Mitchell Transfer Station's Doug Bailey with the old TVs that have been dropped off to be recycled. Photo: Jay Cronan
People are dumping tonnes of televisions and computers at Canberra's tips and site supervisors are preparing for the pile of e-waste to rise even higher when Australia's first free recycling service starts in just over a week.
Almost 4000 people paid to get rid of their old televisions in February, March and April this year.
More than 85 tonnes of televisions and computers were sent to recyclers by ACT Nowaste in February and March. Another 60 tonnes was sent last month. Over the past 12 months there has been an average of 61 tonnes sent to recyclers a month with about 40 televisions in a tonne.
Director of ACT Nowaste Chris Ware said the organisation was preparing for much more than that in the coming months. Canberrans will be able to dispose of unwanted televisions and computers for free from May 15 under a new national recycling scheme.
''We are expecting that the service will be well-utilised in the first few months,'' Mr Ware said. ''It's highly likely that the two transfer stations will become very busy.
''Certainly the first couple of weekends we encourage people to consider holding on for a little while longer so that they avoid queues, especially on the weekend.''
Mitchell Resource Management Centre site supervisor Doug Bailey was surrounded by about 150 unwanted televisions at the tip yesterday. He said they had been dumped over the past three days.
Mr Bailey and his team are gearing up for a busy few months and said Canberrans would flock to the Mitchell site in droves when the free recycling service started.
The computer and television dumping area at the site will be moved in the coming days to a larger area so that the tip can cope with the large numbers expected.
''I don't want to think about it - it's going to be huge,'' Mr Bailey said.
''We estimate 40,000 televisions in the first few weeks.
''And then about 300 to 400 televisions a week, maybe more.''
The ACT is the first capital city to implement the new National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme. It is the start of a nationwide roll-out of services.
It will operate from the Mugga Lane and Mitchell Transfer stations, which are open seven days a week.