Tackling the growth of e-waste in 2015

| January 8, 2015

Almost every week there’s the launch of a new desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, but what about the e-waste this generates? Carmel Dollisson from TechCollect is passionate about educating Australians about the importance of recycling responsibly.

Starting off 2015, I am still amazed at the rapid growth of technology consumerism in the last two decades. The digital age is accelerating at a rate which, not so long ago, would have been completely unimaginable.

Seemingly with each new week comes the launch of a new desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone – always faster, more compact, intelligent and more on-trend than the last. We are fortunate to live in an age where technology is so innovative and accessible and helps in so many aspects of our daily lives.

It’s often an afterthought but can you imagine the amount of old gadgets Australia has disposed of in the last two decades? Did you know that by 2017, the global amount of electronic waste (e-waste) produced is predicted to reach 65.4 million tonnes, which is almost 20 per cent of the weight of the entire population on earth – or about 1,200 Sydney Harbour Bridges!

Recent forecasts also predict that the weight of televisions and computers reaching their end of life in Australia is projected to grow to 181,000 tonnes by 2027-28. These numbers are extremely disconcerting, especially considering the high level of renewable resources that are lost when a product is not properly recycled and potentially toxic materials end up in landfill. As consumers we’re increasingly focused on being more eco-friendly and making informed and environmentally responsible decisions when shopping. But when it comes to e-waste – why are some of us so quick to turn a blind eye? These statistics are alarming but a good warning sign for Australian consumers and businesses to take notice and start acting responsibly.

Recycling also plays a big role in Australia’s future industrial and environmental development. The recycling of e-waste is a critical component of our transition towards reducing Australia’s reliance on non-renewable materials.

At TechCollect – a free national recycling service for computers, computer accessories and televisions – we are working to drive awareness around the growing industry of e-waste, we are passionate about educating Australians about the importance of recycling responsibly, and we are working closely with communities across Australia to help reduce our impact on the environment as citizens.

Our love of technology should not come at any cost and as consumers, we must start to take greater responsibility for our consumption of devices. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a long way to go, and there are many simple steps we can take that will help make a big difference to our community.

In tackling this issue, there is a joint responsibility for all of us: governments, the technology industry and end users – both consumer and corporates.

Visit www.techcollect.com.au to find out how you can help – you’ll find free drop-off points listed around the country.