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Many of us are working from home more. Many more of us are spending more of our leisure time at home as well. Consequently, many of us have decided it’s high time to upgrade our electronics, be they computers, TVs, smartphones or maybe even kitchen appliances (there’s been a lot of iso baking going on after all).
When you upgrade your electronics, however, it also means you need to dispose of your old electronics. And you need to dispose of them responsibly (because of climate change but also because it’s illegal to send e-waste to landfill). Melbourne social enterprise PonyUp for Good has launched a convenient initiative to help you in this endeavour, while also helping Victorians experiencing food insecurity.
The Emeals program is a collaboration between PonyUp for Good, Ecoactiv and SecondBite, that turns old electronics into meals for the needy (not literally). Here’s how it works: after gathering together all the old electronics you want to have recycled, you head to the Emeals website to book, get a quote and pay. Then you will need to box up your e-waste while the Emeals team sends you confirmation of when and how they’ll conduct your contactless collection.
All the collected items are sent to accredited recycling companies to make sure the waste doesn’t end up at the tip – it’s tracked too, so you’ll even get a message when it gets to the recycling plant and info on what it’ll be turned into.
For each e-waste booking made, Emeals then donates five meals to SecondBite to help those experiencing food insecurity – currently they feed around 110,000 Australians every day.
The list of what can be picked up for recycling is pretty extensive and includes smartphones, laptops, power tools, TVs, and kitchen appliances – you can see the full list here. Usually, there is a fee (calculated depending on the items you are recycling) to have your waste collected for recycling from areas within metropolitan Melbourne, but until August 31 the team is offering free collections for computer equipment and TVs. Head to the website to start your booking.
PonyUp for Good was founded in 2016 by Mardi Brown and Cat Harding. The pair had been selling old laptops and donating the money to charity when they received a large shipment from a business and realised how pervasive the issue of e-waste was. Since launching, they’ve donated 350,000 meals and kept 180,000kg of e-waste out of landfill.