Murrindindi Councillor Eric Lording is inviting residents and business owners across the Shire to join in the effort to reduce e-waste going into landfill.
“E-waste is any item with a plug, battery or cord that is no longer working or wanted, and it’s one of the fastest growing categories of waste worldwide,” Lording said.
“Currently, more than one million mobile phones and 1.5 million TVs are discarded in Australia every year. It is estimated that for televisions and computers alone, the amount of e-waste generated in Australia will grow to 223,000 tonnes in 2023-24, an increase of more than 60 percent since 2012-13.”
Many components, such as capacitors, resistors, diodes and other parts of an electrical circuit board can be re-used, often again and again.
In some cases a discarded circuit board in its’ entirety may be viable.
Kinglake Ranges News last week used parts from a fire and water damaged laptop to upgrade another.
“To try and increase the amount of e-waste that gets recycled instead of sent to landfill, Murrindindi Shire Council is teaming up with Sustainability Victoria to tackle the problem by making sure residents understand what e-waste is and how they can dispose of it properly.
“To protect our environment and work toward recovering more resources from recyclable products, the Victorian Government will ban all e-waste from landfill from 1 July 2019.
“With today’s unprecedented pace in technology upgrades, we are unfortunately living in an increasingly disposable age. Even larger electrical items are discarded with far greater frequency than a generation ago.
“It’s vital that we get on board with this campaign as many of these items contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, phosphor, arsenic, fluids and refrigerants. If waste is not properly managed, these materials can leach into groundwater and soil, or release into the air, creating long term contamination issues and human health issues,” Lording said.
“As well as these hazardous materials, there are a range of non-renewable materials, such as copper, silver, palladium and gold, used in the production of electronic and electrical goods. These valuable materials are lost to recovery and future reuse once in landfill.
“It’s important we understand that there are some extremely useful and valuable materials contained within these devices, however broken or obsolete, that can be recycled and reused. In fact, 90 percent of e-waste is recyclable it just has to be taken to the right place.
“I encourage you all to go the extra mile and drop your e-waste off in the Alexandra, Yea or Kinglake Resource Recovery Centres’ special e-waste collection bins,” Cr Lording added.
For more information about e-waste see www.murrindindi.vic.gov.au/ewaste