Managing your household waste

A staggering 24 million tonnes of waste material goes into Australian landfill each year. You can help reduce that figure.
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Ways to cut down on your e-waste

  1. Check out Mobile Muster to find your nearest drop-off point for recycling mobile phones, chargers and batteries.
  2. Recycle printer cartridges via Planet Ark drop-off bins. Go to Planet Ark to find your nearest location.
  3. Ask manufacturers if they have a recycling scheme. If you’re buying a new product, ask if they have a take-back policy.
  4. If your old electronic equipment is still working, consider donating it or putting it up for collection on an online free classifieds site such as Freecycle.

Recycling e-waste

As we accumulate more electronic gadgets in our lives, the problem of electronic waste is exacerbated. According to current estimates, less than one precent of e-waste is recycled. Australia is one of the top 10 global consumers of electronic technology, and so is a massive contributor to the burgeoning global e-waste problem.

For those keen to reduce the amount of household e-waste going into landfill: many local councils are provide e-waste collection drop off days. These services are particularly pertinent for people wanting to dispose of old TVs effectively. See your local council’s website, or give them a call, to find out more about your local e-waste collection days. See our report on computer e-waste to read about responsible disposal. 

Most Australia Post offices have mobile phone collection bins, as part of the Mobile Muster initiative. Since it began in December 2009 the muster has rounded up more than 667 tonnes of mobile handsets, batteries and accessories. That’s more than 4.48 million phones and batteries saved from landfill. If your local post office doesn't have a bin, vsit the Mobile Muster website to find a drop off point near you.

CHOICE verdict

While some waste and packaging can be managed by consumers, CHOICE believes government at all levels needs to take more leadership in this area. Pilot programs for food recycling, for example, should be far more widespread. It’s unfair (and unsightly) to expect consumers to have half a dozen different bins outside their house. We’d like to see an improvement in the processing plants and how they sort, separate and recover materials. We think this approach is a better way to manage and capture recycled waste, and makes life much easier for householders.

We believe the current slow pace of regulation still works in the manufacturers’ favour. Ultimately, this continues to put the burden of responsible recycling and waste management onto local councils and householders.


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