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Free computer recycling weekend – takes MegaHertz out of disposal costs

By 15 August 2009 27

Luckily I turned up relatively early for the first day of the free computer recycling this weekend. Arriving about 10:00, an hour after the nominated start time, the traffic was already starting to backup on Flemington Road at the Mitchell Resource Management Centre. After about a 30 minute wait I got to the front of the line of cars dropping off their electronic flotsam. I was asked a couple of quick questions and then proceeded to ditch 3 old boxes (including the original RiotACT server – RIP Liberty1); a couple of CRT monitors; an ancient keyboard; and a whole box of old cables, modems, PCI cards, and other PCBs. All of the old hardware was being loaded into shipping containers for recycling at some magical place far, far, away (probably a poor Asian country, with no OHAS legislation).




So for about an hour of my time, it was very worthwhile disposing of old kit which would have cost me about $200 to dispose of on any other weekend. Thanks ACT Govt!




As I left there were even longer lines of cars backed up on Flemington Road. So if you’re planning on going tomorrow for the last day, you should try to get there early.

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27 Responses to Free computer recycling weekend – takes MegaHertz out of disposal costs
#1
heinous9:24 pm, 15 Aug 09

It’s not the ACT Government/Queanbeyan Council you should be thanking, it’s Apple. See http://www.apple.com/au/environment/recycling/program/ Apple uses their environmental credentials to sell their product. Their web site says:

All electronic waste is processed by an Apple approved and authorised recycler in Australia. It is processed according to local, state and federal laws and in an environmentally controlled way to eliminate waste being needlessly dumped into landfill.

Each item is mechanically shredded or dismantled manually. Liberated materials are sorted into various product streams: metals, plastics, glass, cables and packaging. Commodities are weighed and then further processed.

Products are not refurbished, onsold as whole units or donated.

#2
Kramer9:41 pm, 15 Aug 09

Thanks Heinous, I had to go back to look at the flyer again. It has logos for the ACT Govt, Leaders in No Waste, and Queanbeyan City Council, but no Apple logo. Just the one liner: “The e-waste is recycled courtesy of Apple Pty Ltd”, that I skimmed over when reading it. You’d think they would have made more of a song and dance about it? Especially considering a majority of the products would not have an Apple logo…

I guess last time Dell took one for the team, this time it was Apple, so next HP or IBM will pony up for Canberra’s ewaste?

#3
backlash9:52 pm, 15 Aug 09

I would take my monitor there but I can’t carry it down my stairs, to heavy

#4
Felix the Cat10:04 pm, 15 Aug 09

Traffic was pretty chaotic there at Mitchell. There were a few presumably Resource Centre workers out the front with lollipop stop/go signs trying to organise and direct traffic but I think the situation was beyond them. The big guy who I presumed was some kind of supervisor was yelling at his other workers for not doing the job right. It was quite funny to watch (probably not for the workers though, if my boss yelled at me like that I would shove the lollipop sign where the sun doesn’t shine. The cops turned up for a few minutes I guess to see what all the traffic was doing but they only stayed a few minutes and left. Maybe the big guy yelled at them too and they got scared and ran away?!

Good idea though, the computer recycling. I’m surprised at how many people turned up with computer junk to dump at Mitchell – especially considering there were three other areas around Canberra/Qbn that you could leave computer junk as well. I wonder if they were as busy?

#5
Primal10:55 pm, 15 Aug 09

Wow, that’s a crowd… hmm, maybe that old TV isn’t as in-the-way in the spare room as I thought it was…

#6
damo111:26 pm, 15 Aug 09

backlash said :

I would take my monitor there but I can’t carry it down my stairs, to heavy

obviously it wasn’t too heavy to get up the stairs though.

#7
harvyk112:04 am, 16 Aug 09

Mugga Lane was very well organised. I went there twice (our family seems to collect old computers for some reason), and each time we where there for no more than 5 minutes. Everyone working there seemed to be right on the ball, directing people to the right places and getting the computers out of cars and into the containers asap.

It kinda gave me hope for the ability of Canberra to still be able to organise things without them falling apart.

#8
laughtong8:44 am, 16 Aug 09

We took an old radio down to the Tuggeranong Park and Ride. which was another of the collection points. There was a fair queue there at 9:15-9:30 yesterday morning.

#9
trevar10:05 am, 16 Aug 09

Went to Tuggeranong this morning, and there was a decent queue but it did move quite fast.

#10
eh_steve10:06 am, 16 Aug 09

With regard to the poor asian country…

I remember reading this a while back, be sure to go through the slide show. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1870485,00.html

#11
Trunking symbols10:12 am, 16 Aug 09

I was under the impression that “recycling” meant that working items would be “refurbished, onsold as whole units or donated” to use their own words. If I’d known that I wouldn’t have taken in two working towers, a printer/fax/copier that needed minor repairs and an obsolete (but still working) modem.

#12
paperboy1:08 pm, 16 Aug 09

It seems to me Northside residents are being unfairly treated in the exercise.

There are effectively three drop-off points within close range for southside residents (ie Greenway, Mugga Lane and Queanbeyan, but only one site for all of Belconnen, Gungahlin and North Canberra.

No wonder there are queues at Mitchell.

That aside though, it’s an outstanding idea.

All credit to those involved.

#13
arescarti422:03 pm, 16 Aug 09

Trunking symbols said :

I was under the impression that “recycling” meant that working items would be “refurbished, onsold as whole units or donated” to use their own words. If I’d known that I wouldn’t have taken in two working towers, a printer/fax/copier that needed minor repairs and an obsolete (but still working) modem.

Bad luck, better read their FAQS next time eh?

#14
housebound2:53 pm, 16 Aug 09

There was a lot of stuff that looked too good to throw out. Flat screen monitors, new-ish looking printers and even a flat tv. Hude piles of stuff that we’ve all paid good money for, and now we queue up to throw it away. Cheers to our wasteful society.

#15
Hells_Bells744:27 pm, 16 Aug 09

housebound said :

There was a lot of stuff that looked too good to throw out. Flat screen monitors, new-ish looking printers and even a flat tv. Hude piles of stuff that we’ve all paid good money for, and now we queue up to throw it away. Cheers to our wasteful society.

Isn’t always our wasteful fault. I have a flat screen monitor that needs to go in the bin, was an Optima brand so not cheap and lasted about 2 years only. I am back to using my 15in CRT IBM monitor that I got in 2001 (which now my son can’t use) and have been for the last 15 months. As for televisions, printers and other electricals, they may be getting fancier but they don’t always last the distance or the technology even for general use. I’ll only get a new screen if this CRT dies, how is that wasteful? Then I would need to dump my 15in one as well. And so it goes!

I do understand the terrible irony however.

#16
GardeningGirl5:11 pm, 16 Aug 09

Thank you RiotACT, and Che in the earlier thread, for publicising this. It was very timely for us and we wouldn’t have otherwise known.

I agree with housebound’s concern about our wasteful society :-( We included a couple of still functioning items because trying to find out what charities will accept these days, especially if it plugs in, is an uphill battle, and there is no revolve-style facility at the moment. Of course a little more thought before purchase would be a good idea.

#17
GardeningGirl5:15 pm, 16 Aug 09

Good point by Hell_Bells too. We avoid buying cheap and nasty but even then some things just don’t last.

#18
jimmy896:53 pm, 16 Aug 09

I went to the mitchell site today and the setup was working quite well. I arrived, not too many cars, dropped my old monitors and a tv off and was gone within 5 minutes! It was grea to get rid of that stuff that had been cluttering the garage for so long!

#19
Felix the Cat8:27 pm, 16 Aug 09

GardeningGirl said :

I agree with housebound’s concern about our wasteful society :-( We included a couple of still functioning items because trying to find out what charities will accept these days, especially if it plugs in, is an uphill battle, and there is no revolve-style facility at the moment. Of course a little more thought before purchase would be a good idea.

Most charities won’t accept electrical goods.

I thought you could still take saleable (non-computer) stuff to former Aussie Junk @ Mitchell, at least that’s what they were saying on the radio the other day? The shed (and yard) there is probably full now.

#20
bd848:28 pm, 16 Aug 09

trevar said :

Went to Tuggeranong this morning, and there was a decent queue but it did move quite fast.

When I went to the Tuggeranong collection point a bit before 2pm this arvo it was closed with a sign saying “the collection point is full, please visit Mugga Way or Queanbeyan sites”, there was quite a bit of stuff had been dumped next to the containers too and a stream of cars driving by. It was a bit annoying that they didn’t put a bit more thought and organisation into the process, to arrange additional containers or get a truck to load the additional waste and take it to other points.

Though a lovely rainy day, perfect for making a trip to Queanbeyan.. all very quick even in the light rain. It did look like they were almost full there too.

#21
TP 300011:07 pm, 16 Aug 09

bd84 said :

When I went to the Tuggeranong collection point a bit before 2pm this arvo it was closed with a sign saying “the collection point is full, please visit Mugga Way or Queanbeyan sites”,

That was mentioned on the radio on the 11am news

#22
Joshua4:21 am, 17 Aug 09

eh_steve said :

With regard to the poor asian country…

I remember reading this a while back, be sure to go through the slide show. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1870485,00.html

The US Frontline program did a good program on the dumping of Western e-waste into poor countrues recently too:
http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/ghana804/video/video_index.html

#23
R. Slicker9:05 am, 17 Aug 09

Trunking symbols said :

I was under the impression that “recycling” meant that working items would be “refurbished, onsold as whole units or donated” to use their own words. If I’d known that I wouldn’t have taken in two working towers, a printer/fax/copier that needed minor repairs and an obsolete (but still working) modem.

If you want your old working computer gear to be refurbished and onsold take it to Charity Computers at the old Charny High building. They’re not in the phone book but you can find them via Google.

#24
che7:27 pm, 17 Aug 09

Pretty successful day from what I hear.
And they’ve got more to pick up from school disposals on Tuesday.

The ABC says they got 20,000 items of e-waste.

#25
Primal8:35 pm, 17 Aug 09

There was an article in the CT quoting the workers involved saying that this was bigger than any of their events in Sydney or Brisbane. Says a lot about the impact of no bulk waste collection.

#26
bd8410:02 pm, 17 Aug 09

TP 3000 said :

bd84 said :

When I went to the Tuggeranong collection point a bit before 2pm this arvo it was closed with a sign saying “the collection point is full, please visit Mugga Way or Queanbeyan sites”,

That was mentioned on the radio on the 11am news

I apologise for not turning on the radio at 10.59am and listening intently for the news. I did not realise they intended on broadcasting the sites at which they were full on the 11am news..

#27
molongloid1:14 am, 20 Aug 09

Seconding what R. Slicker said, Charity Computers at Charnwood will take all working gear. I’ve had boxes and boxes of stuff go to them. The odd broken computer system too (salvaging the sub-components that work I guess). http://www.charitycomputers.com/

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