What e-waste can be recycled?

In a world where being environmentally conscious has perhaps never been so important, MRI e-cycle solutions is pleased to say that almost all types of old and unwanted electronic and electrical equipment (i.e. e-waste) can be recycled – basically if it plugs in or has batteries (or indeed is a battery!) we can recycle it.

MRI can recycle the following products for you:

  • Computers – PCs, tablets, hard drives, printers, monitors etc.
  • Batteries (all types of chemistry and size.)
  • Mobile phones.
  • Plastics.
  • Industrial electricity equipment.
  • Televisions  – CRT/ Plasma/LCD/LED
  • Photovoltaic cells.
  • Fluorescent tubes and light bulbs

Why recycle e-waste?

Because the impact on the environment would be disastrous if we didn’t.

Last year alone Australians bought 2.4 million new computers – that means they sent around 1.6 million old computers to landfill (and put 800,000 into storage alongside the 5.3 million already there.)

As hardware breaks down over time, dangerous toxins leach into the groundwater, contaminating soil, waterways and ultimately our children.


  • A standard sized cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor contains more than two kilograms of lead? The toxicity of lead has been well known for centuries, with children particularly susceptible to its effects.
  • PC components include many other toxins such as mercury, phosphor, barium, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, beryllium and bromated flame retardants.
  • Electronic components contain valuable raw materials – such as copper, iron, silicon, nickel and gold – which are being needlessly squandered through careless disposal.
  • There are more than 25 million old mobile phones laying idle in homes going to waste

CRT Recycling

Poor disposal of obsolete Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors is particularly damaging to the environment.

A 17″ CRT contains approximately 2.5kg of lead, together with other carcinogens. As dumped monitors gradually break down in landfill, these dangerous toxins contaminate our environment.

In Australia fewer than 3% of CRTs are recycled.

MRI operates ISO 14001 accredited CRT recycling plants in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Unlike some recyclers, we do not shred CRTs.

We use a combination of manual disassembly and automated processes which together achieve a 98% diversion from landfill.

What we do with the nasty stuff

Glass: Leaded glass is separated from the other glass and sent to a lead smelter for extraction.

Plastics: Computer plastics contain carcinogenic fire retardants. When melted at high temperatures, these are released into the atmosphere and find their way into our food chain. MRI’s recovered plastics are remanufactured at low heat into innovative green products – such as fence posts and pallets that resist fire and termites. More information here

Circuit Boards: Printed circuit boards contain precious metals such as gold and silver. As there are presently no Australian-based recovery solutions, MRI is licensed to export this product to our partner in South Korea. All our downstream partners maintain strict environmental controls pursuant to ISO 14001.

PC Recycling

More than 98% of PC components can be efficiently recycled by MRI. Laptops and other mobile devices are increasingly outselling the traditional PC. The result is storage rooms and garages across the country filling up with unwanted PCs – and the longer these old assets stay in storage, the more likely they are to end up in landfill.

As with CRT monitors, PCs contain many toxic substances that can contaminate the environment if equipment is carelessly discarded.

MRI’s highly efficient recycling processes can divert virtually all of a PC from landfill (i.e. more than 98% by weight):

Steel casings are recycled locally as scrap metal.

Circuit boards are removed and sent to one of our downstream partners for precious metals recovery.

Cables are granulated and copper is recovered.

Plastics, such as the bezels and PVC insulation, are recovered and remanufactured into useful green products, such as fence posts and pallets.

Depending on our clients’ needs, MRI can recycle the product completely, recover parts for reuse, or test and refurbish the item.

With the life cycle of a PC around three years, reuse is not only environmentally sound, it allows disadvantaged members of our community access to inexpensive technology.

Mobile Phone Recycling

MRI has extensive experience in mobile phone recycling operations. All processes comply with ISO14001 Environmental standard.

From 1999 to Nov 2006, 402 tonnes of mobile phone handsets, batteries and accessories have been collected and recycled by MRI under contract with a national industry program.

This represents some 630,000 handsets, 1.68 million batteries and 210 tonnes of accessories.