You know that gross battery discharge you sometimes get in your electronics when you forget to take the batteries out for a while? That’s particularly bad in the soil and oceans.
You can take both rechargeable and single-use batteries to be recycled for free at Aldi and Ikea stores across the country.
If you’re wanting to recycle batteries other than the standard ones you’d buy from a supermarket (like a laptop battery), you can take them to any Battery World store.
TVs, Computers and Accessories
There’s a few different ways your computer or TV can be recycled. Sometimes they get refurbished with new software and parts, then offered to low income communities. Other times they get disassembled down to their raw components so they can be reused or safely disposed of.
TVs can contain up to 4kgs of lead, as well as other nasties like mercury and arsenic, which everyone wants to keep out of the groundwater.
You can bring them to most Officeworks and Harvey Norman stores.
According to Mobile Muster, recycling ten phones saves 3.86kgs of CO2, 19.7kgs of mineral resources, 42.3MJ of fossil fuel resources, and 6.48g of C2H4 summer smog. There are millions of unused phones in Australia, and while many could be handed to a friend or family member, or sold online, the resources in the dead phones can be used again saving tonnes of new rare earth metals from needing to be dug up prematurely.
It is super easy to recycle your old phone, too. Just drop into almost any telco store and put it in the Mobile Muster bin there. Or, pick up a free recycling satchel from AusPost to mail it back.
These are another thing that can leak nasty poisons into the ground water, which is why Cartridges 4 Planet Ark has spent the last 15 years recycling more than 38 million cartridges.
Drop off locations include most Australia Post, Officeworks, JB Hi Fi, and Harvey Norman stores.
Large household appliances are filled with all kinds of reusable metals and, in the case of fridges, harmful gasses.
If you live in a metro area, the Brotherhood of St Laurence will come pick up your fridges and large appliances for free, which is pretty nifty. But there’s also plenty of other locations you can take them to.
To find the most convenient place to take your e-waste and other difficult recyclables, check out Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You website: https://recyclingnearyou.com.au
Alice is a freelance journalist, producer and presenter.