Changes to E-Waste in the local area

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Greater Shepparton City Council is encouraging people to dispose of their electronic waste items before the Victorian Government’s landfill ban on July 1.

From this date, e-waste — any items with a plug, battery or cord — can no longer be placed in kerbside bins, instead deposited at a designated e-waste drop-off point.

To support the transition, council received $145000 from Sustainability Victoria, as part of the state’s $16.5million investment to help councils upgrade e-waste collection and storage facilities and deliver an education program to support the ban.

E-waste is growing up to three times faster than general waste in Australia and is the fastest-growing waste item in landfills worldwide.

Items contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, arsenic or phosphor and, when left in landfills, can leech into groundwater and soil, or release into the air, creating long-term contamination issues and human health issues.

They also contain a number of valuable materials that can be safely recovered and reused.

Greater Shepparton City Council’s works and waste manager Janelle Bunfield said the upgrades included renovations to Shepparton’s resource recovery centre, providing weatherproof containments for e-waste items.

‘‘Our resource recovery centre’s are already equipped to collect e-waste materials at the moment and council encourages all residents to start getting into the habit of bringing their unwanted electronics for disposal ahead of the landfill ban coming up in July,’’ she said.

‘‘We are extremely pleased to be providing this service to our community and to be a part of the campaign to reduce the impacts of e-waste.’’

People can also take e-waste to Officeworks on High St, Shepparton, for safe disposal and recycling.

An Officeworks spokesperson confirmed the Shepparton store already hosted three programs — Cartridges 4 Planet Ark, Mobile Muster and Bring IT Back — that will continue after the ban starts.