As of 1 January 2013, Wingecarribee Shire Council will be accepting computers and televisions free of charge at its Resource Recovery Centre (RRC).
The free drop off is part of the new National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, a key initiative under Australia’s National Waste Policy.
Under the proposal, residents will be able to drop off a range of electronic goods for free which will then be recycled.
“It’s estimated that in 2011 almost 29 million televisions and computers were disposed of across Australia,” said Council’s Resource Recovery Site Supervisor, Andrew Leslie. “Unfortunately, many of these units ended up as landfill.”
As part of the initiative residents can now recycle computers, laptops, notebooks, PDA’s, tablets, computer peripherals including adaptors, cables, parts and accessories, printers and all types of unbroken televisions, monitors, projectors and flat panel screens free of charge.
Council is hopeful that by joining this national scheme it can help lift the national electronic waste, or E-Waste, recycling rate.
“We saw a real demand for this type of recycling when we trialed a similar limited drop-off earlier this year,” Mr Leslie said.
“At present the recycling rate for these types of electronic goods is just 17 per cent but we’re hoping to lift this rate to 30 per cent by June 2013 and bump it up to 80 per cent within ten years time.”
Whilst Wingecarribee Shire Council had previously accepted these types of electronic equipment, the goods were stock-piled before being sent to an off-site facility for processing.
“Until now, to responsibly deal with this waste was very costly,” Mr Leslie said. “But now we’re able to collect the units in conjunction with a network of other waste facilities and together, we can save a significant amount in transport costs.”
“In addition to saving costs, we’re removing the hazardous materials some of these pieces of equipment contain and subsequently helping to reduce the amount of E-Waste which is ending up as landfill,” he said.
Items that cannot be accepted under the scheme and therefore incur a disposal charge include DVD Players, VCR’s, Set Top Boxes, whitegoods, microwaves and assorted kitchen appliances.
For more information visit: www.environment.gov.au/settlements/waste/ewaste/index.html.
The Resource Recovery Centre is located on Berrima Road, Moss Vale.