Electrical appliances should never be put in your recycling bin at home. Some recycling companies accept electrical products for recycling. In some parts of Australia, councils have drop-off points for certain kinds of electrical appliances. Call the recycler or the council in advance to check if they will accept the product you want to recycle.
The information on this page refers to small electrical appliances such as DVD players, e-readers, facsimile (fax) machines, landline telephones, alarm clocks, cameras, radios, kettles, toasters, and other small kitchen appliances.
For large electrical appliances such as microwaves, fridges, washing machines, and dryers, find a white goods recycling service near you.
For electronics, there are recycling services and schemes for TVs and computers, mobile phones, printer cartridges, and batteries.
How to recycle electrical appliances at work
There are some recycling companies that offer national collection services for commercial quantities of electrical appliances. Visit Business Recycling to find a commercial electrical appliance recycling service for your workplace or business.
How to recycle or reuse electrical appliances
At this stage, Australia does not have a national recycling scheme for all types of electrical appliances. However, there are a number of recycling companies that offer e-waste recycling services, as well as organisations that recycle, refurbish, or reuse electrical appliances and accessories. Use the directory on this page to find options in your area.
Some companies operate take-back schemes for their electrical products. The costs of these systems are generally built into the price of the product and provide a convenient avenue for electrical appliance recycling. Check with the manufacturer of your product.
Storage King has an e-waste box which can be purchased for a small price.
Repairing broken electrical appliances has a better environmental outcome than recycling them or throwing them away, as it keeps the materials used to make the product in use at their highest value for as long as possible. There are some companies that offer repair services for electrical appliances, but if you would like to try repairing the product yourself, iFixit offers free repair guides for thousands of electrical and electronic devices.
Fixable is an Australian social enterprise that aims to help people repair products and promote the benefits of repair. The online community offers free advice, discussion groups, skill sharing, and a platform to find repair technicians or trade parts.
Why should I recycle my electrical appliance?
When electrical appliances are thrown away, they become electronic waste or e-waste, which is the fastest growing type of waste in Australia.
Electrical appliances are made up of a broad range of materials including precious metals (such as gold and platinum), toxic heavy metals, metal circuitry, mixed plastics, fire retardants, and glass. When the appliance is recycled, these valuable materials stay in use, which means fewer new or ‘virgin’ materials need to be mined from the ground. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions and prevents valuable materials from going to waste in landfill.
It also protects our environment from hazardous substances that are sometimes found in electrical appliances that must be disposed of responsibly. Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic, as well as flame-retardants, can cause environmental contamination and damage if they leach into the soil in landfills and into water systems.
The Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, and Victoria have banned electronic products from landfill. If you cannot find a recycler in your area through the directory, contact your local council to find out how to dispose of your electrial products.
What happens to my electrical appliance when I recycle it?
In many kinds of electrical products, up to 95% of materials can be recovered for reuse and recycling. When they are recycled, electrical appliances are dismantled and the different components are sorted. Many of the materials including glass, copper, plastics, metals, and precious metals are recovered for further processing so they can be used to make new products.
Recycling options for other electrical products
Electrical appliances are often split into three categories: small appliances, large appliances, and electronics. There will be different recycling services available depending on the type of appliance.
- This includes electric kettles, toasters, hair driers, straighteners and curlers, blenders, radios, cameras, DVD players, fax machines, e-readers, and alarm clocks.
- Use the information on this page to find a recycler in your area.
- This includes white goods such as fridges, freezers, microwaves, ovens, washing machines, and dryers.
- Find a white goods recycler in your area.