WESFARMERS SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2018

Recycling electronic waste

With electronic waste growing three times faster than other waste streams, Officeworks assists customers to dispose responsibly of unwanted technology items for free at dedicated in-store recycling collection points, enabling the recovery of valuable materials for re-use.

During the 2019 financial year, customers recycled a total of 867 tonnes of e-waste and consumables, an increase of 25 per cent on the prior year. This was achieved by increasing the number of collection points, the types of e-waste collected and also a marketing campaign to help raise awareness of the importance of recycling e-waste. Ahead of the Victorian ban on e-waste to landfill that came into effect on 1 July 2019, Officeworks partnered with the Victorian Government to promote the free recycling services and raise awareness of ways to recycle unwanted items.

In August 2018, the Basel Action Network released a report following an investigation into e-waste recycling in Australia, which claimed that two devices left at Officeworks stores in Queensland in September 2017 were exported to Hong Kong, placing the government-approved co-regulator in potential contravention of international law. Officeworks conducted an investigation which resulted in immediate corrective actions plans and changed providers to an alternative government-approved co-regulator with greater levels of governance and traceability to reduce the risk of similar issues in the future.

During the 2020 financial year, Officeworks will upgrade current in-store recycling facilities to facilitate a greater volume and range of e-waste being recycled, including rolling out a national battery recycling scheme.