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Free Rebranding Handbook

Being smart with e-waste

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

New product supporting Wifi 6 are about to drop, meaning lots of people will be running out to buy new Wifi routers, and discarding their old ones.

Wifi 6 is touted to be faster, more secure and able to support more devices. It's also more energy efficient, meaning that not only will your new router draw less power to run, it'll also demand less of the phones and laptops that connect to it, so their battery should last a smidge longer too.

Inevitably, an upgrade of something like a router means the old one–which is considered almost a disposable item these days–will either end up in the back of the cupboard as a "just in case", or in the bin.

Aside from adding to landfill, electronics in particular often contain highly toxic chemicals in multiple components, which are devastating to plants and animals, not to mention our own health. For example, the liquid in an LCD screen is extremely toxic, so a crack in your TV or computer monitor is very bad news.

E-waste recycling centres like EcoActiv and accept all forms of electronics for recycling (there are equivalents in every capital city, many regional towns and even some rural - Google "ewaste" followed by your nearest town). They separate all the usable parts for reuse, and safely dispose of the unusable stuff. Many recycling companies will collect from your home or office as well.

If you plan to update your router, plan ahead. Consider whether your old router is at the end of its life and if so, take to opportunity to do a clean out. Grab any old phones, laptops (some recycling centres also offer a "data-wipe" service for hard drives if security is a concern), old TVs, broken appliances, and any other unused electronics hanging around your home. If they can't be reused or resold, bundle them into an e-waste drop off.

For one, it's much safer being processed at a recycling centre, rather than being left to break or leak in your cupboard. And two, if you leave it for council clean-up time, it's almost guaranteed to end up in landfill (more than 80% of council cleanup rubbish ends up in landfill).

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