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Electronic waste (e-waste) is defined as waste in the form of electrical or electronic equipment, devices or things (or materials or parts of such equipment, devices or things), the operation of which is dependent on, or designed for the generation, transfer or measurement of, an electric current or electromagnetic field.

This means any device that has a plug, battery or power cord that is no longer working or wanted. It includes a range of items we use and discard from our homes and businesses, for example:

  • televisions
  • computers
  • mobile phones
  • kitchen appliances
  • whitegoods
  • rechargeable batteries
  • photovoltaic panels.

The Victorian Government has banned e-waste from landfill in Victoria, effective 1 July 2019. E-waste is growing up to three times faster than general municipal waste in Australia. This ban helps to address the risks and opportunities associated with this rapid rate of growth.

More information about the ban can be found in the Waste Management Policy (E-waste) (PDF) and at e-waste in Victoria (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning).

E-waste must be separated from the storing, processing and disposal of other waste, as it can contain hazardous materials. These can harm human health and the environment. Also, valuable materials can be recovered for reuse from e-waste.

Both e-waste and processed e-waste materials must be handled and stored with due care to avoid leakage and the release of hazardous substances into air, water or soil.

E-waste storage

The storing e-waste page has information about storing e-waste to avoid leakages and hazardous substances being released into the air, water or soil. The information is for businesses that store e-waste before it is transported to another facility for reprocessing. This includes local council transfer stations, resource recovery centres and other collection points for items like televisions, computers, mobile phones, batteries and lights.

E-waste reprocessing

The reprocessing e-waste page has information about legal and licensing requirements for the reprocessing of e-waste. The information is for businesses that reprocess e-waste as part of their operation. 

Useful links and resources

Legislation

Guidance

Australian Standards and Codes

Other resources

Contact EPA about e-waste at contact@epa.vic.gov.au or call 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).

 

This page was copied from EPA's old website. It was last updated on 27 June 2019.

Q&A about e-waste

Reviewed 25 September 2020