Technology disposal

I would love to see local councils including technology waste in their footpath pickup, or making disposal points easier to get to. The process of disposing of the considerable amount of technology waste is unnecessarily difficult. It is an important issue. So many of the materials inside of computers and printers are precious. The mining of them often displaces habitats of endangered creatures. People generally won’t do what isn’t easy. surely with so much waste about, there is a case to make collection easier.


Yep I have a pile of obsolete tech items that I would like to see recycled rather than landfill.

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Its as if some council areas make it as hard as possible to recycle things decently. I live in one of those areas, where we have a reluctant hard rubbish collection once a year, so since I don’t drive any more my recyclables get broken up and disposed of in the general rubbish.

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Do you have a Kings Storage depot near you? They have free ewaste recycling boxes that you can pick up and return for free.Dimensions approx 410mm x 290 x 430mm. From the side of the box:
notebooks, printers, fax machines, scanners, desktop sized printers, CD drives, hard drives, VCR players, projectors, overhead projectors, network equipment, cables, keyboards, mice, floppy disks, printer cartridges, electronic games/toys, DVD players, stereos, cameras, video cameras, ipods, mobile phones, their chargers, batteries and accessories.

Not sure what you can recycle? or call 1800 489 278.

This covers most items besides TVs and monitors.

For OHS reasons don’t load any box up more than approx 15Kg. Hope this helps.


On a similar note, I wish that the curbside collection days were more sustainable in that the discarded objects were collected by separate trucks according to material type. I understand that this is going to cost more money, but Brisbane landfill sites are due to close in the next fifteen years because of over-capacity. It sounds like smarter waste disposal is less of a luxury and more of a necessity.


We used to have tech disposal as part of our gargbage pick up but now as some of the other users have pointed out you need to take it to a King Storage location. You Council should have a list of locations on their website. On trap is the that these locations will not take CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors (The big old monitors). You will need to contact your council for what to do with these. As some councils will take them with the rubbish others with hard rubbish collection.

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Here’s a thought why are tech manufacturers not making their product from recyclable materials or at least a percentage of it through legislation.
Why are manufacturers not made responsible for taking their old products and disposing of them in a sustainable way as they made them. Why is it always the consumer pays?


that is very helpful. Thank you. Since I do have a Kings Storage near me, that deals with my problem. However, I would still like to see it included in the council waste pickup because not everyone has a facility near them and if we want to get people recycling, we need to make it as easy as possible. While some of us will go to endless trouble and have the stuff building up around our ears till we find somewhere responsible for it to go, others take the easier solution - landfill.

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AND why is there deliberate built in obsolescence in the products we buy? So that they can only be replaced and not repaired? This is my other hobby horse. The trend (although trend is hardly sufficient a word) to make things with some parts very fragile so that they will inevitably fail and make the entire product irreparable. This has come along with a society getting richer and wanting more and more things, while paying less and less for them.

I for one, would much rather pay more for things that will last and can be repaired. Also for things without plastic in them.

If manufacturers were made to be more responsible - maybe they would make their products more durable? Perhaps send their investment into the services to mend rather than manufacture more of the same.


Officeworks have been accepting “used” technology back at their stores. Check first to see if your chosen shop is amenable.

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Our local council - Cessnock City Council has containers at our waste disposal facility for ratepayers to drop off electronic devices.

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@carolyn.sprigg and @kimwils, why are they getting away with it?

They are getting away with it because people don’t stand up for themselves. If people start telling their local representatives that they aren’t happy with these processes, the representative has to do something about it.

Also, even though people aren’t happy with the situation, many still invest in the situation by buying the product anyway. Partly because they don’t really care enough to act on it themselves and shop around for a better product; and partly because they don’t want to or can’t spend more money than the cheap, poor-quality product.

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In Germany the supplier / manufacturer has to take the equipment / car etc. back at the end of the life time. During the lifetime of the product the supplier / manufacturer has to take back any parts / consumables from the product.
In my last job we used big mailing / printing machinery from all over the world. The equipment from Germany was unique because toner waste, photo conductor drums etc. were returned to the supplier in Australia who returned the units to Germany.
As a result of this policy / law in Germany, the machines were fully recyclable.
We should introduce those laws in Australia and it would address all the end of life issues.


My local council, Hurstville, has an electronic waste disposal site.

yep, Germany is way ahead in this regard. Hopefully we will catch up one day.

It is obviously different in the local council:. North Sydney council has twice a year a technology waste collection (this seems to be rather rare…)

Product stewardship schemes are where producers and users of goods and services have a shared responsibility with government to manage the environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of the goods and services, including the ultimate disposal of any wastes.
In Australia we have the Commonwealth Product Stewardship Act 2011, and the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme was the first scheme under the Act. Visit the website for more information and to find your local drop off point.
Poor old councils get the blame for everything when many things are outside of their control. Plus if councils provide expensive collections then we as householders pay for them. Economies of scale and secure markets for recovered materials are needed to make recycling possible. We need more pressure on the producers to incorporate take-back schemes into the life cycle of their products (that also addresses using recycled content in their production, low impacts and durability).


Hurstville Council and Kogarah Council are now Georges River Council. The e-waste facility was originally shared between the two former councils.

I regularly use the site which is well-organised and run, but would like to see it open more frequently.

I raised this with a German colleague, and he pointed out that one reason why German is so far ahead is because they started this process about 30 years ago. These extended producer responsibility regulations (which is one of the terms by which this policy/law is known as in the EU) didn’t come about quickly.

I think the post from kazzcoss highlights that EPR has gradually been introduced in Australia, but we do have a long way to go. Most of the responsibility is placed on consumers and councils, instead of producers as kazzcoss points out. And the whole point of ERP is that it should be legislated to be the producers’ responsibility and not the consumer or council.

In my case, for instance, the primary drop-off points are council depots with unworkable opening hours for a full-time worker. But I agree that it really should not be the councils (or consumers) paying for this and providing the services.

Often the solutions are producers organising methods with organisations with lots of sites open and convenient hours, such as supermarkets, fuel stations, etc. Supermarkets are at least now accepting various types of plastic bags. Although having said that, I have a pile of bags of bags ready to take to supermarkets which have been sitting in my garage for a year! Curbside pick-ups would be the ultimate, but not if councils / rate payers end up paying for what producers should be paying for. (Of course, we pay for it in the long run, in terms of increase costs of the goods we buy. But at least then the people who are buying the products are paying for the collection scheme.)

According to a fundamental law of economics, though, if the producer is forced to pay the cost (and not externalise the cost), the consumer will only pay for a percentage of the cost. This comes from studying a simplified supply/demand graph. I am no economist, however, so if I am mistaken, we still pay for it no matter what. Be it through our own disposal costs, taxes for the government to take responsibility, or increased buying prices for the producer to take responsibility. Either way, we will be financially responsible.

If money is not the issue, why not set up procedures for responsible manufacturing and responsible end-of-life for products? I’m glad Australia is showing signs of improving, but I fear Australia will move quite slowly like it does with many other commitments.