Issues > Electronics > Environment > E-waste
Waste from electronics (e-waste) is a significant environmental issue. Many of its materials are toxic and can leak into the surrounding ecosystem when disposed of in landfill. Further, rare earth metals are often used to make electronics in the first place, so disposing of them is a huge waste of limited resources. The usual response to this e-waste is recycling, but this has issues. These include the fact that some components cannot be recovered economically, a lack of understanding from the public of where and how to recycle electronics, and some recycling companies illegally abandoning recyclable material.
One way to address this is to reuse and repair your products to maintain their life as long as possible. This means choosing durable, long-term items and learning to fix items yourself (or taking them to an independent repairer). Unfortunately, companies tend not to support this idea as it reduces their profits. Instead, many manufacturers intentionally design products with an artificially limited useful life, forcing customers to replace their products more often.
Check out our entry on Right to Repair for more on how to repair electronics and other goods to extend their useful life.
Purchase electronic goods from companies that are leading the industry in efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle e-waste
Buy second-hand and sell or donate your unwanted goods. You can use websites like OzMobiles, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace or physical stores like op-shops and refurbished electronics stores.