Officeworks notes that electronic waste, or e-waste as it is more commonly known, is growing three times faster than any other type of waste, with the average Australian generating 23kg of e-waste per year! In my case, much of that e-waste sits in cupboards and drawers in my home, but sadly in many other cases, those items will be thrown out with regular garbage and end up in landfill.
As you are probably aware, this is problematic on many levels including filling landfill, causing chemical damage to soils and waterways and draining valuable resources.
When discussing e-waste, we really should also acknowledge issues of planned obsolescence and repairability (and lack of repairability) of electronics, because recycling e-waste, like all other waste, should be the last option. However, while planned obsolescence (and perceived obsolescence) and repairability issues persist, we are lucky that Officeworks is stepping up to help address the problem.
Officeworks is a leading retailer of electronic goods, so it is critical and gratifying that the company understands the responsibility it has to the community and the environment. Its current campaign ‘Don’t bin it, bring it’ encourages people to bring in their e-waste for recycling. The company recycles more than 800 tonnes of e-waste, plastic and consumables each year.
For recycling purposes, e-waste is any electronic item that is broken, unusable or simply no longer being used. At Officeworks, you can drop off five items at a time of most types of e-waste, including: desktops, laptops, tablets, e-readers, computer mice, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, computer power supplies, printed circuit boards, motherboards, network cards, hard drives, CDs and DVDs and CD drives. Take care that you have removed any personal data from the devices though, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Officeworks’ e-waste recycling is limited to office-based items (the kinds of things they sell), so unfortunately you can’t take down old televisions, stereo equipment or other electrical home appliances. But you can check out the Recycling Near You website for how to recycle those items.
One thing to remember is that not all stores accept the same items, so it’s worth checking what you can bring in before you visit. Remember too that you can also recycle ink cartridges — Officeworks has been a member of the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program since 2005 and 9 million cartridges have been recycled through Officeworks! — mobile phones, batteries, pens, and markers at your local store.
So, as they say, ‘Don’t bin it, bring it back to Officeworks!’.
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.