Electronic waste or e-waste, which includes televisions, is a growing problem in Australia. Recycling televisions recovers valuable metals, plastics and glass, and prevents potentially dangerous materials entering the environment.
Under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, every company that makes and/or imports televisions and computers into Australia is required to pay for the end of life recycling of these products. There are four organisations that recycle televisions, computers and accessories under the scheme: TechCollect, Drop Zone, E-Cycle Solutions and Electronic Product Stewardship Australasia.
Find recycling options for other electrical items including computers, printer cartridges, mobile phones, small electrical appliances, batteries, car batteries, and whitegoods.
How to recycle Televisions at work
There are some recycling companies that offer national collection services for commercial quantities of televisions. To find a commercial television recycling service for your workplace or business, visit BusinessRecycling.com.au.
About Televisions in Australia
Every year Australians purchase millions of televisions and related components to replace equipment superseded by faster and more powerful technologies. In 2007/08 an estimated 16.8 million televisions and computers reached the end of their useful life in Australia. In 2027/28, this figure is predicted to reach 44 million units.
Why recycle Televisions?
Televisions containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are one of the leading causes of lead contamination in municipal waste streams. CRTs can contain up to 4 kg of lead and other toxic materials such as mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Lead is a cumulative poison that can contaminate groundwater and have harmful effects on human and animal health. By recycling televisions, waste is diverted from landfill and resources such as metals, precious metals, plastics and glass are recovered.
What happens when Televisions are recycled?
Some television components may still be useable, enabling certain parts to be directed into a reuse stream. To be recycled, televisions must be broken down into their many different components.
- Cathode ray tube (CRT) glass contains a high concentration of lead. This means it can't go back into the normal glass recovery process like glass bottles. CRT glass is typically crushed and cleaned. Some CRT glass is used in manufacturing new television and computer monitors, but the move to LCD and plasma televisions means that new technologies and processes are being found to reuse this material.
- Circuit boards are shredded down to a fine powder and separated into plastics and precious metals. This material can be reformed into a range of products.
- Plastic casings are shredded and tested for their composition. Once identified, the plastics can be melted and extruded for use in new products.
- Scrap metals are typically melted down to form new metal-based components.