Now's the time to recycle that old tech gear

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Now's the time to recycle that old tech gear

It's an easy way to declutter your office, but get ready now because Waste Not, Want Not Day is less than a week away.

Waste Not, Want Not Day was inaugurated in 2015 by the industry-funded national e-waste recycling service TechCollect. The idea is to get unwanted and particularly unusable equipment out of your premises and into the recycling stream.

According to Planet Ark's 2016 report, 72 percent of employees regularly recycle paper, but only 36 percent recycle computers and accessories. Yet research for the same organisation in 2013 found 82 percent of employees wanted to see more e-waste recycling in their workplaces.

So TechCollect suggests the following three-point plan for 8 December:

1. Gather all your unwanted and unused e-waste from around the workplace
2. Call 1300 229 837 to see if you qualify for a free pickup
3. If you don't qualify for a free pickup, find your nearest free drop-off point.

These locations include council waste transfer stations (at least some of which accept computer and TV e-waste at no charge year round), recycling centres, and a small number of  branches of big-name retailers such as Harvey Norman and The Good Guys,
 
"It's crucial for recycling to be viewed as a civic duty for all of us, but it's also important for businesses to try and take some of the weight off consumers' shoulders, as it often falls unfairly on individuals to do the right thing," Carmel Dollisson, CEO of TechCollect said.
 
"There is currently a lot more the corporate sector can do to take responsibility for the e-waste it generates, and to make a positive impact on the environment and wider community.

"Instead of businesses letting e-waste accumulate, we're encouraging them to make a pledge to support 'Waste Not, Want Not' Day on 8 December by recycling their e-waste at their nearest TechCollect drop off site or calling us direct if they have a substantial amount that we may be able to collect."

The acceptable items are:

  • Personal and laptop computers and all cables
  • Tablets, notebooks and palmtops
  • Computer monitors and parts (such as internal hard drives and CD drives)
  • Computer peripherals and accessories (such as mice, keyboards, web cameras, USBs and modems)
  • Printers, faxes, scanners and multi-functional devices
  • Televisions.

Be sure to thoroughly erase any storage devices before they are recycled. This article  provides instructions for Windows, OS X and Linux. But if the data is particularly sensitive, you might consider using a secure destruction service; companies operating in this market include Secure Document Destruction, Shred-it, Shred-X and Simms Recycling. (We haven't used and therefore do not necessarily recommend any of these services.)

"Precious metals exist in e-waste and if we don't recycle products those metals are lost to landfill," Dollisson added. "Recycling means that these valuables can be recovered and put back into the manufacturing process."

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