Australians are among the highest users of new technology in the world and purchase over 2.4 million computers every year. This makes electronic waste or e-waste, including computers and accessories, a growing problem. Computers are ideal for recycling due to their large volumes, high toxicity and good resource recovery potential of non-renewable resources like tin, nickel, zinc and copper.
Under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, every company that makes and/or imports TVs and computers into Australia is required to pay for the end of life recycling of these products. There are five organisations that recycle computers and accessories under the Scheme; TechCollect, Drop Zone, E-Cycle Solutions, Sims Recycling Solutions and Reverse E-Waste.
TechCollect is a not-for-profit e-waste recycling service, representing over 60 of Australia's leading technology importers and manufacturers. TechCollect is committed to setting the standard for responsible e-waste recycling. We are proud to have TechCollect as a supporter of this page.
How to recycle Computers at work
There are some recycling companies that offer national collection services for commercial quantities of computers. To find a commercial computer recycling service for your workplace or business, visit BusinessRecycling.com.au.
About Computers in Australia
Every year Australians purchase millions of computers and related components to replace equipment superseded by faster and more powerful technologies. In 2007/08 an estimated 16.8 million computers and televisions reached the end of their useful life in Australia. In 2027/28, this figure is predicted to reach 44 million.
Why recycle Computers?
- Older style cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors contain high levels of toxic materials that need to be disposed of responsibly.
- When disposed to landfill, the materials and chemical components used to make computer equipment such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic can leach into and harm our environment.
What happens when Computers are recycled?
Computers and accessories that are in working order can often be refurbished with new software and some replacement parts. These repackaged computers are generally made available to low-income communities, individuals and community organisations. Electronic waste that is collected for recycling generally undergoes a manual dismantling process. The individual materials such as printed circuit boards, cabling, glass and plastics are recovered and then processed so that they can be used as raw materials to produce new products.
Australia is currently rolling out a new national recycling scheme for computers. Find out more here.
Product Stewardship Australia (PSA) is a not-for-profit, industry-led organisation that will help recover and recycle electronic and electrical products in an environmentally sound manner.