Survey finds hoarding e-waste linked to poor awareness

Survey finds hoarding e-waste linked to poor awareness

New research shows many Australians don’t recycle their old electricals due to a lack of awareness and information.

National e-waste collection and recycling service TechCollect obtained the information through a survey it commissioned last October of 1,000 Australians.

It found the majority (95.7 per cent) agreed that recycling e-waste, is important, but that 45 per cent do not currently recycle. Many attributed this to a lack of awareness of their options or concerns over data security.

When asked what the biggest barriers to recycling were, the top responses were ‘I’m not sure where to start’ (46.1 per cent) and ‘I’m worried about my personal data getting into the wrong hands’ (38.7 per cent). Others said they didn’t know where drop-off points were or even that they could recycle their old technology at all.

Nearly half of respondents (43 per cent) also admitted to putting their e-waste on the nature strip for council collection, completely unaware of the potential damage to the environment and the missed opportunity for recovering valuable commodities for use in new products.

“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,” said Carmel Dollisson, CEO of TechCollect.

“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,” she added.

Other significant findings from the research were:

  • 91.8 per cent of respondents believe there should be better retail incentives in place to make it easier for them to recycle their e-waste
  • 70.6 per cent didn’t know that they could recycle their power cords
  • 24 per cent are holding onto their old technology out of fear that they might need it one day and 38.6 per cent just don’t know what to do with it
  • Only 11.5 per cent strongly agree that recycling e-waste is a top priority for their household.
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