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What is E-Waste?

E-waste is a term we are hearing more and more. It is any electrical waste that has a power cord or battery. E-waste includes many different items that are found in every household, schools, offices or shops. Some of these items are fridges, vacuums, washing machines, dishwashers, phones, computers, kettles, toasters and gaming consoles. These electronics can be nearing the end of their useful life and can often be reused, refurbished or recycled. Due to increased technology use this type of waste is growing faster than other general waste in Australia. Some people are always on the hunt for the newest devices and often the old ones get tossed away without a second thought. E-waste has a negative impact on the environment and it is so important that we are disposing of these electronics effectively. Electronics contain toxic materials such as nickel, lead and zinc and these toxins can be released into the atmosphere which affect our air quality. These toxins can also seep into the ground which can make its way to our water ways affecting sea life. When disposed of correctly, e-waste can be recycled and many of the materials found in electronics can be recycled. These materials include copper, plastics, aluminum, iron, silver and glass. The Victorian government is going to ban e-waste from landfill sites from July 2019 and will be encouraging safe management of e-waste. If we all continue to dispose of e-waste in a responsible manner we can make good use of the valuable materials in electronics that can be reused. It will also reduce landfill sizes, reduce greenhouse gases and protect our air and waterways.