Local action on e-waste equates to big changes globally with the upcoming e-waste ban from Victorian landfills.
E-waste refers to any item with a plug, battery or cord that is no longer working or wanted. It covers a whole range of items such as computers, mobile phones, microwaves, printers, televisions, heaters and gaming consoles.
Mayor Cr Natalie O’Connell said from July 1, e-waste items can no longer be placed in any kerbside bins and instead must go to a designated e-waste drop-off points for recycling at Bairnsdale, Orbost, Bruthen, Omeo, Mallacoota and Lakes Entrance.
“The e-waste to landfill ban was introduced by the Victorian Government to recover more of the valuable materials left inside e-waste that can be safely recovered and reused. It will also help reduce the environmental damage caused by the disposal of old electronic items such as TVs, phones and laptops into landfill sites,” Cr O’Connell said.
“E-waste is growing three times faster than general municipal waste, due to increased technology trends, reduced product lifespan and consumer demand for new products. E-waste contains valuable materials that we can recover and reuse, and hazardous materials, which can harm the environment and human health.
“Popular e-waste items like computers and televisions will remain free to dispose at Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance transfer stations from after July 1. Whitegoods and small household batteries will continue to be free at all transfer stations (not just designated e-waste sites). Fluoro globes and tubes will be free to dispose at the designated sites. Council is a participant of Mobile Muster – so mobiles phones will still be free to recycle.”
Currently, over one million mobile phones and 1.5 million televisions are discarded in Australia every year; 17 million televisions have been sent to landfill up to 2008. It is estimated that just for televisions and computers, the amount of e-waste generated in Australia will grow from around 138,000 tonnes in 2012-13 to 223,000 tonnes in 2023-24, an increase of more than 60 per cent.