In 2011 the Australian Government introduced a national, industry funded, recycling scheme for televisions and computers. The scheme prevents millions of old TVs and computers from being sent to landfill by providing opportunities for the community to recycle their unwanted televisions and computers free of charge.
Four organisations have been approved to deliver recycling services under the scheme. For more information on these organisations, including details of the services they provide, visit their scheme websites:
How does it work?
The scheme is funded and run by industry. Any organisation that makes and/or imports televisions or computers in Australia is required to contribute funds to support recycling of these products. The funds they contribute are used by industry-run arrangements to deliver recycling drop off points around Australia.
The Australian Government sets recycling targets and parameters for providing recycling services, to be met by approved industry arrangements. Under the scheme, industry must fund the recycling of a proportion of waste televisions and computers each year, commencing with 30 per cent in 2012–13 increasing to 80 per cent in 2021–22. State and territories, and through them local governments, retain responsibility for waste televisions and computers beyond these targets.
In 2013-14, industry recycled 52,700 tonnes, equivalent to 121.4 per cent of the scheme's target for that year. In 2014-15, there were 44,700 tonnes of e-waste recycled under the scheme in 2014–15, equivalent to 105 per cent of the scheme's target for that year. Over 130,000 tonnes of TV and computer e-waste has been collected and recycled under the scheme
For more information on the scheme, including details of how to get involved as a recycler or collection service provider, visit the Department of the Environment.
What other recycling options are available for televisions and computers?
Sending old computers and TVs to landfill is a waste of resources and increases the risk of toxic materials entering the environment. If a scheme service isn’t currently available in your area, there are a range of things you can do with your old electronic equipment:
- Safely store them in a dry place until there is a scheme collection point available
- Find out if your local council has a recycling option for computers or televisions
- Check the brand name of the equipment and contact the manufacturer to see if they offer a recycling program
- Offer old equipment to your friends or family
- Ask second-hand shops or charities if they could make use of them
If you've switched to a digital TV, you don't need to throw your analog television away. Most analog televisions (even ones with just a plug for the antenna cable) can still be used after the switchover if they are connected to a set-top box or personal video recorder (PVR). This may be a less expensive and more environmentally friendly option than replacing and disposing of your analogue television.
If your workplace has TVs and computers to dispose of, visit the Electronic Equipment pages on Planet Ark's BusinessRecycling website.
Recycling options for other e-waste