Supporting Victorians to recycle electronic waste


04 July 2018

Pile of discarded mobile phones

Electronic waste (e-waste) is growing up to three times faster than general municipal waste in Australia, Sustainability Victoria acting CEO Jonathan Leake said today.

“Australians are high users of technology and among the largest generators of e-waste in the world,” he said.

“It’s estimated the country’s e-waste will increase more than 60 percent, to a predicted 223,000 tonnes in 2023–24,” said Mr Leake.

This is why the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, today launched a $1.5m public education and awareness campaign to help Victorians to better understand e-waste and reduce the amount going to the state’s landfills.

The campaign, run by Sustainability Victoria, aims to highlight the value of recycling electronic material ahead of an e-waste-to-landfill ban which takes effect on 1 July 2019.

“Recycling captures valuable metals like copper, silver, gold, aluminium and other metals, as well as plastics and glass so they can be re-used in the next wave of technology rather than mining or making new materials,” Mr Leake said.

Current practices show that at least 90% of a computer, television or mobile phone can be recovered and reused.

Victoria already has many places where some types of e-waste can be taken, but there is potential to expand the range of electrical, electronic and battery-powered items recycled and the number of collection points. 

Victorian councils can also apply for $15 million in grants to upgrade or build collection and storage facilities in 130 areas where need has been identified. Funding applications close 14 September.

Regulatory measures that will give effect to a ban on e-waste from landfill, under the Environment Protection Act 1970, were made on 28 June 2018. They include amendments to existing statutory policies to include e-waste as a material banned from landfill, and one which specifies how e-waste should be managed safely.

They take effect on 1 July 2019, allowing those who manage e-waste in Victoria to adapt to the new regulatory measures and for Victoria’s e-waste collection network, including State Government-funded sites, to be operating. 

To learn more about existing e-waste recycling, find out where you can recycle, and plans for the future, go to ewaste.vic.gov.au or contact your local council.

Media enquiries: Hannah Grant; Hannah.grant@sustainability.vic.gov.au; 0437 343 121

About Sustainability Victoria

Established under the Sustainability Victoria Act 2005, Sustainability Victoria is a statutory authority that facilitates and promotes environmental sustainability in the use of resources.  Sustainability Victoria provides practical ideas and advice to act on climate change use resources wisely.