Now you have done your research on Save Energy Save Money and decided on a new appliance for your home that will minimise your energy consumption, what are you going to do with your old appliance or E- Waste?
According to the Environment, Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC), Australians discarded 16.8 million electronic devices in 2007/8. Only 9 per cent was recycled while 88 per cent, or 14.7 million, was sent to landfill. The remainder was exported.
This is sad: but this is worse:
We are going to delve into the options and give you some choices that allows you to make informed decisions when discarding your E-Waste. Our aim here at Save Energy Save Money is to contribute to a more sustainable future in Australia and one of the big starting points for this is to reduce land fill.
In metro area’s the majority of appliances you see discarded at the side of the road will end up in landfill. Some city councils have refused to pick up E–Waste from the side of the road to try and force government to implement a better plan to reduce E-Waste in Australia.
Lets explore some of your options:
Option 1 - Reduce
Think about why you are looking to replace your electrical appliance. If you’re just upldating to get the latest technology then STOP. Remember as quick as you buy it will become out dated so this is certainly not a valid reason to ditch your appliances, especially if it’s still fully functional and performing the job you need it for.
This is especially relevant for TV’s, computers & Mobile phones imagine if everyone was upgrading their TV’s every year think of the amount of E-Waste that would create. Fads come and go, it’s important to assess your needs to see if it’s essential to your daily living. Will this appliance improve your quality of life or sit in a drawer gathering dust?
Basically if it’s not broken and operating efficiently there is no need to replace it.
If it’s broken ask yourself the question, can it be repaired? Firstly check to see if it’s still under warranty, you may be able to get it repaired and it won’t cost you a cent. If it’s out of warranty get a quote to get it repaired, make sure you shop around for a reputable repair man and check their references.
Then way up the cost of getting the appliance repaired opposed to buying a new one, you could end up saving $’s.
Option 2 Re-use
There are lots of great websites out there you can sell your unwanted E-Waste on, such as gumtree or ebay, if it’s in working order why not sell it and get some cash towards your new appliance, maybe the extra cash will allow you to buy and TV or Fridge with one extra star reducing your power bills.
Not able to sell it then check with friends or family and see if someone would like it, I am sure you know someone who has a child about to set up home for the first time they will be grateful for your E-Waste cast offs.
Still no joy off-loading you’re working E-Waste? There are a lot of charitable organisations out there that will accept your E-Waste, they do have restrictions on what they can accept so don’t be offended if your appliance is not up to code for them.
Here are a few you could try:
If all else fails try having a garage sale with your unwanted items I am sure it will be snapped up in no time.
Please share any ideas you have to reuse your unwanted E-Waste so we can spread the word.
Option 3 upcycle
Upcycling is a new craz that’s catching on fast, so if your appliance is inoperable why not have a think about what you can do with it. If you're not sure what I mean, here are a few idea’s:
Fridge/Freezers can be converted and used as storage units, check out the below example from mother earth news:
What about this novel idea:
This gives a new meaning to “you've got mail”
It’s all about thinking outside the box, send us any pic’s you have of your upcycled appliances and we will feature them above.
Option 4 Recycle
When all else fails it’s time to recycle.
Depending on budget you have a few possibilities you can explore. There are lots of companies out there that will come and collect your E-waste and recycle up to 95% of it. Most of these companies will give you a free online quote, like with anything shop around to get the best deal.
Do your research on the company, find out what % is recycled? Check they use accredited Australian recyclers. Check leftovers and toxic waste are not shipped over sea’s filling up land fill in other countries such as India and china, this is simply swapping one land fill for another and is not helping the planet in anyway.
If this works out to be too expensive for you, call your local council and find out what their E-Waste recycling options are. There are pick up’s in metro areas, however don’t just dump your E-Waste by the side of the road and hope it will be picked up by your council to be recycled, it’s more than likely it will just end up in landfill. Call your local council and find out where and when the pick up’s are and ensure you have arranged for your e-waste to be on the truck.
Don’t worry if there is no pick up in your local area, most councils have drop off centres. You may have to hire a van in order to drop off your e-waste, if this is the case ask around and see if any of your neighbours have any e-waste to drop off this way you can share in the cost of the van hire etc.
As with anything ensure you call first and get a quote before you drop of your e-waste so there are no surprises when you turn up.
Click here to find out more about Recycling by your local council.
There are also some charitable organisations that will take your old E-Waste and refurbish old TV’s and computers and donate them to schools and the under privileged. Check out the planet ark’s Recycling near you.
I hope we have given you a few ideas on how to dispose of your e-waste sustainably and help contribute to a greener Australia.
Buy quality, durable appliances which are energy efficient, this will prevent you having to constantly replace electrical appliances. Compare annual running cost and prices in one spot to get the best deal today, click here.
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