Turning the tide on e-waste

This year, Australians will generate on average more than 20 kilograms of e-waste per person.

Furthermore,  the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) suggests the collective value of the e-waste Australians sent to landfill in 2019 was $430 million.

E-waste is the term given to discarded electronic products. These products might not be of any use to you. However, they may enjoy a second life with a new owner or can be recycled to recover the valuable materials they contain.

These products include old mobile phones, televisions, computers, whitegoods and household appliances.

This week is National Recycling Week, and this provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the waste we are creating and consider how the choices we make in discarding everyday items can reduce the impact on the environment.

This year’s theme is ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’, which is certainly true for our work here at Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP).

Recycling and resource recovery should be a particularly important issue for Australians, who are among the biggest producers of e-waste per capita in the world. Analysis by the United Nations University and the International Telecommunication Union suggests Australians produce more e-waste than our friends in New Zealand, the US, Japan and China.

This is alarming. And the problem is accelerating.

Our consumption of electronic equipment is increasing and, by 2030, each Australian is expected to produce one extra kilogram of e-waste per year, taking the total to 23kg.

Here at ANZRP, we’re empowering Australians to divert their 20+ kilograms of e-waste each year back into useful resource streams.

We operate the TechCollect program, which is part of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS). TechCollect has collected and recycled more than 240,000 tonnes of e-waste since its inception. It’s a free service, fully funded by many of the world’s leading technology brands.

Australians can drop their e-waste at one of the 288 convenient collection points, diverting valuable materials away from landfill, ready for them to be reused in new products.

This National Recycling Week, we encourage all Australians to go out and drop off their e-waste at their local drop-off points.

It’s easy to get involved, and it’s free!

The first important step is to delete your data from your devices before donating. You can find some guidelines and further support on the TechCollect website.

TechCollect accepts the following items:

  • Personal and laptop computers and all cables;
  • Tablets, notebooks and palmtops;
  • Computer monitors and parts (e.g. internal hard drives and CD drives);
  • Computer peripherals and accessories (e.g. mice, keyboards, web cameras, USBs);
  • Printers, faxes, scanners and multi-functional devices; and
  • Televisions

Visit techcollect.com.au to find your closest drop-off location. These are often co-located at a waste management facility or within retail stores.

Effectively managing e-waste is a significant challenge and it is a problem that demands our collective action. Remember that donating your working yet unwanted e-waste for reuse before disposal for recycling is a simple change that can have huge environmental and social benefits.

ANZRP wins coveted award for collective product stewardship

Australia New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP) is honoured to announce that it received the Best Stewardship Outcomes from a Collective Scheme award at the 2023 Product Stewardship Excellence Awards, hosted by the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence in Sydney last night (November 2).

ANZRP is proud to be recognised for our long-running commitment to product stewardship. The award highlights that industries can work together to sustainably manage electronic waste.

The award is a testament to the loyalty of our members and the dedication of our team to deliver the best e-stewardship possible. The award cements ANZRP’s status as a leading e-stewardship provider.

As Australia’s only not-for-profit co-regulator, ANZRP is committed to reducing the environmental impacts of products and waste by collecting the waste of its members.

Since inception, ANZRP has collected and facilitated the recycling of over 240,000t tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) - that’s the equivalent weight of 428 Airbus A380s.

We hope that this award inspires brands, organisations and government to keep moving forward to improve e-stewardship in Australia.

Brand agency vital to ensure best e-stewardship outcomes
  • In July 2023, the Department of Climate Change, Energy and the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) proposed an increase in the number of categories of electrical products in the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) and the introduction of a single scheme administrator to oversee compliance and community education.

ANZRP is supportive of many of the changes proposed by DCCEEW, however, we strongly believe  that any model that the government puts forward should ensure a direct relationship with between brands and organisations such as ANZRP, to enable ongoing innovation and improvement in e-waste recycling.

ANZRP at the Product Stewardship Excellence Awards 2023
Pictured: Janet Leslie (Canon, ANZRP member), Warren Overton  (CEO, ANZRP), Carla Vasconi - (COO, ANZRP), Claudia Bels -(Deputy Chair, ANZRP) and James Hole (Apple, ANZRP member) Image: Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence