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Waste and recycling on the Gold Coast

Information about waste and recycling services on the Gold Coast is available in one central location.

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Recycling electrical and electronic waste

What is eWaste?

eWaste is electrical and electronic waste and is an important waste issue. eWaste includes items such as:

  • small household appliances (e.g. toasters and pedestal fans)
  • IT and telecommunications equipment (e.g. mobile phones and computer equipment)
  • electrical and electronic tools (e.g. power tools)
  • electrical toys (e.g. game stations, computer games).

Have you ever wondered what to do with your old TV when you upgrade to a new flat screen, or where to put your old computer when it dies?

Why is it a problem?

These types of items are made of complex man-made materials and contain hazardous materials including lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, arsenic and brominated flame retardants. If eWaste is disposed of in landfill, these hazardous and toxic substances can leach from the waste and create pollution. eWaste is 95 to 98 per cent recyclable and the materials in these items can be recovered for further use, protecting both the environment and conserving resources.

Did you know?

  • In 2007-08, 1608 million computers worldwide reached their end of life. Of this, only nine per cent would be recycled.
  • 75 per cent of the three million computers bought in Australia every year will end up in landfill.
  • eWaste is responsible for 70 per cent of the toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium and mercury found in landfill.
  • eWaste being sent to landfill is increasing at three times the rate of general waste.

Help solve the eWaste problem

The following tips can help you reduce the generation of eWaste:

  • Avoid – buy electrical and electronic products that are durable and easy to repair, and avoid purchasing disposable products.
  • Reduce – repair broken electrical and electronic equipment instead of purchasing replacement items where possible and practical. This may also end up saving you money.
  • Reuse – Consider purchasing second-hand items rather than new. However, ensure the items have been checked by a qualified electrician first.
  • Recycle – as mentioned above, eWaste items can be taken to selected community waste and recycling centres by residents where they will be collected and recycled into new products. Tick the 'eWaste' box in the legend at the side of our waste and recycling centres map to find out which centres accept these items. Alternatively, check out our Recycling business directory for a lists of businesses that accept eWaste.

How is eWaste recycled?

In Australia, eWaste gets dismantled into a wide range of electrical and electronic products. Hazardous substances are recovered and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Important recyclable resources such as metals, plastics and glass are recycled into new products.

Recycling eWaste is of great benefit to the environment as it conserves natural resources, saves energy and avoids air and water pollution. Recycling one million laptops saves energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3657 homes a year.

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