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Electronic waste, commonly known as e-waste, is growing up to three times faster than other types of household waste in Australia.
What is e-waste?
E-waste is any item with a plug, battery or cord that is no longer working or wanted. This covers a whole range of items from work, home and even the garden shed, such as mobile phones, computers, televisions, kitchen appliances, power tools and toys.
The Victorian Government banned e-waste in landfills from July 2019 across the state. This means e-waste can no longer be placed in your household garbage bin.
E-waste can contain hazardous materials that can leach into the soil and groundwater, or be released into the air, causing long term environmental damage and harm to human health. Electronic goods also contain valuable materials that can be recovered for recycling.
A complete list of items covered by the ban is available on the Sustainability Victoria e-waste website.
Repair your e-waste
Before recycling or donating it, consider whether you can get it repaired. Keeping goods circulating keeps them out of landfills or recycling plants.
If your item needs repairing, Brunswick Tool Library may be able to assist through their monthly Repair Cafes. These occur on the third Saturday of the month between 10am and 2pm. You can take items in to have them repaired or learn how to repair them yourself. Items must be able to be carried in. You can find out more information and event dates on the Brunswick Tool Library website.
Donate your e-waste
Some charities will accept electrical items in good condition. Contact your local store to check first, and drop off any items during store opening hours.
A local social enterprise, WombleTech, will take unwanted computers (working or not) and refurbish them for vulnerable members of the community. You can register your donation, find a drop-off point, or arrange a pickup on the WombleTech website.
Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief (RIMERN) provides furniture, appliances and homewares to welfare agency clients who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, incarceration, refugee displacement and other crises. Items must be clean and in good working order. You can find out more information on the RIMERN website or email firstname.lastname@example.org to offer donations.
Recycle your e-waste in Merri-bek
You can recycle your e-waste through our twice-yearly hard waste collection in spring and autumn. During hard waste collection, e-waste can be placed on the kerbside (in a separate pile), for recycling. You can find out more about this service on our Hard Waste Collection page.
You can drop off a range of household items at our yellow recycling stations for free at our Coburg, Brunswick and Glenroy Customer Service Centres. You can find out more about this recycling service on our Waste and recycling locations page.
More information about e-waste
More information about the e-waste landfill ban, what e-waste is, and information on other recycling options is available on the Sustainability Victoria website. You can also get in touch with us to find out more information using the details on our Contact us page.
For a small fee, you can take items to a neighbouring transfer station. As we do not have our own transfer station in Merri-bek, please call ahead to confirm charges, as costs to recycle e-waste vary. You can find out about transfer stations close to Merri-bek on our Waste and recycling locations page.