12 Humpback whales saved from landfill
  • Thursday 29 August 2013

Well, the equivalent of, thanks to e-waste recycling.

More than 500 tonnes of e-waste has been collected at council tips in just six months, with every knob, wire and screen now on its way becoming something new.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the e-waste recycling events held earlier in the year had been so successful that council is now offering the free service at its waste facilities on an ongoing basis.

“Five hundred tonnes is a phenomenal amount, especially when you consider that most of it was destined for our landfills. To get a sense of what that looks like, you’re looking at 12 humpback whales or a jet liner at take off!” he said.

“We need to be ahead of the game—Australians are among the highest users of technology, and e-waste is one of the fastest growing types of waste.

“In Australia, the cumulative volume of televisions and computers reaching the end of their useful life is expected to reach 181,000 tonnes or 44 million units by 2027-28, so having a plan in place to deal with that increase is essential.”

Council runs the e-waste scheme with DropZone, which operates over 400 Drop Zones across Australia. Residents and businesses can drop off televisions, computers and monitors for free at all council transfer stations across the Coast.

Ninety-five per cent of TV and computer e-waste is recyclable. Each unit is broken down to its core components, glass, metal, steel and plastic, with the majority of this being done in Australia.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Tony Wellington said it was very important environmentally and financially we manage our landfills efficiently and keep as much out of them as we can.

“Essentially that involves diverting as much recyclable material as possible through schemes such as e-waste recycling, mattress recycling and resource recovery centres,” he said.

“Council is continually looking at its waste stream, what it’s made up of and investigating the further options for recycling.”

If 75% of the 1.5 million televisions discarded annually Australia-wide were recycled there would be savings of 23,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, 520 mega litres of water, 400,000 gigajoules of energy and 160,000 cubic metres of landfill space.