New Melbourne-based business ReGadget was recently launched to offer real cash money for an assortment of out-of-date techtastic goodies, including mobile phones.
Finding out how much your booty will earn you (quiet in the back – it’s a legitimate synonym for ‘goods’) is as simple as a few quick clicks. Say, for example, you wanted to hock your Apple iPhone 4 32GB. (We know, we know – perish the thought!) Provided it’s in excellent condition, still turns on, and has the original cables and box, you could earn yourself $466.76 (prices correct on June 9). And ReGadget shells out for postage.
At the other end of the spectrum, an Acer CI-8330 digital camera in fair condition, that still turns on, and comes with cables but sans box is valued at a diddy $0.95. (So maybe don’t go telling your mates about your second-hand digital camera empire just yet.)
There’s a serious side to recycling your old electrical goods – beyond clearing up clutter and financial rewards.
Why recycle your e-waste?
In an early-2010 report on e-waste by the United Nations, the organisation called for urgent action to tackle the “mountains” of discarded electrical items building up in developing nations.
It cited China, India and parts of Africa as particularly vulnerable to environmental damage and public health threats.
The survey of 11 nations found that India could see as much as a 500% increase in the number of computers dumped by 2020.
Australia is responsible for exporting e-waste to China, India and other Asian countries each year at an estimated worth of $20 million .
Across both developing and developed countries, e-waste is believed to total up to 50 million tonnes per year. Meanwhile, the 2010 Greendex study found that, without the introduction of an e-waste recycling program, the amount of electronic waste in landfill in Australia could treble by 2020 to 700 million items.
Are Australians e-wasteful?
Despite having no Federal Government legislation in place to recycle e-waste, Australians are avid consumers of electronics.
According to ReGadget, there are over 22 million mobile phone subscriptions active in Australia, with many of those updating their handset every 24 months. On the computer front, Greendex found that 98% of households in Australia own at least one computer – the highest percentage of the 17 countries that took part in the study.
The Australian Government had agreed to implement a Product Stewardship initiative in 2011, which would see the cost of recycling passed back to the manufacturer. However, the Senate Environment Communications Legislation Committee has since raised concerns and proposed several changes to the initiative before it goes live.