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Electronic waste ban

(L-R) Amanda Neilson (Sustainability Victoria) joined Steve McGhie (Member for Melton) whose government is ironing out landfill concerns and Moorabool Council CEO Derek Madden who is a big fan of the state government initiative, in promoting the e-waste ban. Photo – Helen Tatchell

By Meg Kennedy

The Bacchus Marsh and Ballan Transfer Stations are now among 1000 sites in Victoria to become drop-off points for old and unusable electronic devices, batteries and white goods, following the State Government’s ban on e-waste items becoming part of landfill sites from July 1.
Member for Melton Steve McGhie, Moorabool Shire CEO Derek Madden and Moorabool Mayor Cr Paul Tatchell, along with representatives of Sustainability Victoria inspected the new addition to the Bacchus Marsh transfer station last Friday, June 2, following the Shire being awarded more than $160,000 in November 2018 to upgrade the e-waste collection infrastructure at the transfer stations.
The upgrades forms part of the Victorian Government’s $16.5 million investment to help councils across the state upgrade their e-waste collection and storage facilities, as well provide education programs to support the ban of e-waste to landfills.
The designated e-waste area of the Bacchus Marsh transfer station separates electronic devices and materials such as batteries and old lightglobes into separate containers to be disassembled, sorted and repurposed for use in new batteries, electronics, homewares and even jewellery.
Cr Tatchell said the new upgrades allow council to “welcome the opportunity to provide residents with a free and easy option to dispose of their e-waste in a way that will not impact negatively on the environment.”
E-waste is the fastest-growing stream of waste worldwide, covering everything from old mobile phones, computers, audio devices, refrigerators and other white goods, hair dryers, TVs, heaters, fans and air-conditioners.
When discarded into landfill, electronic items can become dangerous to the environment, but it is estimated 90 percent of materials from old laptops, mobile phones, televisions and other devices can be recycled or reused.
“We’re making sure Victorian households understand what e-waste is and how they can dispose of it properly, so it doesn’t end up in the rubbish,” said Mr McGhie.
“We’re boosting the number of collection sites available across the state, so all Victorians have access to a drop-off point close to home.”
Sustainability Victoria confirmed to the Moorabool News that although the recycling process will destroy all data still on electronic devices, the government body “recommends people reset and erase all data from their e-waste items such as phones or laptops before dropping it off at an e-waste drop off point to be recycled.”
“E-waste that is collected as part of the state-wide ban will be stored securely, and all data is destroyed in the dismantling process,” said a spokesperson.
SV also said that the Bacchus Marsh Transfer Station “is fully secure and locked outside of open hours to ensure theft does not occur.”
More information on the e-waste ban in Moorabool is on Council’s website.