eWaste: computers and their end of life
There are more than 180,000 computers within Queensland state schools and these are earmarked for replacement every four years. In 2009, 29,000 computers were recycled or disposed.
Schools are encouraged to form partnerships with electronic waste organisations in their local areas to recycle or dispose of computer equipment. There are a number of non-profit and community organisations that provide these services.
Organisations in Queensland offering eWaste disposal services include, but are not limited to:
- ACT Logistics
- Charity Computers
- ComputerBank Queensland
- SiMS GROUP e-Recycling
Some state schools offer eWaste recycling services. Contact the following schools for advice on their individual services:
- Aspley Special School - 07 3867 2333
- Goodna Special School - 07 3381 4222
- Redcliffe Special School - 07 3897 5111.
Schools need to process computers earmarked for disposal or recycling in line with departmental procedure. This includes removing all data from hard drives, including the department’s Managed Operating Environment image.
Environmentally friendly disposal methods such as recycling should be used. Being highly toxic, land-fill isn’t environmentally friendly.
When the department centrally procures computers in bulk through such programs as Computers for Teachers, the suppliers of these computers are responsible for removing and disposing them once they have reached their end of useful life.
2011 and beyond
The department’s preferred supplier arrangement (PSA) for computers is due for renewal this year and green computing, which encourages schools to dispose of computer equipment in environmentally responsible ways, will be a new criterion.
This is in line with the government’s Green ICT Strategy, which aims to reduce the environmental footprint of electronic waste throughout the government.
Additionally, the Australian Government recently announced a new national collection and recycling scheme for computers, to be launched this year. It is part of a new National Waste Policy: the first national framework with a 10-year vision for recycling and disposing waste. Computers and televisions are the policy’s initial priorities.
Need more information?
Contact a Regional technology manager.