What is E-Waste?

Samantha Arthur, Op Shop Marketing Coordinator
Samantha Arthur Marketing and Digital Coordinator
13 November 2018
Broken mobile phone lying on concrete floor

Remember the days of cassette players, portable Walkmans, film cameras and boom boxes? What a time to be alive!

These days most electronics are available via our smart phones, which means op shops have become a mecca for music and film electronics.

Our op shops are like museums for antique electronics. What is now considered ‘old school’ is cool again. Cassette tapes are in, record players are popular again, and big stereo systems are a must. Those old 90s point-and-shoot cameras are making a comeback and so are old gaming consoles.

The most common question our op shop donors ask as they unload their cars is ‘Do you take electrical items?’ The answer is always a friendly, ‘yes we do!’

From record players, fridges and washing machines to mobile phones and headphones, we’ll test, tag and sell the lot. And that is because our customers love a bargain but also like to shop sustainably.

But not everything makes it to our op shops. Electronic waste or ‘E-Waste’ is growing up to three times faster than general waste, but much of it can be reused. E-Waste contains hazardous materials that range from heavy metals to flame retardants. Small amounts can cause problems to the environment, but when you remember millions of E-Waste items are being dumped in landfill, the issue becomes very serious.

This week marks National Recycling Week (12 – 18 November 2018), a time to consider how we can all work together to live more sustainably.

By buying second-hand electronics at our op shops you’re reducing waste, saving money and helping give life to something old but still useful.

We’ll do our best to sell as many electronic items as possible, but some things are just too difficult to sell, such as old analogue TVs, computer drives, monitors and scanners/printers.

Common E-Waste items

The list below includes many common E-Waste items that can be recycled. If you are ever unsure if it is E-Waste, just remember if it has a battery, a cord or a plug it is in fact E-Waste:

  • Computer hard drives
  • Internal and CD drives
  • Monitors
  • Laptop
  • Mobile phone
  • Batteries
  • Headphones
  • Computer mice
  • Web cameras
  • USBs
  • iPad
  • Tablet
  • Notepads
  • Palmtops
  • Television
  • Camera
  • Phone chargers
  • IT cords and cables
  • Printer cartridge
  • Hard drives
  • Modems
  • Scanners
  • Faxes
  • Satellite navigation systems
  • Multi-adapter plugs
  • Printer
  • Keyboard
  • Refrigerator
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Light bulbs

Our op shops will happily take most of these items if they’re in a good condition but if they’re not, visit to locate your local drop off point.