Australians have played a significant role in setting a new Guinness World Record for the most e-waste collected for recycling in a week.
Australians participated in the week-long campaign in late April that saw more than 474 tonnes of old TVs, computers and printers -- equating to more than 470 blue whales in weight -- collected for recycling by not-for-profit recycler, TechCollect.
The announcement was made at the e-waste or e-resource forum, which discussed the Federal Product Stewardship Legislation and whether it is enabling resource efficiency and the emerging circular economy.
TechCollect CEO, Carmel Dollisson, commended the community, its collection partners and recyclers for their support.
"Setting a world record for the most consumer electronics collected for recycling in one week is a wonderful outcome in the first year of the National Television and Computers Recycling Scheme (NTCRS). It has increased the awareness of the community on the ease and benefits of recycling," she said.
According to Dollisson, up to last year, only 10 to 17 per cent of Australians' e-waste was being recycled, and about 16.8 million TVs, computers, printers and their accessories were disposed of each year.
She said the introduction of the Product Stewardship Act has increased e-waste recycling to 30 per cent this year. She aims to increase this amount to 80 per cent over the next 10 years.
"The e-waste problem in Australia is growing rapidly with 181,000 tonnes of TVs and computers expected to reach the end of their useful life by 2027/28 - four times faster than any other type of waste in Australia."
Dollisson said making it on the Guinness World Record will help increase awareness amongst Australians to recycle their e-waste for free.
"Many Australians do not realise that over 90 per cent of old TVs, printers and computers can be recycled and made into new items," she claimed.
TechCollect is funded by more than 60 Australian technology companies that are committed to recycling responsibly. There are more than 70 permanent TechCollect recycling sites across Australia, which are open year round and run in partnership with local councils and waste management companies.
"Just because the Guinness World Record attempt is over doesn't mean you can't recycle for free -- just jump online and find out where the nearest TechCollect drop-off centre is located near you," Dollisson added.