Instead, it must be taken to dedicated e-waste drop-off points where it will be collected for recycling.

In Australia e-waste is growing three times faster than general waste.  E-waste contains valuable materials that can be reused and is an opportunity to support recycling jobs that otherwise wouldn’t exist.  Electronics are stripped for recyclable components, reducing the amount of material that enters landfill where toxic metals such as lead and mercury can remain in the environment. During all of June 2019 there will be no cost to drop off e-waste for recycling in East Gippsland.

 

E-waste Information Session

If you missed our e-waste information session livestream from the Bairnsdale Library last week you can watch it now.

 

E-waste drop-off sites

New permanent e-waste drop-off points have been set up at:

  • Bairnsdale: 200 Johnstons Rd, Forge Creek

  • Orbost: 351 Bonang Rd

  • Bruthen: 109 Great Alpine Rd

  • Omeo: 18 Margetts St

  • Mallacoota: Betka Rd

  • Lakes Entrance: 5 Thorpes Lane

     

    What is e-waste?

     

    E-waste refers to unwanted and discarded electrical and electronic products – essentially anything powered by batteries or an electrical cord or plug.

  • This includes larger household ‘white goods’ such as washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, ovens, microwaves etc.

     

  • Home entertainment products such as televisions, CD players, DVD players, tablets, mobile phones and other handheld electronic devices.

     

  • Electrical gardening equipment such as hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, electric chainsaws, whipper snippers, electric lawn mowers etc.

  • Smaller household items such as toasters, kettles, irons, lamps, battery operated or electronic toys, hairdryers, fans, heaters, printers etc. 

     Why should we recycle e-waste?

 

     There are a number of important reasons to recover e-waste:

  • Reduce landfill. E-waste is growing three times faster than general municipal waste in Australia, due to increased technology trends, reduced product lifespan and consumer demand for new products.

  • Protect air and waterways from hazardous materials found in e-waste.

  • Minimise consumption of raw materials to produce electronics. 

  • Reduce greenhouse gases created in the production of new materials.

What is the impact of e-waste on the environment?

 

E-waste contains hazardous materials, which can harm the environment and human health. These can include mercury, cadmium, arsenic, solvent, acid and lead. For further information go to ewaste.vic.gov.au

 

What happens to e-waste?

 

There are numerous useful and/or valuable materials in e-waste which can be recovered such as gold, silver, copper, aluminium, platinum and cobalt which can either be used to produce the next new wave of technological innovation, or simply be reused elsewhere. Most importantly, they should not be lost to landfill.

The way e-waste is processed can vary. In general, mercury, plastics, printed circuit boards, ferrous metals and aluminium are separated from e-waste for recovery.

 

Has the Victorian Government allocated funds from the landfill levy to support the rollout of the e-waste ban?

 

The Victorian Government has allocated $1.5 million to develop a state-wide e-waste education campaign, with a further $15 million allocated to support the safe collection and storage of e-waste. The campaign will help communities, businesses and councils to increase awareness of e-waste and what to do with it. And it will highlight the environmental benefits of reusing, donating, repairing or recovering e-waste.

 

What input have local councils had to the design of the new e-waste campaign?

 

Local councils were consulted by the Victorian Government’s E-waste Working Group throughout the process and helped to design the education campaign. A series of workshops were conducted in Nov/ Dec 2017 with over 85 per cent of councils to seek their input into the campaign elements required for their communities.

Sustainability Victoria firmly acknowledges and understands that successful e-waste management cannot be achieved without the support of both the local councils and local communities, hence the importance we place on the input of both stakeholders.

 

What are Victorians currently doing with their e-waste?

 

According to our research, most Victorians are unsure of what e-waste is, and how to dispose of it. Many either donate unwanted and even broken items to charity shops, or store it in garages and sheds until they decide what to do. Unfortunately, some e-waste gets dumped at clothing recycling bins situated at train stations and shopping centres, or even dumped on the sides of roads. But the vast majority of smaller items are included in general rubbish bins each month and end up in landfill. This is why this campaign is such good news for the environment, local communities and individual households and businesses. There is now a clear solution to this rising problem.

 

If Victorians are unsure whether an item is e-waste or not, where can they access further information and clarification?

 

Find details of your nearest e-waste drop-off point listed above or contact us. If in doubt it is always best to remember if it has a cord, plug or battery it is e-waste.

 

Why is there a fee for dropping off e-waste at any of the transfer stations listed above and other local community e-waste management resources?

 

Many councils are required to pay for transportation of e-waste to processors and at times storage and extra staff for specific handling of this waste item. Whilst many e-waste items include precious metals that are of value the small amounts that council collect are worth less than the accumulated amount the processors recover from e-waste items. The value of these items which the processors receive are used to run the machinery required for this specific type of waste as well as staff and facilities.

 

Will fines be imposed on households failing to appropriately dispose of their e-waste?

 

Fines will not be applicable to either households or businesses. We are simply urging Victorians to do the right thing and embrace the indisputable fact that responsible electronic-waste disposal makes more sense.

 

Are businesses being advised any differently to households regarding e-waste disposal?

 

The newly upgraded e-waste collection network benefits both businesses and households alike. E-waste will be accepted from both.

 

 

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