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TechCollect celebrates net positive environmental impact

Posted by | February 25, 2020 | Unplugged February 2020 | No Comments

Working with members, collection partners and the community to collect and recycle e-waste, ANZRP is committed to delivering outcomes that are environmentally and socially beneficial.

Every year, we engage Australian life cycle assessment research firm – Lifecycles, to investigate the impact of our services. Lifecycles undertake an independent assessment of our program, evaluating environmental impacts across the supply chain.

The goal of this analysis is to quantify the environmental impacts and benefits associated with the recycling system for television, computer and general IT e-waste, including the transportation and reprocessing of used equipment as well as the replacement of virgin material by recovered materials in the collected e-waste.

Lifecycles’ most recent research is based on the e-waste recycled by TechCollect in 2018/19. Data provided highlights environmental benefits relating to carbon emission savings, energy consumption savings, water use reduction and particulate matter emissions from diesel vehicles.

A net positive outcome for the environment, the overall burden of TechCollect’s collection and recycling operations is entirely offset by the benefits associated with avoiding the production of virgin materials within the economy.

A critical aspect of e-waste recycling is the breakdown of materials found in a tonne of product. The most significant potential for environmental benefits resides in the recovery of material fractions. When recovered, these can replace virgin materials, thus avoiding their production in the first place.

There is a broad range of materials in e-waste, including a range of metals and plastics, as well as glass. Metals are often a focus for recovery, as they represent a high proportion of the waste, can sometime be easily separated, and have a high resale value.

We are currently in the process of sending individual impact reports to each of our collection partners and members. These reports aim to show the valuable contribution our partners make in helping us achieve these outcomes.