Every year since 1996, Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week has provided an opportunity to put the spotlight on recycling and raise awareness among the Australian public about proper recycling practices. At TechCollect, we know the drill – promote our national e-waste recycling channel in an effort to get more e-waste out of drawers and garages and recycled responsibly.
2019 however, was different. This year more than ever before, waste and recycling has been in the spotlight almost every week, with reports of Australia’s recycling industry in crisis and commitments from State and Federal Governments to develop our domestic recycling capacity.
With Australians’ increased attention and eagerness to see their waste go to the right place, TechCollect knows education is crucial to the public maintaining trust in the industry and continuing their recycling habits and behaviours without losing faith.
That’s why we’ve been piloting a schools e-waste recycling program, which kicked off in Victoria in National Recycling Week (11-17 November).
Three Melbourne schools – Kilvington Grammar, Armadale Primary School and St Monica’s College – kindly allowed us to test our services, getting behind the e-waste message and teaching their students about the importance of recycling.
We worked with each school to run a drop-off event, inviting students, teachers and parents to bring unwanted electronics in for recycling. Thanks to the extremely engaged and passionate students and staff who were assisting in running these events, this was a huge success.
Armadale primary school took the gold medal, filling more than a 660L container with e-waste in just one morning and requesting another container for the afternoon.
This was thanks to a collaborative partnership with the City of Stonnington whose Sustainable Environment Officers worked closely with the school in the lead up to the event, mobilising the student sustainability leaders to create awareness raising activities prior to the drop-off day.
The results from these events will help us in planning for an upscale of the schools program, which we hope to be able to offer beyond Melbourne next year.