Wednesday, 10 February 2016 02:01

Free recycling service TechCollect claims growing e-waste knowledge gap


Don’t dump your old TVs or other tech gear by the road, or illegally - you can drop them off free nationwide, but many don’t know this or are worried about their data.

TechCollect. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a ‘free national recycling service for computers, computer accessories and TVs (e-waste).’

The organisation was established in response to the Federal Government’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) and is the only not-for-profit industry backed e-waste recycling service approved under the NTCRS.

Under the NTCRS only the following products CAN be dropped-off for recycling at a TechCollect service location:

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

You can recycle all old mobile phones and smartphones at MobileMuster

TechCollect urges you to delete any data you may have on your devices and has a page with an explanation on why this is important here.

So, why is TechCollect contacting the media today? Well, it has used the services of Pure Profile and has commissioned research which reveals that while the majority (95.7%) of Australians agree that recycling electronic waste (e-waste) is important, almost half (45%) do not currently recycle, with many citing lack of awareness of their options or concerns over data security as key reasons.

The research also found that the majority (80.7%) of respondents admitted that they place more importance on household recycling like cardboard, glass and plastic than they do on recycling their e-waste.

When asked what the biggest barriers to recycling were, the top responses were ‘I’m not sure where to start’ (46.1%) and ‘I’m worried about my personal data getting into the wrong hands’ (38.7%). Other responses also showed that many didn’t know where drop off points were, or even that they could recycle their old technology in the first place.

Nearly half of respondents (43%) also admitted to putting their e-waste on the nature strip for council collection.

Carmel Dollisson, CEO of TechCollect, said this can be hazardous to the environment – with individuals often being completely unaware of the potential damage – as well as providing no guarantee of responsible recycling that would recover the raw commodities for use in new products.

Dollisson said: “Often people will try and do the right thing, without realising that kerbside collections don’t always provide a guarantee that the product won’t end up in landfill.

“By recycling televisions and computers through a program like TechCollect we ensure that non-renewable resources are safely recovered, so that they can be used again in future manufacturing, as well as ensuring that product containing materials which can be dangerous to both people and the environment if put in landfill, are instead correctly recovered or disposed of.”

Here's TechCollect's video, more below!

Key findings from the survey:

  • 91.8% of respondents believe there should be better retail incentives in place to make it easier for them to recycle their e-waste
  • Only 11.5% strongly agree that recycling e-waste is a top priority for their household
  • 70.6% didn’t know that they could recycle their power cords
  • Just more than half (50.3%) of respondents have more than three unused devices at home, and 36.7% have more than five unused electric cords/cables that are collecting dust
  • 24% are holding onto their old technology out of fear that they might need it one day, and 38.6% just don’t know what to do with it

More below, please read on!

Dollisson added: “Information and awareness are key to the success of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme which TechCollect operates under. An important priority for the Scheme is to educate the public to understand the important role we all play in responsible e-waste recycling. In the digital age where technology consumption is at an all-time high, this has never been more prevalent,” said Dollisson.

TechCollect also advises: ‘While data security is an important concern, it is relatively simple to address before disposing of your e-waste. It’s important to remember to always permanently erase personal data from any computer, tablet, or laptop you plan to recycle. For more information on how to do this contact the manufacturer of your device or search online for data wiping services.’

To find out more information about TechCollect or to find a designated drop-off site closest to you, click here

TechCollect supplied an infographic which is embedded below - turn your phone horizontal if viewing on mobile:


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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