Sydney gets rid of 14 tonnes of e-waste

The City of Sydney said Sydneysiders were doing their bit in the war against climate change by recycling 14 tonnes of old TVs and computers – plus some more unusual items – in six hours at the City of Sydney's e-waste collection.
Even though electronic waste was growing three times faster than any other type of waste, the City was one of only a small number of councils to provide a free e-waste collection service.
This diverts unwanted electronic goods from landfill where harmful chemicals leach into the soil and carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere.
Since November 2008, the City has received about 3400 electronic waste drop-offs – equating to more than 115 tones – 95 per cent of which have been recycled.
During the collection over the weekend, about 400 households dropped off their old and unwanted electronic items – ranging from an electronic Japanese toilet seat, an original 1970s Polaroid camera and some hair clippers to hundreds of old TVs, computers and mobile phones.
City of Sydney Acting CEO Garry Harding said Australians generate over 140,000 tonnes of e-waste every year and most of this ends up in landfill, leaching toxic chemicals into our soils and waterways.
“We provide residents with a safe and sustainable way to recycle their old TVs and computers," he said.
Televisions and computers contain toxic chemicals including lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.
In 2008, 17 million televisions, computers and computer products were discarded but only ten per cent of these were recycled.
The problem of electronic waste has been exacerbated over the past few years by the arrival of digital, HD and 3D televisions and the phasing out of the old analogue transmission signal across Australia over the next two years.
According to the Federal Government, electronic waste is growing three times faster than any other type of waste.
Without a national recycling program this waste will treble in the next decade to nearly 700 million items annually.
The next e-waste collection at the City's Bay Street Depot will be held on 11 September.
Items that will be accepted include: televisions, computer desktops, monitors, laptops, joysticks and printers, photocopiers, fax machines, scanners, DVD players, video recorders, electronic games, CDs, DVDs, tapes, cameras, mobile phones and household batteries.

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