It’s National Recycling Week and Officeworks is calling on customers to take the time to recycle their old gadgets as the level of e-waste we produce each year continues to grow.
E-waste is one of the world’s fastest growing waste streams with Australia ranked fifth in the world for e-waste production at an average of 23kg per person – the equivalent of more than 120 iPhones.
Officeworks has been running the free secure recycling programme called Bring It Back since 2015 so customers can drop off their old smartphones, printers and print cartridges, pens and batteries.
The Bring It Back programme partners with organisations including Planet Ark, Mobile Muster and TechCollect to ensure products are recycled properly from end to end.
The issue for many Australians is they are unaware of what to do with their old technology and don’t know where they can dispose of it responsibly.
While we were forced to work and learn from home during the pandemic, 26 per cent of Australians purchased a new tech product to help them connect, stay productive and to keep themselves entertained.
“We know Australians want to do the right thing with their old technology, but many are confused about how, and where, to dispose of their old equipment,” says Officeworks Managing Director Sarah Hunter.
“Since 2015 we’ve had our in store Bring It Back recycling program so customers can recycle their home and office technology responsibly.
“While working from home during the pandemic, many of us needed to purchase new, or upgrade old technology to meet the demands of remote working.
“National Recycling Week is a great chance to dig through the drawers, find that old phone, pens or batteries and do the right thing and recycle them.”
In the last financial year, Officeworks customers recycled more than 1,500 tonnes of e-waste and stationery.
The recycled material is then reused to create things like park benches, electrical components and other new products.
Officeworks was already partnering with Planet Ark’s Cartridges for Planet Ark which has seen more than 10 million cartridges recycled through the in-store programme.
“It’s great to see one of Australia’s leading suppliers of stationery, technology and office supplies tackling the issue of e-waste and providing a free and easy solution for their customers and the wider community,” says Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans.
“E-waste is an important challenge that our government is seeking to address given $680 million worth of e-waste materials were sent to landfill in 2019.
“We commend Officeworks for its initiative through the Bring it Back campaign and encourage all Australians to take their old equipment to their local Officeworks store around the nation to recycle and support National Recycling Week.”