E-waste (electrical & electronic waste)

pile of electronic devices

E-waste is any item with a plug, battery or cord that is unwanted or not working. Batteries, light globes, mobile phones, irons, TVs, hair dryers, computer equipment and power tools are some of the e-waste items in our homes.

Incorrect disposal of e-waste is the primary cause of fires in landfills, recycling facilities, and in waste collection trucks. E-waste contains hazardous chemicals so it definitely doesn’t belong in any kerbside bin.

Instead, drop it off for FREE at the Anglesea, Winchelsea or Lorne transfer stations.

There is also an e-waste collection container in the foyer at the Council office in Torquay that accepts the following items:

  • Batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 6volt, 9volt, & button batteries)
  • Light globes (LEDs, CFLs)
  • Mobile phones
  • Printer cartridges

E-waste collected at the transfer stations is taken to a processing facility in Melbourne where it is dismantled to recover valuable metals such as tin, copper and nickel, which are reused to make new items.

Keeping e-waste out of kerbside bins protects our environment, the staff at the landfill and staff driving collection trucks. It also reduces the need for raw materials to make new electronics.

What's accepted as e-waste?

E-waste covers a whole range of household items from phones and refrigerators to fluorescent light tubes and game controllers.

E-waste can include:

Household appliances, such as:

  • air conditioners
  • alarm clocks (digital)
  • batteries
  • battery packs and rechargers
  • christmas lights
  • clothes dryer
  • coffee machines
  • cookers
  • curling tongs
  • digital clocks
  • e-cigarettes (vapes)
  • electric fans
  • electric frypans
  • extension cords/leads
  • fairy lights
  • fridges
  • hair dryers
  • irons
  • kettles
  • light globes (CFLs & LEDs)
  • microwaves
  • mobile phones
  • musical instruments e.g. keyboards
  • powerbanks
  • radios
  • rice cookers
  • sandwich maker
  • sewing machines
  • toasters
  • toys e.g. electric trains, racing cars
  • televisions (LCDs, CRTs, Plasmas, OLEDs, projection TVs)
  • vacuum cleaners
  • vapes
  • video games (hand-held)
  • washing machines
  • watchers

Audio visual electronics, such as:

  • amplifier
  • cameras
  • DVD players
  • electronic games and toys e.g. joysticks, Xbox & Play Station consoles
  • extension cords/leads
  • hi-fi equipment
  • remote controls
  • stereos and speakers
  • televisions (LCDs, CRTs, Plasmas, OLEDs, projection TVs)
  • video cameras

Computer equipment, such as:

  • cables and cords
  • circuit boards e.g. motherboards, video cards, sound cards
  • desktop PCs
  • extension leads
  • hard drives
  • laptops
  • keyboards
  • mice
  • monitors
  • network and memory cards
  • photocopiers
  • printers
  • scanners
  • tablets

Tools and gardening equipment, such as:

  • battery packs and rechargers
  • power tools e.g. drills, circular saws, angle grinders, sanders
  • electric lawnmower
  • e-bikes
  • e-scooter
  • extension cords
  • wiring

Are smoke alarms accepted as e-waste?

No. Put them in your landfill bin.

Why can't e-waste go in kerbside bins?

There are two problems with sending e-waste to landfill. It contains:

  • hazardous materials that can harm the environment and human health
  • valuable materials that can be reused.

The Victorian Government banned all e-waste from landfill in 2019 because most e-waste contains hazardous materials. Even in small amounts, these dangerous chemicals can cause fires in collection trucks or at the landfill.

When millions of e-waste items are dumped in landfill, the situation becomes much more serious. They can leach dangerous amounts of hazardous substances into our groundwater, soil and air. As these substances don’t break down easily, the result can be long term environment pollution.

What if I only have one e-waste item?

Never put e-waste in your kerbside bins, even if it's only one item.

E-waste contains a whole range of precious metals including:

  • tin
  • copper
  • nickel
  • silver
  • zinc
  • gold
  • aluminium
  • platinum

While each individual object contains only a small amount of each precious metal, this can quickly add up when we consider how many items and devices are incorrectly disposed of each year.

It’s important to reuse these valuable materials because they are non-renewable. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. But if e-waste is properly recycled, these materials and parts can be recycled and reused endlessly.

What happens to the e-waste that Council collects?

Recycling and repurposing e-waste is undertaken by professionals. The e-waste is dismantled to remove batteries, steel, printing toner, and glass (from TVs). The remaining components are shredded and all data is destroyed.

The raw materials are sorted and then sold to suppliers to make new products such as plastic fence posts, pallets, toys and keyboards.

Read more about where your e-waste goes.