Diverting e-waste from landfill
Sydneysiders recycled 20 tonnes of electronic waste in 6 hours at our December e-waste collection day, helping keep unwanted household items out of landfill.
The popular quarterly event attracted 549 individual e-waste drop-offs with tall stacks of TVs, computers and printers collected alongside household items from vacuum cleaners to broken hairdryers.
The e-waste collected is diverted from landfill and around 95% of raw materials recovered are recycled. In the past year alone, the City has helped more than 2,000 households recycle 60 tonnes of electronic and unwanted household waste.
E-waste items sometimes contain precious metals such as copper and platinum that should be reused. Computer screens and TVs contain toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and arsenic, which can leach out from landfills and into waterways.
The lowdown on our e-waste service
We run an ethical and top-notch gig. Here is everything you need to know about how we manage all the e-waste we collect at the City of Sydney.
Why should I recycle e-waste?
We love the latest gadgets. But Australians generate more than 140,000 tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) each year and most of it ends up in landfill. As well as putting more pressure on limited landfill capacity, e-waste can be hazardous as it contains toxic materials.
Where does it all go?
Not out of the country, that’s for sure! All the e-waste collected by the City of Sydney is processed locally, in Villawood, by our contractor Sims Recycling Solutions, where over 95% of it is recycled. Components are stripped, then broken down into commodities and circulated back into the market.
What about items that still work?
Why not try to find a new home for your unwanted electronic goods first? If your items still work, donate them to non-profit organisations such as Sort Recycling, who refurbish working computers for locally disadvantaged children. You could also try giving items away online through organisations like OzRecycle.
Items handed in at our e-waste collections are strictly for recycling. This way, we can guarantee that at the end of their life, they will be processed responsibly.
Can I turn up to get some freebies?
This is a no-no. We have to stick to the health and safety rules for running this type of event and e-waste is classified as hazardous waste. We also need to protect the privacy of our customers.
Is my data safe?
Recycle your devices with abandon for your data is guaranteed to be obliterated by our contractor, Sims Recycling Solutions.
There’s gold in them thar hills!
True, there are precious metals such as copper, silver and gold in e-waste. Recycling it means that metals can be extracted and it alleviates the need to mine more natural resources.
E-waste drop-off days
- Saturday 12 March 2016 – Bay Street Depot, Ultimo
- Saturday 4 June 2016 – location to be confirmed
- Saturday 15 October 2016 – location to be confirmed
- Saturday 10 December 2016 – location to be confirmed
From 9am to 3pm. Arrive early to avoid traffic.
E-waste drop-off location
City of Sydney depot
Corner Bay Street and Macarthur Street
(enter from Macarthur Street)
Ultimo NSW 2007
View larger map
Live outside the City of Sydney?
No worries. We welcome all who wish to recycle.
What if I don’t have a car?
Many people turn up by bike and by foot. If you have a big haul or live in an apartment, consider rounding up your neighbours and carsharing.
Recycling e-waste has a cost
Although our service is free, it costs money for the City to run it. Recycling as much as we can is awesome, but it does come at a price and it is very energy-intensive.
Moral of the story? The best thing consumers can do to reduce waste is to think twice before buying something new.
What can be recycled
Items we'll accept
Over 95% of e-waste collected on drop-off days is recycled.
Below is a list of the items you can drop off.
- computers – desktops, monitors, laptops and printers
- home and home office equipment – photocopiers, fax machines, scanners, servers, projectors, DVD players and video recorders
- computer peripherals such as joysticks
- electronic games, CDs, DVDs, tapes and cameras
- electronic components
- phones – mobiles and landlines
- small household appliances – vacuum cleaners, microwaves, stereos, and pedestal fans
- power tools – drills, circular saws and power boards, electric lawnmowers, electric trimmers, electric leaf blowers (and no gas-powered items, please).
Items we can't accept
- hazardous waste – chemicals, paints and pesticides
- car batteries
- household batteries
- smoke alarms and fire extinguishers
- fluorescent tubes and energy saving light globes (CFLs).
Whitegoods can be recycled through the City's free, pre-booked pick-up service. Call 02 9265 9333 to arrange a collection. Household batteries, mobiles and light bulbs can be recycled at the City’s Neighbourhood Service Centres or libraries. Save all other items on the list above for the next Household Chemical CleanOut collection.
Other places to drop off e-waste
Check the links below for places near you to drop off e-waste or to donate items online. Limited items can be recycled at Officeworks in Alexandria and Glebe - visit their website below for more information on what you can bring.
To check locations of other e-waste recycling services visit:
Last updated: Monday, 25 January 2016