Record haul of electronic waste headed for recycling

The City of Sydney is ending the year on a high note for public participation in collections of electronic waste and the tonnages donated for recycling.
A record number of residents took part in the City of Sydney's last electronic waste collection for the year, with over 20 tonnes of old televisions, computers, mobile phones and electronic devices handed in.
A total of 550 residents dropped off items at the City's Ultimo depot – an increase of 43 per cent compared with last year's December collection.
Throughout 2011, the number of participants and the amount of electronic waste has steadily increased during each quarterly collection with a grand total of 1,853 individual drop-offs and more than 65 tonnes of e-waste set aside for recycling.
City of Sydney Resource Recovery Manager Leisha Deguara said the mass of e-waste turned in is a tribute to Sydney residents wanting to do the right thing.
"By bringing in these electronic products for recycling, Sydneysiders are preventing large amounts of toxic chemicals, including lead and mercury, from leaching out of our rubbish tips and into waterways,” she said.
"These record figures also reinforce the need for the speeding up of a national recycling scheme for broken and discarded televisions and computers."
Since the City's e-waste recycling program began in November 2008, more than 156 tonnes of potentially toxic waste has been diverted from landfill, with 95 to 99 per cent of the raw materials recovered and recycled.
According to the Federal Government, e-waste is growing three times faster than any other type of waste and could treble to nearly 700 million items in the next decade.
In 2008, 17 million televisions, computers and computer products were discarded across Australia, but only 10 per cent were recycled.
The national scheme for recycling televisions and computers will be implemented in the first half of next year, funded by the manufacturers and importers of televisions and computers.

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