What is e-waste?

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E-waste is any item with a plug, battery or power cord that’s no longer working or wanted. It covers a whole range of items from phones, computers and refrigerators to fluorescent light tubes.

Minimise your e-waste

In a time where electronic upgrades seem infinite and we’re constantly tempted to buy that new kitchen appliance or tech gadget, it’s important that we act as conscious consumers and consider the environment before purchasing new products.

Here are some tips to help minimise your e-waste.

Consider if you really need a new item

If you purchase a new product you don’t really need, or only require for a one-off job, there’s a good chance it’s going to sit at the back of a drawer or packed away in the shed once you’re finished.

Instead, see if you can borrow or rent one first. For instance, try searching online for ‘tool library near me’ for your next odd job around the house.

Consider buying second-hand

The idea of regularly upgrading devices has become all too common in our society. With new models being released regularly, we can feel compelled to purchase the latest version. But it’s worth checking the second-hand market or purchasing an item that’s pre-loved or refurbished before buying new.

Extend the life of your electronics

Try to get the most of your products by:

  • avoiding overcharging batteries
  • using protective covers on tablets and phones.
  • keeping them clean

Donate or sell working electronics

If your electronics are still in good working condition, consider donating or selling them to others who will find a use for them. This is one of the best ways to stop unwanted electrical items from entering the waste stream.

Many charity and op-shops accept certain electrical goods, but always check with the store first.

Repair it if it’s broken

Not all devices can be repaired, but it’s often cheaper to have a product fixed instead of replacing it with a new one. It’s certainly more sustainable!

Search the web for electrical appliance repairers near you, or try a repair café. Repair cafés are workshops where you’ll find tools and materials to help you repairs things, including electrical products. You’ll find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields.

Be sure to check with the product’s manufacturer before completing any repairs or part replacements, as this may void the warranty.

Recycle e-waste

E-waste (electronic waste) is growing 3 times faster than any other waste stream. E-waste contains potentially hazardous and valuable materials, which don‘t belong in landfill.

To help protect our environment and recover more precious resources, the Victorian Government has banned all e-waste from landfill as of 1 July 2019. That means e-waste can’t go in any household bin.

E-waste drop-off points

E-waste should not be put in your rubbish or recycling bin. Take e-waste to a drop-off point in your state.

When there are no e-waste drop-off points near you

If there are currently no drop-off points near you, or you have a different electronic item to get rid of:

  • check your local council’s website for other disposal options in your area
  • pass it onto your friends, family or sell second hand, if it’s still working
  • have it collected from your home or business by Skip Bin Co.

To Learn more about Skip Bin Co, visit their website here: https://skipbinco.com.au

E-waste can include:

Electrical and electronic tools

  • Batteries, Drills, Electric Lawn Mowers, Saws, Sewing Machines

IT, telecommunications and TV equipment

  • Computers, Laptops, Mobile Phones, Printers, Remote Controls, Televisions

Home appliances (large)

  • Air conditioners, Electric Cookers, Electric Fans, Microwaves, Refrigerators, Washing Machines

Home appliances (small)

  • Coffee machines, Hair dryers, Irons, Toasters, Watches

Lighting equipment

  • Fluorescent Lamps, Discharge Lamps, High-intensity LEDs

Other items

  • Automatic dispensers, Medical devices, Printer cartridges, Thermostats

Toys, leisure and sports equipment

  • Amplifiers, Consoles, Hand-held video games, Musical instruments, Radios, Electric Toys

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