Computers, mobile phones lagging in the recycling race
New research shows that recycling in the workplace has improved considerably in the past year, but there is still significant room for improvement.
The report, commissioned by Planet Ark, entitled ‘So You Think You Can Recycle?’ found that paper was by far the most recycled material in the workplace with a recycling rate of 72 percent. Common packaging items are recycled in about half of all workplaces.
Printer cartridges are the most commonly recycled forms of e-waste. Around 46 percent of workplaces surveyed reporting that they have a printer cartridge recycling program in place.
Items lagging behind in the recycling stakes include computers and accessories (36 percent) and mobile phones (25 percent).
Increasing the rate of mobile phone recycling is a particularly important priority for Planet Ark with research suggesting that there are currently more old and unused mobile phones than there people in Australia.
Over 95 percent of the materials used in mobile phones and accessories can be recovered, making everything from stainless steel to plastic pallets.
Planet Ark estimates that for every tonne of mobile phone material recovered, 10 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are avoided.
In terms of combined e-waste recycling the report four that the biggest barriers to increased participation were not knowing where to recycle (46 percent) and concerns about data security (38 percent).