What you cannot put in your rubbish bin anymore

Victoria’s state government has revealed that from mid next year, residents will not be able to discard of their e-waste in their household bins.

E-waste refers to old electronic items such as mobiles, TVs, laptops, tablets, as well as anything with a plug, including hairdryers, toasters and irons.

Victoria, who is following the lead of South Australia which made the change in 2013, will prompt residents to be more careful of how they dispose of their defunct electronic goods.

The head of Sustainability Victoria, Stan Krpan, wants to stop e-waste from becoming the world’s next plastic pollution issue and hopes all Aussie states and territories will follow suit.

“E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world,” Mr Krpan told news.com.au.

“In the next 10 years, we’ll actually double the amount that we’re producing, we’ve got to get on top of that.”

The ban will ensure that consumers take their old electronic goods to a recycling station.

“Rather than put it in a bin, or a council collecting it and putting it in landfill, you’ll need to take it to a designated recycling station,” Mr Krpan said.

If no measures are put in place to reduce e-waste in Australia, it is estimated that it will increase from around 138,000 tonnes produced in 2012-13 to 223,000 tonnes in 2023-24, reported news.com.au.

Mr Krpan highlighted that e-waste not only dumps hazardous materials, such as lead, mercury and arsenic, into the environment but it also discards of precious metals such as copper, silver and gold.

In Australia, there are very few facilities to recycle batteries as a lot of our e-waste has been shipped to facilities overseas, where there are fewer laws to protect workers from hazardous materials.

However, China recently stopped accepting e-waste from other countries and last month Thailand announced that it will also be making the same change.

To respond to Australia’s urgency for finding homegrown solutions, the Victoria government announced earlier this year that it will increase access to dedicated e-waste recycling centres early next year, as part of a $15 million spend.

The funding will update more than 130 e-waste collection sites around Victoria, making the various facilities within a 20-minute drive of 98 per cent of Victorians in metropolitan areas.

For those who are unsure of how to discard of your e-waste, Mr Krpan recommends taking your pre-loved devices to tech companies that accept them and to do a Google search for a nearby e-waste business.

How do you discard of your e-waste? Let us know in the comments below. 

Article created in partnership with Over60