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Why we’re hoarding our old devices instead of recycling them

We’re generating quite an amount of electronic waste and were either holding on to these unused or broken devices or we’re not recycling them in the proper manner.

Recent research by TechCollect shows the average Australian household has 17 electronic devices in the home but less than a quarter (23 per cent) are recycling them.

Almost half of respondents (43 per cent) are holding on to these old devices just in case they’re needed again.

One in five (22 per cent) admit to being hoarders of old electronic devices.

Alarmingly, only one third (33 per cent) actually take the trouble to recycle e-waste at a designated drop-off site.

A quarter of Australians are throwing their old devices in the garbage bin even though 69 per cent are aware dumping electronic waste in a landfill can be hazardous to the environment.

TechCollect, an industry funded national e-waste recycling service, says we need to become more responsible for recycling the e-waste we are generating.

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“The challenge is encouraging consumers to let go of old devices they are no longer using or which are actually broken beyond repair,” said Carmel Dollisson, CEO, TechCollect.

“Although devices can hold sentimental value, the non-renewable resources in them can be used in manufacturing when recycled correctly.

“Our new research tells us the average Australian household has approximately 17 electronic devices in the home and yet only 23 per cent of us are always recycling them.”

“With the consumption of electronic devices getting higher all the time, it’s crucial consumers look at e-waste recycling as the natural next step in the product lifecycle, especially when it no longer serves its purpose to them.”

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Most Australians don’t realise e-waste recycling services like TechCollect exist.

Many people’s idea of responsible recycling is putting their older devices out with the rest of their garbage in council clean-ups while others just throw them out with the trash.

When e-waste is taken to a recycling centre, materials that are harmful to people and to the environment if it ends up in landfill, are recovered and disposed of responsibly.

There is no guarantee your council will take the time and trouble to recycle the e-waste that comes through with the rest of its trash.

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“Most people feel responsible for the e-waste they produce and do feel an element of guilt when they choose not to recycle it,” Dollisson said.

“But the sad reality is many people just don’t know what to do with their e-waste. It’s why TechCollect is keen to inform people about the importance of recovering the resources we already have in products that can be re-used, ensuring they understand the process of recycling their e-waste, and where they can dispose of it.”

Here is TechCollect’s checklist on recycling your e-waste responsibly:

  1. Take a look around your house/office for old, unused electronics.
  2. Wipe data, say goodbye, perform any farewell ceremonies.
  3. Find out what TechCollect takes here.
  4. Find your nearest TechCollect site here.
  5. Drop off your unwanted e-waste for free.
  6. Feel good that you did something positive for the planet.
  7. Enjoy your new, de-cluttered life.

www.techcollect.com.au

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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