The Victorian Government has banned all e-waste from going to landfill. You must not put any e-waste in any of your bins.
You must separate all e-waste items for a separate recycling program. For more information and locations for disposing of e-waste, see Recycling your e-waste.
What is e-waste
E-waste refers to electronic waste. If it has a plug, battery, cord or any other power supply and is not working or unwanted, it is e-waste. This includes items from work, home or even the garden shed, from batteries, rice cookers and light globes through to vacuum cleaners, computers, TVs, small and large household appliances, power tools and battery toys.
See more examples of e-waste on the Sustainability Victoria website.
Reusing your e-waste
Before recycling your e-waste, consider donating or selling it first. This is always better than recycling.
The North Balwyn Repair Cafe can help to repair electronic items that are no longer working for free.
For more tips, links and resources to help sell, swap, repair or donate your unwanted working e-waste, see Avoiding waste.
Recycling your e-waste
There are several options for recycling your e-waste:
- Drop off your e-waste (including large items such as fridges, freezers, washing machine) at the Boroondara Recycling and Waste Centre, 648 Riversdale Road, Camberwell.
- Drop off e-waste at another council's e-waste collection point. Visit ewaste.vic.gov.au for more drop off locations.
- If we collect your household bins, you can book a hard waste collection from your home. We will then separate the e-waste items for recycling.
- Ask your retailer if they will take back your old e-waste when you buy a replacement item.
Fees at Boroondara Recycling and Waste Centre
There are no fees for dropping off all small to medium sized e-waste (up to the size of a large microwave). This also includes office and hi-fi items such as TVs, stereos, DVD players, VCR players, computers, printers, scanners and accessories.
Large e-waste items will still be accepted and charged as per the fees and charges schedule.
Gassed whitegoods, such as fridges, freezers and air conditioners will be charged at $20 per item for inspection and degassing.
Why recycle e-waste
E-waste is full of valuable resources that we can reuse, as well as some hazardous materials that are bad for the environment. Rather than putting e-waste in the bin and sending it to landfill, we can remove the bad elements and save the good.
More than 95% of e-waste is recyclable.
Protect the environment
E-waste products can contain hazardous materials such as 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.
And when you multiply it by millions of e-waste items being left in landfills, the situation becomes much more serious.
Help recover and reuse valuable resources
E-waste also contains a whole range of valuable materials, including tin, nickel, zinc, aluminium, copper, silver, gold and plastic. When we throw e-waste in landfill, we lose these precious materials and then need to dig up and extract more of these materials from the earth to create new products, which is very damaging to the environment.
In 2016, 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste was generated worldwide. Only about 20% was recycled and the rest ended up in landfill. Hazardous and precious metals aside, it's not sustainable to bury this huge volume of ‘stuff’ underground.
Before you drop off your old phone or computer for recycling, take a moment to think about all the information it contains, such as personal details and passwords. While the recycling process does destroy data, to protect your privacy it’s important to wipe this information before you recycle your e-waste.
Every phone and computer is different, so check with the item’s manufacturer to ensure you know the best way to securely wipe all data. You are responsible for removing all private data from your device before dropping it off for recycling.
Read Sustainability Victoria's checklist to help you get started.