Kids today don’t remember the land before time, mobile phones, Nintendo DS or iPads. A world without Google… really? Our lives are filled with electronic devices that get tossed the second the new model’s released or you forget to ‘update’ your system. The result? A whole load of e-waste landfill and a catastrophic effect on our environment.
That’s why TechCollect, an industry-funded, free to the public national recycling service for computers, computer accessories and TVs (e-waste), has developed an education campaign and competition to help kids spread the message about responsibility for e-waste. Check out these tips to help educate kids (and parents) on responsible e-watse recycling, courtesy of Carmel Dollisson, TechCollect CEO…
1. Be aware of your e-waste footprint
“Australians are consuming technology at a rate like never before, and electronic waste is one of the fastest growing types of waste,” explains Carmel. “We buy more than four million computers and three million televisions annually – and we each contribute about 19.71 kg of e-waste (e-waste being any device that requires a power source or battery so includes toys and games, small household appliances, white goods, air conditioners etc.) per person per year!”
2. Understand e-wastes effect on the environment
“It’s important that we keep e-waste out of landfill so that it doesn’t damage our environment; if e-waste enters a poorly managed land fill it may break down and enter the soil, leading to environmentally poor outcomes,” Carmel explains. “But just as importantly, we lose the valuable non-renewable resources they contain – which is why we need to recycle responsibly. E-waste is made up of resources that can be almost entirely recovered and used to create new products.”
3. Consume responsibly
“It’s important to be a responsible consumer, and support the brands that have a commitment to the environment, those that use a percentage of recycled materials in their products, or offer take-back programs,” Carmel advises. “Once you have decided which brand, you should think about what you are going to do with your old device. Make sure it goes to a good home, or take it to a designated drop-off point for responsible recycling. You can even ask where it is going to be recycled and what happens to the materials that are recovered. We all have a part to play and it’s important to take responsibility for the e-waste we consume.”
4. Find a recycling centre
“You can help the environment by recycling your old gadget that you have lying around your home or school. Remember that putting it in a bin is not the solution, it must go to a recycling centre for recycling. Visit TechCollect to find out where their nearest TechCollect e-waste recycling point is, check out Planet Ark’s website or your local council for locations. Pop a date in the family or school calendar and spend an afternoon helping the environment!”
5. Get the facts
“Kids should visit TechCollect to find out more about e-waste and what they can do to help the environment. There are also several activity sheets that make learning fun. At TechCollect, we are passionate about education as we believe the next generation plays a key role in tackling the issue of e-waste.”
To find out more about responsible e-waste recycling or to find your local TechCollect drop off point visit here.