New lease of life for dumped electricals

Darren Stoney is employed to ‘tag and test’ unwanted electrical items for the tip shop. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d409974
Darren Stoney is employed to ‘tag and test’ unwanted electrical items for the tip shop. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d409974

Mindarie Regional Council recently employed Darren Stoney on a part-time basis to ‘tag and test’ electrical goods dropped off at the centre.

If safe and working, the goods will then be sold through the tip shop on Marmion Avenue.

‘I first do a visual of the appliance to see if it looks operational and not broken,’ Mr Stoney said. ‘Then test it to make sure it is electrically safe to use and finally check out the functions of the appliance as best I can to see if it all works.

‘We can’t guarantee the appliance and all its functions, after all it has been thrown out, but the ‘tag and test’ gives piece of mind to the purchaser that it is in good working order from an electrical safety perspective, from electrocution or fire.’

At Tamala Park, large electrical items have generally been recycled as scrap metal, but MRC found many of the smaller electrical appliances contain little metal and were largely uneconomic to recycle.

As a result, they previously sent them to landfill, despite some items being in a workable condition and probably thrown out by owners who did not need them.

MRC chief Brian Callander said they had seen an increase in electrical goods dropped off at the recycling centre.

‘By ‘tagging and testing’ these items we are providing another service to the community,’ Mr Callander said.

‘In accordance with MRC’s philosophy of trying to carry out its business according to the waste hierarchy, it enables these appliances to be safely re-used.’