How is e-waste recycled?

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August 28, 2018

Tags: ewaste

In Australia 100,000 tonnes of e-waste are disposed of every year, but did you know that almost 95% of e-waste materials are recyclable and valuable elements like gold and platinum can be reused, to make new products?

While recycling computers, phones, tablets and televisions is a concern for everyone, small to medium sized businesses are in the spotlight for not doing enough to recycle old electronic equipment. Concerns over data security and cost are the main reasons around the resistance to recycling.

Data security is a valid concern for businesses. From February 2018, businesses subject to the Privacy Act have a mandatory obligation to report notifiable data breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), and any individuals who may be affected by the breach. Non-compliance attracts penalties of up to $340,000 for individuals, and $1.7 million for companies.

Toxfree’s BluBox technology is an end-of-life recycling solution for e-waste. Everything is destroyed as part of the recycling process, ensuring that all e-waste is securely disposed of without the possibility of unauthorised information retrieval. Read more: Why your business needs to care about secure e-waste disposal.

traditional e-waste processing

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What do we do with e-waste?

Older devices such as CRT monitors are recycled through our semi-automated recycling system with a combination of crushing, density separation and x-ray sorting technologies to separate e-waste into its various components.

For “next generation” e-waste such as LCD TVs and laptops, manual dismantling is out of the question as it can expose employees and the environment to hazardous mercury.

Cleanaway and Toxfree’s BluBox technology eliminates these risks by breaking down e-waste under negative pressure while safely extracting mercury vapour and fluorescent dust. An optical sorter then separates the e-waste into its recyclable components.


BluBox is the only automated shredding process in Australia that recovers fluorescent dust as required by AS5377 standards.

How does BluBox help businesses recycle their e-waste?

The BluBox is an automated Swiss-designed e-waste processing technology packed in a 40ft container. It is designed for next generation e-waste such as flat panel displays, smart phones, tablets and laptops. BluBox extracts mercury from the LCD backlighting tubes using a sophisticated separation system to collect mercury vapour and phosphor contaminated mercury.

BluBox can process the equivalent of 300 LCD displays per hour – where a person might disassemble just two. This higher productivity rate is one of the key factors in bringing down recycling costs. Our recycling technology also allows for e-waste to be fully processed within Australia, instead of exporting e-waste to developing countries.

BluBox can process the equivalent of 300 LCD displays per hour

Take action against e-waste

For consumers – don’t hoard outdated electronics. If they still work, pass them on to someone else who may need them. If they no longer work, don’t leave them in your kerbside bin to be sent to landfill, send your e-waste to your nearest TechCollect drop off point.

In Victoria, disposing of e-waste in general waste will no longer be an option from next year, with statewide legislation expected in 1 July 2019, banning the disposal of e-waste in conventional rubbish bins and landfill.

Cleanaway are passionate about diverting electronic equipment from landfill with our e-waste recycling services for businesses.

To book an e-waste recycling service for your business, email us for more information.

Businesses are encouraged to talk to their waste management service provider about a secure product destruction service for contaminated, out-of-date, obsolete, recalled, illegal, and sensitive materials or products, including e-waste.

E-waste not a concern for your business? Find your business’ waste stream here.