Electronic waste (e-waste) recycling
The Victorian Government banned all e-waste from going to landfill from 1 July 2019. This means you can no longer place electronic waste in any kerbside bin.
What is e-waste?
If it has a plug, battery or cord and it’s unwanted, it’s e-waste. It could be any of a whole range of items from work, home or even the garden shed. From old phones, computers and household appliances to power tools and toys.
Why can’t I put e-waste in the bin?
Anything you put in the garbage bin goes to landfill and it makes no sense to bury electronic objects in landfill once we’re finished with them.
E-waste contains useful materials that are easy to recover and reuse - they include tin, nickel, zinc, aluminium, copper, silver and gold.
Many forms of e-waste contain heavy metals and dangerous chemicals like lead, mercury and cadmium as well as ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and flame retardants. Seventy per cent of toxic chemicals found in landfill come from e-waste.
Instead, you can drop off your e-waste at the Stonnington Waste Transfer Station for free, or save it for your next hard waste collection day to be collected for free.
Visit Sustainability Victoria’s dedicated e-waste page or Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You website to find out where you can recycle your e-waste.
Repairing electronic equipment
Repair cafes are free meeting places where people come together to fix and restore things. At repair cafes you can find tools and materials to help you make repairs, not just to electronics, but to clothes, appliances, toys and more. You’ll also find expert volunteers with repair skills in all kinds of fields.
Search for a repair cafe near you.
You could also request the repair manual from the company who made your product. Or, you could find a local business dedicated to repairing technology.
Fixing electronic equipment at home
iFixit is a wiki-based site that teaches people how to fix almost anything. Anyone can create a repair manual for a device, and anyone can also edit the existing set of manuals to improve them.
Donating your electronic equipment
If items are in good working order, you could donate them to:
- your local op shop (although check first to see if they accept the particular items you have)
- someone near you using Freecycle, Ziilch or Facebook Marketplace
- anyone in Australia using Gumtree (you might even be able to sell them).