Got an old telly, computer monitor or mobile phone that’s cluttering up the place? You want to get rid of it but don’t know how to dispose of it safely?
Due to the increasing recyclability of electronic products, Byron shire residents can take advantage of a free ‘e-waste’ recycling service recently introduced at the Myocum resource recovery facility
Byron Shire Council’s environmental programs officer Lloyd Isaacson says the council recycles ‘about 10 tonnes of e-waste each month and, in the past, the only solution for these products was to put them into landfill’.
Thanks to Council’s teaming up with north coast-based recycling company Matthews Metal Management (MMM), Byron Shire residents can take advantage of the new free e-waste recycling service recently introduced at its resource recovery facility (formerly Myocum tip).
Some locals had known about a free drop off for e-waste at Myocum for around three years, however council were still paying to have that waste removed from site.
Now it has become economically viable for MMM to pick up the waste from the tip without any cost to council.
‘Free recycling of electronic goods had not been financially viable in the past;’ Mr Isaacson told Echonetdaily, ‘however, with the new recycling services available to us, Byron residents can now take advantage of this free e-waste recycling program.’
The Product Stewardship Act of 2011 is federal legislation aimed at putting the responsibility of recycling back onto original equipment manufacturers, so products are already being designed with an increasing focus on recyclable value.
Think before you shop
Nevertheless Byron Shire Council’s sustainability officer, Kim Mallee, urges residents to stop and think before replacing working electronics.
‘Too often we want the latest gadget or appliance, when the old one works just fine. It may not work as fast, or look as good, but it still does the job. The less we consume, the fewer impacts on our environment,’ Council’s sustainability officer, Ms Mallee, said.
Most e-waste items could cause environmental damage or pollution if placed in landfill.
Televisions, computer monitors and other devices containing cathode ray tubes for example, carry the possible risk of leaching lead, barium and other heavy metals into groundwater and the release of toxic phosphor when dumped in landfill or other areas.
‘Recycling e-waste not only reduces the volume of recyclable material sent to landfill, it also removes the potential for hazardous material to end up in the landfill, which requires resource intensive environmental engineering and management techniques to contain and treat,’ Lloyd Isaacson said.
Mr Isaacson also mentioned that Council have installed video surveillance onsite and that some as-yet-unidentified people on dirt bikes or off-road vehicles were recently recorded raiding the e-waste for components such as hard drives.
Echonetdaily reminds readers to be careful to erase sensitive data on hard drives to help protect against unwarranted access by third parties, and help prevent the possibility of identity fraud or other forms of cyber-crime.