Guess what weighs 1000 tonnes?
  • Monday 24 March 2014
e-waste

148 elephants, 24 humpback whales, three boeing 747 jets and the total amount of e-waste recycled on the Sunshine Coast over the past year.

Council’s tip facilities have received more than 1000 tonnes of e-waste since February 2013 – that equates to around 50,000 discarded TVs and computers at a total value of $30million!

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said up to every know, wire and screen was now being turned into something new.

“To actually see what 1000 tonnes of e-waste looks like today really drives home how important this program is and will be in the future,” she said.

“In just one year council’s e-waste recycling program has enabled us to keep that enormous pile of discarded televisions and computers out of our local landfills and allowed many of the materials within those devices to be re-used instead.

“What’s reall amazing is that up to 95% of the materials in your TV, PC or printer can actually be turned into something new as a result of this recycling program.”

Cr McKay said Australians were among the highest users of technology and e-waste was one of the fastest growing types of waste being generated.

“In Australia, it is estimated that around 44 million televisions and computers will reach the end of their useful life by 2027-28. That equates to around 181,000 tonnes of waste so it is essential that we have a plan in place to divert as much of this waste as possible from our landfills,” she said.

“We’re certainly off to a great start here on the Sunshine Coast and it is fantastic to see that many local residents are taking the opportunity to recycle their unwanted televisions and computers through council’s e-waste program.”

Residents and businesses can drop off televisions, computers and monitors for free at all council transfer stations across the Coast.

Council runs the e-waste recycling scheme with DropZone, which operates over 400 Drop Zones across Australia. 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.

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 (Australian Bureau of Statistics).