Old TVs and computers a ticket to the future

Endeavour Foundation is hoping 55 local people with a disability will be the big winners next time North Queenslanders clean out their sheds.

That’s because people with a disability have been expanding their employment horizons and skills by recycling unwanted televisions and computers at Endeavour Foundation in Townsville.

Endeavour Foundation Commercial Manager Nick Hully says the organisation has been contracted by DHL Supply Chains to open a Drop Zone where members of the public can bring their e-waste for free recycling.

“Endeavour Foundation is excited to be opening a Drop Zone for members of the public to bring in their TVs, computers and computer accessories, with the knowledge that they will be dismantled and recycled rather than ending up in landfill,” he said.

“Fifteen people with a disability gain meaningful employment by dismantling old TVs and computers into various components for further recycling. We hope that more employees will be able to work on e-waste recycling as we receive more donations.

“Not only do employees enjoy the work, we know that together we’re doing something good for the environment by keeping these items out of landfill. We see this as an important part of our future as a social enterprise in North Queensland. “

The contract with DHL Supply Chain is a result of the National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme, established by the Federal Government to increase the recycling of television and computer waste.

E-waste is Australia’s fastest growing waste disposal problem and the scheme aims to address this by boosting the recycling rate of TVs and computers from 17 per cent in 2010 to 80 per cent by 2021-22 – significantly reducing the amount of electronic gadgetry that ends up in landfill.

Mr Hully said Endeavour Foundation workers also boasted high recycling recovery rates.

“The Product Stewardship Scheme requires that we recover 90% of the total materials processed from TVs and computers,” he said.

“But because we dismantle and process TVs and computers by hand – unlike some of the large corporations involved in recycling - we can far exceed the required amounts.  Currently we achieve recycling of up to 95% of materials.”   

Mr Hully said the illegal dumping of computers and TVs around charity bins was also a serious problem costing Endeavour Foundation thousands of dollars in clean-up costs.

“Rather than leaving old TVs around charity bins we ask people to consider bringing them to the Drop Zone we have set up at for e-waste recycling - accessible to the public from today at the corner of Duckworth St and Bayswater Rd, Garbutt.”

Media contacts: Verena Coombe, ph 0427 715 041 / Kirrily Boulton, ph 0429 077 886.