Electronic waste or e-waste, which includes televisions, is a growing problem in Australia. Recycling televisions recovers valuable metals, plastics and glass, and prevents potentially dangerous materials entering the environment.
Australia now has a free national recycling scheme for televisions (and computers). 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.
The largest organisation approved under the national scheme is TechCollect; 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.
As well as TechCollect, there are other organisations and programs that recycle, refurbish and reuse televisions in Australia. You can find them by searching on this page.
How to recycle Televisions at work
There are some recycling companies that offer national collection services for commercial quantities of televisions. To find a commercial television recycling service for your workplace or business, visit BusinessRecycling.com.au.
About Televisions in Australia
Every year Australians purchase millions of televisions and related components to replace equipment superseded by faster and more powerful technologies. In 2007/08 an estimated 16.8 million televisions and computers reached the end of their useful life in Australia. In 2027/28, this figure is predicted to reach 44 million.
Why recycle Televisions?
Televisions containing cathode ray tubes are one of the leading causes of lead contamination in municipal waste streams. These tubes can contain up to 4 kg of lead and other toxic materials such as mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Lead is a cumulative poison that can contaminate groundwater and have harmful effects on human and animal health. By recycling televisions, waste is diverted from landfill and resources such as metals, precious metals, plastics and glass are recovered.
What happens when Televisions are recycled?
Some television components may still be useable, enabling certain parts to be directed into a reuse stream. To be recycled, televisions must be broken down into their many different components.
- Cathode ray tube (CRT) glass contains a high concentration of lead. This means it can't go back into the normal glass recovery process like glass bottles. CRT glass is typically crushed and cleaned. One of the major reuses for CRT glass is in manufacturing new television and computer monitors.
- Circuit boards are shredded down to a fine powder and separated into plastics and precious metals. This material can be reformed into a range of products.
- Plastic casings are shredded and tested for their composition. Once identified, the plastics can be melted and extruded for use in new products.
- Scrap metals are typically melted down to form new metal-based components.
Australia is currently rolling out a new national recycling scheme for televisions. 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.