By Aimee Chanthadavong
In an attempt to raise awareness about recycling e-waste, TechCollect successfully set a Guinness World Record of collecting the most e-waste for recycling in one week.
Over 474 tonnes of old televisions, computers and printers were collected for recycling by TechCollect across Australia as part of a week-long campaign that was held in April.
Janet Leslie, the sustainability manager at Canon Oceania and a founding member of the Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP), told Current.com.au this campaign was a great step towards tackling the issue of e-waste in Australia.
“We’re ecstatic to have achieved the world record. I guess from our point of view we’re at the end of the first year of implementation of the National Product Stewardship of televisions and computers. For ANZRP we’re very happy with how we have gone for the first year. We really have set the foundation of recycling for TVs and computers,” she said.
About 16.8 million TVs, computers, printers and related accessories are disposed of each year in Australia, which equates to 106,000 tonnes of e-waste. There were 140 recycling collection services in the last year, which covered 86 per cent of the Australian population. Leslie said the plan is to take the cover to 100 per cent of Australia by working with local governments and ANZRP is currently “on target”.
Aggressive targets have also been set to lift recycling rates for television, computers and computer peripherals from 17 per cent to 80 per cent by 2021.
“The big thing here is to get consumers aware of that these recycling services exist. This is why TechCollect believed the Guinness World Record was a fun way to raise awareness of this fantastic work to recycle their computers,” Leslie said.
“A lot of consumers don’t realise IT products have a lot residual value in life and a lot of it gets a second life in secondary overseas markets, especially computers.
“We also believe consumers think smaller devices – in Canon’s case – like printers and mice are waste and so we need to raise awareness there’s value in those and that’s why we don’t want them to go into landfill but to a proper recycler.”