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Computer recycling and disposal in Canberra

One of the challenges in regards to living in a Geek Household is what do we do with our computers once they become obsolete. My hubby’s workplace recently wanted to recycle many old computer items (computer cases, CRT monitors, power supplies, printers, old servers). We decided to hop on the band wagon and recycle some of our old servers and other computer bits and pieces.

One of the things to be aware of is the difference between end-of-use versus end-of-life products. The first can be reused while the latter requires environmentally sound disposal.

Due to his enthusiasm for recycling and other green matters, my hubby was tasked with recycling these “e-waste”. What he quickly found was that it can be extremely difficult and expensive to recycle e-waste in Canberra, in particular, bulk loads of computer items. From a quick look through the items, I’m guessing that some of the items were end-of-life while others were end-of-use for their business (including good quality working 21″ CRT monitors that were surplus to their requirements as staff had upgraded to 30″ LCD monitors).

So if you’re in a similar situation of recycling bulk loads of computer gear, what are your options for getting rid of your unwanted computer gear legally (dumping of computer items is illegal in the ACT)?

Mitchell Resource Management Centre and Mugga Lane Landfill and Resource Management Centre

The Mitchell and Mugga Lane Resource Management Centres are located in Flemington Road, Mitchell ACT and Mugga Lane, Symonston ACT. You can drop your unwanted computer gear there. The computers are sent to Melbourne for recycling where plastics and other easily recycle materials are extracted.

Disposal fees apply as follows: computer box $15, monitor $22.50. Note that with bulk loads, the website states that it’s $30 per 10 kg. When hubby brought a trailer load full of computer items to Mugga Lane, they refuse to charge per 10kg. He was told that it was charged by the tonne. The Mitchell centre said that they didn’t do bulk loads.

More information over at

Charity Computers

Charity Computers is a not for profit organisation and registered charity run by Canberra Christian Life Centre. Charity Computers receive donated computers in both working and non-working order. They don’t seem to accept bulk loads, unless it’s all computers than can be reused in a home situation (rather than the mix of business computer gear from hubby’s workplace).

For the donated computers that are working, these are repaired and reused. These computers are sent to individuals in need or not-for-profit organisations. Charity Computers are involved in training the unemployed for jobs and are also involved in charitable activities locally and overseas.

Disposal fees of $25 apply to Apple items, 14″ monitors, faulty monitors and monitors without stands. Disposal fees of $5 apply to printers requiring ink or are faulty, and dot matrix printers.

More information at nationally, or try the Canberra Charity Computer page.

Dell recycling

Dell offers recycling for any brand of computer, keyboard, mouse, monitor or printer. Dell will arrange to pick up the equipment at your home for a flat fee of $10 plus $13 per item in metropolitan areas or $15.50 if you are more than 40 km from your capital city. You can also take your PC to one of two drop off points in Sydney and Melbourne for $8.50 per unit. Contact Dell Recycling on 1800 465 890 or email for more information.

Dell also offers free recycling for Dell branded products.

I’m not sure about bulk loads but it’s likely the same as the costs for the home recycling (i.e. paying for each item to be disposed).

More information at

Green PC

Green PC is located in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT. It is a not-for-profit organisation that states its dedication to “breaking down the digital divide” that separates the information rich from the information poor. They refurbishes donated computers and make them available, at a price, to those that may not be able to afford a new computer system. They also provide IT services at affordable rates to registered charities and community groups.

At this point in time, they will only accept Pentium 4 desktops and laptops and LCD monitors.

More information at


Lioncom is located at 8 Pirie Street in Fyshwick ACT. They handle recycling and disposal of computers and are committed to a 100% No Land-fill policy.

They handle bulk loads (call to make an appointment). Disposal costs are $8 per computer, $18 for small monitors (can’t remember the price for 20″ and above monitors), and $1 for miscellaneous items like keyboard, mouse, cables etc.

More information at


An anonymous reader kindly provided the following suggestion:

On freecycle act (a yahoo group) working monitors are snapped up very quickly.

You can try the ACT Freecycle group or check the Freecycle website for other Freecycle groups around Australia.


EzyScrap recycles metal in the Canberra region but reader Tiffany noted that they picked up and recycled her printer for free.

Printer cartridges

Printer cartridges (including both toner and ink based ones) can be dropped off at ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ boxes. View a list of ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ boxes in Canberra.


Find a geek – geeks are a great people to pass old printers, mobile phones etc to. They can pull the items apart and use components for various projects. Usable components include LCD screens from your mobile phone, printer gears etc. Not sure where to find geeks? One option is to try the mailing list of your local Linux user group.

The verdict

Hubby ended up going with Lioncom as they seemed to be the only organisation that would accept bulk loads of computers. I was really surprised to find out how difficult it is to dispose of bulk loads at the Mitchell and Mugga Lane Resource Management Centres. They would have been my first choice for bulk loads, but it seems that it’s only worth going to the Mitchell and Mugga Lane Resource Management Centres if you have at least a tonne of items.

We’ll have to do another computer recycle and disposal run in a few weeks. Looks like Lioncom will be the choice again.

If you’re aware of any schools or other organisations that can make use of old unwanted computer gear (probably a mix of working and non working items and will possibly include server gear as well), please drop me a comment. I would have thought that there are schools out there who may want to have the opportunity to strip down a computer. Anyhow, drop me a comment if you have any other recycling/disposal suggestions or resources that I can add to this post.

DISCLAIMER: The prices above are provided as a guide. Please ensure that you check the websites mentioned for the latest prices.


  • Added Freecycle to the list.
  • 5 May 2009 – Added ‘Geeks’, EzyScrap, printer cartridges and updated the Charity Computers information.
Published inComputersEnvironment


  1. Or you could wander into a mobile phone shop and stand at the MobileMuster mobile phone recycling boxes with a pair of tinsnips and dismantle the computers on-site and drop them into the box piece by piece … for free :-)

  2. Wow, that’s really useful info. Thanks for doing the research.

    I’ve got at least a couple of old macs which should probably be hauled down to Lioncom.

  3. Ruth Ellison Ruth Ellison

    @NathanaelB You could but I think they may be a bit suspicious if there’s a whole trailer load of computer items ;) But on the serious side, some of these mobile shops will only accept mobile phones.

    @Matt Sheppard Glad that it’s useful. Please let me know if you come across any other information about disposals of Macs in Canberra!

  4. jesse jesse

    in south australia anglicare sa will take any pc’s working or not monitors 17″s and above and any other computer related “e-waste” at no charge what ever the amount they even take mac’s too.

    you can call them on 08 8209 5705

  5. Thanks for the write up re Lioncom.

    As an FYI for anyone that has any computers for recycling, Lioncom just announced a Green Day where they will take all PC equipment including monitors at no cost. 14th of June for the public and 13th for businesses and govt dept.

  6. Ruth Ellison Ruth Ellison

    Thank you Jesse and Costa for the additional information. Costa – I’m happy to see Lioncom running a Green Day. That’s great!

  7. Anon i mous Anon i mous

    On Freecycle, monitors are only snapped up if they are LCD Flat Screens, the older style CRT monitors (especially under 21inch in size) are generally left untouched.

  8. Jessica Jessica

    Hi Ruth

    Thanks for this post – it was one of the key ones I used when Jeremy and I were looking to dispose of a whole heap of no-longer-used computer stuff.

    You and your readers might be interested to know that: a) Charity Computers seems to be no more (website gone, no answer on the phone) and b) Lioncom don’t generally take nearly as much stuff as their website suggests. For example, they were reluctant to accept digital cameras and stereo speakers. (But with a soft smile I managed to get them to agree.)


  9. Diane Diane

    Hi Ruth

    Thank you for all your hard work. It is a problem. Charity Computers still take computers for a fee of $15 per monitor.


  10. This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog . It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really belive you will do much better in the future . Good job web master .

  11. mosesliew mosesliew

    We can accept any P4 PC & 17″ monitors, LCD or laptops without charges. Please contact us at

  12. Interested Interested

    Just noting that the site “” does work but there seems to be a slight glitch in the link on the page above. Thanks so much fo this really helpful research.

  13. Ruth Ellison Ruth Ellison

    @Interested – thanks for the pick up. I’ve corrected the Lioncom link.

  14. Tiffany Tiffany

    I found your site while trying to figure out how to recycle a printer. EzyScrap in Canberra will pick up and recycle my printer for free!

  15. Marie Marie

    After watching Jennie Brockie tonight I went on to google “recycle computer monitors” and came up with your page. This is wonderful information. When I lived in a small country town I always offered my computer to Vinnies or Salvos. Have not tried that in ACT but it may be worth a try as they did repairs in the country.

  16. Ruth Ellison Ruth Ellison

    Hi Marie, thanks for the comment. Thanks for the suggestion about dropping off computers with Vinnies or the Salvos. I’ll try those organisations and see what they say. Will update this page if successful!

  17. Our company recycles all e-waste. We accept bulk loads or individual items (some charges apply). We are located in Nowra NSW. Soon to be in Glendenning Sydney and Canberra (if they ever finish Main Road 92). We try and keep as much recycled material from e-waste in Australia as possible. Make sure that your e-waste doesn’t end up dumped in some third world country. With our certified tracking system we can guarantee that our e-waste doesn’t. Ask you recycler.

  18. Peter Duckworth Peter Duckworth

    I want old computers and will pick them up free of charge from Canberra addresses. Macs, pc and laptops wanted please.

    Just call me on 0438 616 762 and I will come by and pick up – happy to pickup from your front doorstep while you are out or can carry items out of your home or business.

    0438 616 762

  19. Moses Liew Moses Liew

    Fervently looking forward to collect/buy working laptops(P4 & above),working LCD any size with direct power supply,mobile phones,digital cameras.Please contact us by email for further discussion.

  20. GREEN DAY at Lioncom 4th & 5th September
    the General public and businesses can
    drop of old computing equipment for FREE.
    Taking advantage of the Free PC Recycling Day
    Simply drop off surplus computer equipment at the Fyshwick Collection Centre,
    located at 8 Pirie St, Fyshwick.
    For Businesses and Government Departments:
    Friday, 4th September 2009, 9:00am – 5:00pm
    For General Public:
    Saturday, 5th September 2009, 9:00am – 5:00pm

  21. RR RR

    Thank you! I found this website useful. I just emailed Ezyscrap to find out if they are willing to take the unwanted electrical products from our place. Will let you know what happens.

    Recycling is such a problem in Canberra. Other states have free pick up services for computers, furniture and white goods. Wish Canberra would follow suit. This would definitely prevent illegal dumping. I live in an apartment complex and often I see people using the garbage bins for everything from lamps to mattresses. I can’t say I blame them… not everyone has trucks or trailers in their garage that they could use to transport items to the Recycling centres.

  22. Steph Steph

    Thanks for all the information, very helpful!

    For reference, I just called Lioncom and they have shut up shop – so they won’t be able to help us anymore

  23. John Malunec John Malunec

    Thank you Ruth.
    Informative wit personal touch.

  24. RR RR

    Ezyscrap was nice enough to take all my unwanted electrical items for free! I was able to get rid of my computer monitor (paid $20 or $25 to Ezyscrap to get it to the recycling centre). They pickup from your front door and if you are not there, you can leave it outside for them to collect. It was that easy!

  25. emily emily

    help i need to get rid of my mac any places that’ll take it fr free

  26. Hey Emily, I can’t think of any places that would take a computer for free. Does it still work and is it a recent mac? If so, some charities may get use out of it. If it’s pretty old, the responsible thing is to get rid of it properly (i.e. paying someone to dispose of it safely).

  27. We run a christian school in Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa. It has been quite challenging. We came across your site when looking for charity computers.
    We anxiously look forward to collect working laptops (p4 and above), working LCD size with direct power supply; mobile phones, digital cameras. These will assist our students in ICT. We would highly appreciate it if sent to us.

    Phone: +2348029083679
    May the Good LORD bless your labour of love.

  28. Harold Harold

    Hi there I’m looking for some old unwanted computers please let me know were can I find in Sydney

  29. Harold Harold

    Hi If u have any let me kn

  30. Angelique Angelique

    Hi Ruth – Thanks to you for providing all this information, I contacted Dell, who have arranged for collection and recycling/disposal of our old computer equipment from work through MRI About $350 for a small trailer load – pretty good we thought! Thanks again for your site. – Angelique

  31. you have revealed a rather great details , regards on your post.

  32. I help and support computer recycling. It does Mother Nature an enormous favor. I actually helps our environment so much. Thanks for sharing such informative information. I will be sharing this to other individuals. Keep sharing very helpful posts. =)

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  37. SJD SJD

    Just FYI the Charity Computer website is up for sale. Guessing that means that operation no longer exists… great idea, perhaps it has a new link?. I Will move to one of your other suggestions. Thanks.

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