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More work needed to close million-tonne recycling gap

Reducing waste and increasing recycling is a key component of being a sustainable and ethical business, but 6.5 million tonnes of business waste are still going to landfill every year, according to recent research.

Much of this waste is electronic waste, including old computers and IT accessories, that can harm the environment if not disposed of properly.

TechCollect, a national not-for-profit e-waste recycling service that is free for small businesses, has named today, 13 December, Waste Not, Want Not Day, in an effort to increase recycling efforts by Australian businesses.

According to TechCollect’s CEO, Carmel Dollisson, putting responsible waste management practices in place not only helps the environment, but also ensures businesses meet changing employee and customer expectations.

“Businesses who put sustainability at the top of their agenda report higher recruitment and staff retention rates, and an overall increase in employee engagement and productivity. As awareness of good recycling practice continues to grow among Australians, employees also expect their company to have an active environmental policy in place,” Dollisson said.

Recent research prepared for Planet Ark highlights how workers and the public are embracing organisations who take recycling seriously, with 82 per cent of employees wanting to see more e-waste recycling in their workplaces.

Additionally, three out of four businesses agree that good waste management improves public perception of the business.

Dollisson said that while many businesses do a good job recycling cardboard and paper, there is much more work to be done in the corporate sector in electronic waste recycling.

“We need to create an environment in which responsibilities are more evenly shared, encouraging businesses to become active players in the management and recycling of the electronic waste they’re responsible for, which will also encourage their employees to do the same at home,” she said.

TechCollect ensures that at least 90 per cent of the valuable resources in electronic devices are put back into the manufacturing process to be reused in new products, rather than creating new products from virgin materials.

To get involved in TechCollect’s Waste Not, Want Not Day on 13 December, businesses can follow three easy steps:

  1. Gather all their unwanted and unused e-waste in the workplace (TechCollect will take TVs as well as computers and IT accessories)
  2. Call 1300 229 837 to see if they qualify for a free pickup (on the basis of quantity and location)
  3. If they don’t qualify for a free pickup, they can find their nearest free drop-off point
  4. If they’re not close to a TechCollect service, they can search for other free services under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme

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