The continued strong interest in electronic gifts, as well as new demand for student-supplied computing, during the back-to-school period may cause an e-waste surge in Australia over the next few months, according to recycling program, TechCollect.
TechCollect is a nationwide recycling service for end-of-life computer products and televisions, with over 60 collection services operating around the country. It operates in partnership with local councils, and under the Federal Government's National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.
The company claims that while consumers hold on to old products, these devices are rarely put back into service or used for spare parts.
In a statement, TechCollect said it is "concerned that thousands of these older products could end up in landfill as the community is unclear on how to dispose of these items safely despite a national recycling program being rolled out across the country last year."
"It is critical that people with superseded computer equipment know how and where to recycle their old devices to help alleviate what could otherwise be a significant long-term environmental problem," TechCollect CEO, Carmel Dollisson said.
TechCollect said it is estimated that more than 100,000 tonnes of computer and other electronic products end up in Australian landfill each year.
The company added that laptops, computers, and computer accessories are more likely to be thrown into general waste due to ease of disposal associated with their form factor.