Arnies Recon gives old gadgets a second life so they don’t end up in landfills or junkyards
Many people love to give or receive the latest phones, tablets, laptops, gaming devices, cameras and TVs as Christmas gifts this time of year. But they don’t know what to do with their old devices other than hoard them in their device graveyard or leave them on the side of the road.
Corresponding Clean Up Australia88 per cent of the four million computers and three million televisions bought in Australia each year end up in landfill, which contributes to the more than 140,000 tonnes of e-waste generated by Australians each year and which is growing three times faster than any other waste stream.
Less than 1 percent of televisions and about 10 percent of PCs and laptops are recycled here, although 98 percent of their components can be recycled. Sydney social enterprise Arnie’s Recon was founded on the premise that we can enjoy our gadgets and then give them a second chance when we’re done. The company offers free electronics recycling to consumers, businesses, government organizations and schools, providing a more responsible way to dispose of old devices.
Arnies Recon has saved over 4.7 thousand tons of equipment and electronics from landfill. It has evolved into one of the most sophisticated, holistic and inclusive recycling models in the world, employing ten different recycling methods, resulting in over 85 product lines.
“It’s certainly the case with gadgets that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, and people can feel less guilty about replacing their old gadgets when they know they’ll be given a second life.” , said Lisa Saunders, co-founder and CEO of Arnies Recon.
Most people have that bottom drawer or closet full of unwanted cords, old phones, laptops, desktops, gaming devices, cameras, and TVs, depending on how often their gear is replaced. Many people hold on to outdated technology and have various excuses for doing so, even when the devices no longer work.
There’s another way. Whenever Arnies Recon receives an electronic device, the team tries to find the most efficient way to recycle it. You will find a new home for the items just as they are; This could include collectors or remanufacturers who recycle with the smallest possible footprint.
“Recycling prevents old equipment from being sent to landfill or being kept in a drawer just in case. People can give their old gadgets and technology a second life while enjoying their new gadgets without guilt,” said Lisa.
“We find people who will refurbish and reuse the items as is or as parts to make whole units. We even find collectors in Australia and overseas who are passionate about retro electronics and want to own or restore old items with nostalgic value,” Lisa continued.
Arnies Recon has partnered with Westfield to offer collection days at some of its Sydney area shopping centres, starting with Bondi Junction, Chatswood and Warringah shopping centres; this will be expanded to other locations in 2023. They organize too community collections to make it easier for consumers to drop off their small electronic devices and cables for recycling at a convenient location in their own neighborhood.