Leading the way in e-waste recycling

Leading the way in e-waste recycling

The City of Sydney has delivered a trailblazing e-waste program to apartment blocks, with special recycling bins in six large apartment buildings serving 1,500 apartments as part of an ongoing trial.

Residents in the six apartment blocks provided with dedicated e-waste recycling units last year responded enthusiastically, with round two tonnes of e-waste, batteries and light bulbs collected in the first four weeks of operation. Over 16 tonnes, the weight of nearly seven cars, has been collected in the 15 months since the trial started.

Since the City’s e-waste recycling program began in 2008 there has been a 53 per cent increase in the number of residents using the service that has helped keep hazardous waste out of landfill.

“Our apartment recycling stations provide a simple solution for residents to get rid of waste without even leaving home,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“Our e-waste initiatives are making it easier for the community to responsibly dispose of unwanted and potentially hazardous waste.

“The City’s leadership in dealing with e-waste and the community’s sustained support has seen an overall 350 tonnes of electronic waste diverted from landfill through community collection days since the program began.

“These stations have recycled over 1,500 kilograms of batteries, 400 kilos of pre-loved mobile phones and 250 kilos of light bulbs since the trial began 18 months ago, resulting in over 90,000 items being kept out of landfill.”

The City of Sydney has diverted almost 70 per cent – or about 20,000 tonnes – of its household waste from landfill each year, exceeding state-wide targets.

At the City’s most recent e-waste collection day there were 541 drop-offs were with TVs, computers and monitors among the most popular items brought in for recycling. Around 15 tonnes of computers, computer products and other types of e-waste were collected.

As well as operating quarterly e-waste events, the City’s range of new programs are making it even easier for residents to dispose of unwanted e-waste – including  the introduction of battery, bulb and mobile phone recycling stations to community centres and libraries.

Each City resident produces about 335 kilograms of household waste on average each year. This is collected and taken directly to an advanced waste treatment facility where any remaining recyclables are recovered and organic materials are processed to produce low-grade compost.

As part of this waste removal and recycling process, a further 20,000 tonnes of rubbish is diverted annually from landfill. This saves about 24,000 tonnes of carbon emissions due to harmful methane gases from entering the atmosphere, or, the equivalent produced by 5,000 cars each year.

“It’s very special  that people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of keeping e-waste out of landfill and that our events and programs are becoming more and more popular all the time,” the Lord Mayor added.

“Computer screens and TVs contain toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and arsenic, which can leach out from landfills and into waterways.”

For more information, visit cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/waste-and-recycling

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Claire Thompson. Phone 02 9265 9582 or email cthompson1@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Ben Pearson Phone 0424 575 111 or email bpearson@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au