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Beyond the expected

Recycling “e-waste”?

By junkett 1 August 2009 28

Yes, I balk at the cost of getting rid of computer equipment in this town – I don’t mind admitting that at all.

But I am also a bit perplexed why it is proving difficult to find someone who will take my old tower and monitor gratis, with the expectation they can get the profits.

I was lead to believe there were all sorts of “goodies” inside our outdated IT bits and pieces that may be a bit of an earner?

I’ve been able to donate a couple of old mobiles via the ABC (for the Spastic Centre I think) in the past so wouldn’t there be merit in a similar scheme for ‘puters? The links I’ve found in “google” are either profit organisations (who charge about the same as the tip), or outdated.

If you’ve found a non-profit group who can help out with this issue, I’d be pleased to hear of it.


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28 Responses to
Recycling “e-waste”?
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the scrap man 4:04 pm 06 Jul 10

There is an answer for the future of recycling e waste. the answer lies in a scheme south australia has in place for beverage containers. when a drink is purchased in s.a an additional recycling fee is added at point of sale. A fee including the costs associated with seperating and safely disposing of hazardous materials must be added to all electronic goods at time of purchase . a fee that is only redeemable by recycling the equipment at the end of its time. the lazy ppl or more affluent would not care if they redeem the refund. the less fortunate would beat down their door to do the leg work for them. it would become an all around win win win. a $0.10 refund on beverage containers sees ppl rummaging through bins to collect on the refund not redeemed by the innitial purchaser. human mind set is that we see that the container is worth ten cents to recycle not that we pay an extra ten cents when purchasing. once added to the cost of electronic goods we will only see the refund. this is everyones responsibility but unfortunately responsibilities are often shirked when void of a monetary benefit for performing them. the manufacturer must bare responsibility , the purchaser must bare responsibility and the governments of all countries must wear their share of responsibility too. unless there is a refund i can never see this happening. no one wants to pay for something once it has no use but when we want something we will pay at the beginning to have it, most of us without question.

junkett 4:28 pm 03 Aug 09

Charity Computers have been kind enough to respond, $15 for CRT monitor only, no charge on the tower. Hopefully they can put it to good us when I drop it out.
Thanks for the discussion.

canberran 2:41 pm 03 Aug 09

I’m surprised you’re all quick to be environmentally irresponsible. A quick google confirms there are many toxic materials in computers:

“A typical computer monitor contains lead, barium and hexavalent chromium. Other toxic ingredients include cadmium in chip resistors and semiconductors, beryllium on motherboards and connectors, and brominated flame retardants in plastic casings. 70% of lead, cadmium and mercury in landfill comes from electronic waste.”

Yes, I agree governments should provide a free disposal service, they should also pass on costs to manufacturers to cover end of life disposal of their items.

Go ahead and smash up your computers – and I hope in the process you open the PSU and are hit by the lethal charge it can retain. Hahaha.

Reuse is preferrable to recycling, or disposal, just put it on ebay for 99c and free pickup.

ChrisinTurner 9:27 pm 02 Aug 09
Kramer 8:22 pm 02 Aug 09

If the govt were really serious about saving the environment, then they would have free disposal for old computers. What’s the incentive for Joe the plumber to drive all the way out to Gungahlin and paying for the privilege, versus cramming the old computer into the wheelie bin for free?

Someone (Dell?) had better have a free disposal day soon, as I’ve got a few old PCs and monitors looking for a new home – either recycling or landfill.

s-s-a 7:33 pm 02 Aug 09

Lioncom at Fyshwick had a free drop-off weekend in June last year for all things computer and no longer wanted. Have no idea whether they have/are planning to do it again.

If you buy a Dell system they will recycle your old computer. Also if you have ANY Dell computer products they will recycle them (even if you’re not buying anything).

GardeningGirl 2:34 pm 02 Aug 09

dvaey said :

Youd think if this stuff is nasty enough and bad for the environment, the ACT government should be encouraging us to dispose of the items properly (such as oil, etc), rather than charging per-item amounts to dispose of properly at the tip. If youve gotta pay $5 to get rid of a CRT and youve got half a dozen monitors around, what incentive is there to not toss them in regular/free garbage?

Yes, you’d think . . .

dvaey said :

This thinking seems stupid to me, if you want to encourage people to dump useless stuff away from the tip, then by all means continue charging the high tip fees. We’re not just talking $5 for a trailer load of bits here, we’re talking individual charges per computer case and per monitor.

UseFUL stuff too. Every time you buy some new electronics it comes in polystyrene which apparently is perfectly recyclable, and some would no doubt be reusable too. BUT you have to pay to have it recycled and you have to make special arrangements to take it somewhere because it can’t go in the recycling bin. So some people probably dump it and some go through the tedious effort of adding little bits to the garbage every week. Seems there could be a big depot somewhere where you could drop it off FOR FREE and people who need it for moving house or kids craft projects or whatever could help themselves, and every so often the excess could be taken to the recycling plant.

As for the old computers, you’d think even the really old ones might be useful for kids to learn the basics on in schools in the developing world. I know there’s shipping involved but no-one seems to worry about that aspect of it when it comes to shipping things HERE.

Whatever happened to that NoWaste plan. A few years ago I rang the relevant department (it might even have been to ask about what to do with my polystyrene) and the lad I spoke to suggested maybe it was a federal program as he had never heard of it. Nice job there by the government getting everybody onboard with this if their own staff haven’t heard of it. And now with the demise of Aussie Junk we’re really going backwards. A good time to invest in a garbage skip business I think.

el 1:18 pm 02 Aug 09

Feathergirl said :

If some kid won’t take it and drop ot off an underpass for you – and you can’t fit it into your home bins, those CRT screens are huge – see if your work IT section are wonderful enough to take the lot and put in their junk pile for next time they have a big chuck out. Otherwise make friendly with facilities staff and sneak into works skip.

Your work IT section likely already has enough trouble disposing of old sh!t like this, without taking on more equipment to get rid of and confusing the issue with loads of equipment for disposal which doesn’t have an asset sticker… The first option (some kid dropping off an underpass) is probably the most likely if it’s left on the side of the road somewhere.

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