Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Electronic Waste (E-Waste) is that mountain of old technology and consumables that accumulate in homes and businesses. We’re talking old Computers, Games Consoles, DVD Players, Video Recorders, Mobile Phones, Printers, cables etc.
They may be sat in cupboards, under your desk, or hidden in plain sight but in todays throw-away society can quickly get out of hand. If you are drowning in a sea of Electronic Waste, and need help – Read On.
Disposal of Electronic Waste
When it comes to disposal of electronic waste, people generally fit into three camps:
- Dump it at the roadside during council clean-up, where it will ultimately end up in landfill (not a great choice)
- Stick it in a cupboard – just in case (out of sight, out of mind) OR
- Dump it at the local op shop. Do not do this! It costs charities a huge amount to dispose of your unwanted Electronic Waste and diverts funds from important community initiatives.
So how do you do the right thing? Disposing of old technology (computers, printers, monitors etc.) is not that hard. When it comes to E-Waste, please don’t put it out in Council Clean Up. Either Recycle IT, or Repurpose IT
Option 1: Recycle IT
Electronic Waste such as computers, printers, scanners etc. are ideal candidates for recycling. They contain quantities of hazardous materials (Mercury, Cadmium and Lead), but also recyclable elements such as Steel, Plastic, Copper, Silver, Gold and rare-earth minerals. And with such a high turn-over of devices, due to accidental damage and manufacturer built in obsolescence, recycling is the environmentally responsible thing to do.
Recycle or Upgrade?
If your computer still has some life in it, but is no longer meeting your needs, you don’t have to get rid of it. In many cases you can upgrade it to extend its life. If you need a hand with this, or don’t know where to start we can help with all your Computer Upgrade needs. Often upgrading memory, storage, or Graphics card can give your machine the performance boost it needs to support you for a few more years and keep electronic waste out of landfill.
Planet Ark statistics show that Australians dispose of more than 18 million printer cartridges every year, which amounts to over 5,000 tonnes of waste material, including laser toner cartridges, inkjet cartridges, photocopier toner bottles and drums; which, if you don’t recycle can end up in landfill where they contaminate groundwater and the environment.
In Berowra Heights our local Post Office has a Planet Ark recycling bin for Printer Cartridges/Toners, but you can also check out the Planet Ark page on Recycling Printer Cartridges for alternate recycling points.
If you’ve emptied out your kitchen drawer and found a bucket load of old batteries from: remote controls, game controllers etc. these can also be taken to Battery World or the Community Recycling Centre in Thornleigh.
Option 2: Repurpose IT
Whilst a computer may not meet your current requirements, or the cost of repair or upgrade doesn’t make sense, computers can usually be re-purposed for people who may have more basic needs.
Repurpose/Recycle with Excalibur IT
When we install a new computer for a customer, if their old machine is still serviceable we may offer to re-purpose it. This is a FREE service, at our discretion (based on condition of the machine, and re-purpose potential). It helps keep your old computer out of landfill. And provides a cheap alternative for someone with more conservative computing needs.
People typically think about recycling a computer when it fails or no longer meets their needs. Either way it is important to ensure Safe Disposal to prevent confidential data ending up in the wrong hands.
Gone but not forgotten
When you delete files on your computer, they are not really deleted.
The Operating System uses smoke & mirrors to hide those “deleted” files from you until they are ultimately over-written – which can take time.
Anyone with a bit of know-how, and the right software tools, can usually recover deleted files/remnants.
Safe Disposal of Old Computers
When you want to recycle or dispose of an old computer it’s important to take steps to protect your personal information and confidential data by either removing and: storing, destroying the hard drive, or performing a military grade wipe.
Other Recycling Resources
If you’re serious about recycling then:
We have heard some good things about Arnies Recon who aim to recycle E-Waste, Appliances, and Cables – and they collect from the Sydney Metro area.
Planet Ark also offers a one stop shop, in the form of their website Recycling Near You where you can find the various recycling options in your neighbourhood.
Finally, if you’re in the Hornsby shire, the Community Recycling Centre in Thornleigh also takes Televisions, Computers (laptops, desktops, notebooks etc.), Monitors, Scanners, Printers (including multi-function devices), Keyboards and mouse, Hard drives/floppy, drives/compact disk drives, Joystick and gamepads, Web cameras, DVD and VCR players, Set top boxes, DVDs and CDs.
Excalibur IT Solutions is in no way affiliated with Arnies Recon, Planet Ark, Battery World or Hornsby Council. We accept no responsibility for accidents/injury/loss of life caused by your efforts to dispose of your old equipment.
Hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought when thinking about disposing of your e-Waste. As inhabitants of planet earth we feel it is important that we all take steps to dispose of E-Waste responsibly.
If you take nothing else away from this:
- protect your data before recycling a device
- use available Recycling Resources near you, to keep your E-Waste out of Landfill.
If you found this article useful, please don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE buttons below