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e-Waste

Electronic waste (e-waste) is no longer accepted in any bin or landfill site across Victoria. Instead, it must be taken to dedicated e-waste drop-off points where it will be collected for resource recovery.  

From Monday 1 July 2019 residents need to take all their unwanted e-waste to one of Council’s transfer stations in Birchip or Sea Lake for recycling.

These two sites have been upgraded under the State Government’s investment to help Councils across the state upgrade e-waste collection and storage facilities.

Both sites were identified by Sustainability Victoria as key sites to ensure residents don’t have to travel more than 30 minutes to recycle their e-waste.

Council has budgeted $30,000 to upgrade all other sites across Buloke to accept e-waste and will keep residents informed on the development of these upgrades and when they come on line for the collection of e-waste.E-waste Social Media Tile 1

WHAT IS E-WASTE?

If it’s got a plug, battery or cord and is unwanted, it’s e-waste. It could be any of a whole range of items from work, home or even the garden shed. From old phones, computers and household appliances to power tools and toys. 

WHY RECOVER IT?

Electronic waste is growing up to three times faster than general municipal waste. When you consider what is inside e-waste and that it can be recovered and made into something else, it makes no sense to bury electronic objects in the ground once we are finished with them.  

It contains materials that we can recover and reuse.

E-waste contains a whole range of valuable non-renewable materials such as tin, nickel, zinc, aluminium, copper, silver and gold. Although only very small amounts of each of these precious metals go into making any one device, when they are collected in large numbers the amounts can quickly add up. For example, a million mobile phones contain an estimated 15–16 tonnes of copper, 340–350 kilograms of silver and 24–34 kilograms of gold. When you consider there are more than 22 million discarded mobile handsets in Australia and growing, we’re throwing away a lot of precious resources. Furthermore, throwing e-waste into landfill is having real consequences on the availability of core materials used in electronic devices. Without change to the way we dispose of e-waste, it is estimated that lead, silver and zinc will become extremely scarce as soon as 2030.

It contains potentially hazardous materials

Many forms of e-waste contain heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium as well as ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS) and flame retardants. Even in small amounts, these dangerous chemicals can cause environmental contamination. But when you multiply it by the millions of e-waste items being left in landfills, the situation becomes much more serious. 

Find out more about what e-waste is, where to take it, and how you can minimise your e-waste at http://ewaste.vic.gov.au

To REDUCE the use of Natural Resources

The metals, glass and plastics used in making electronic goods are mined from the earth’s naturally produced resources. These resources are limited in the amount that can be extracted. The extraction of these natural resources also disturbs plants and animals residing in these areas. Recycling the metals, glass and plastics in electronic goods also reduces the amount of water and energy that are used in the manufacturing process compared to using virgin produced metals, glass and plastics.

To REDUCE pollution

Monitors and screens contain toxic chemicals including barium, phosphor, lead and hexavalent chromium and other electronic goods also contain various chemicals that are harmful to the environment. These materials pose no threat while they are contained within equipment, but if they are disposed of in landfill they could eventually leach into nearby waterways and the environment and possibly into our own drinking water.

To REDUCE clutter around your home

Some people keep electronic goods in the hope one day they’ll get them repaired or they are unsure where they should be correctly disposed of. The Materials Recovery Facilities in Swan Hill and Wycheproof often receive electronic items in the kerbisde recycling collections. These facilities CANNOT recycle your e-waste and they send it to landfill. If you take advantage of this new program, all of your unwanted electrical waste WILL be recycled instead of being disposed of in our local landfills.

What Happens to the E-Waste?

Electronic goods will be collected from the transfer stations and delivered to PGM Refiners recycling facility in Hallam. The goods will be broken down into various components including plastics, glass, metals, wiring, circuit boards and then sent to various recovery facilities for recycling. Some of these components can be recycled into new products whilst others such as metals can be recycled and reused over and over again.