Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Senator Stephen Conroy

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Free TV take-back scheme for regional Victoria

Media release
5 May2011

Residents in regional Victoria will be able to drop off their old TVs for recycling under a free initiative of the Australian and Victorian governments..

With the switchover to digital TV occurring today in regional Victoria, the Australian Government is working with the Victorian government to establish collection arrangements for unwanted televisions..

The Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy, welcomed the initiative, saying it was a practical scheme helping local communities.

"Although people don't necessarily need to replace their TVs for the switchover, we recognise many people may take this opportunity to upgrade their technology," Senator Conroy said.

"The Australian and Victorian governments recognise the importance of working together to avoid unwanted televisions being dumped in landfill.

"This is one in a raft of initiatives in place to help communities prepare for the switchover. All current analog TVs will be able to receive the full suite of free-to-air digital TV channels by adding a digital set-top box. Householders in regional Victoria may be eligible for the free installation of a set-top box under the Digital Switchover Household Assistance Scheme, open until 5 June 2011," Senator Conroy said.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the initiative will help ensure the safe and environmentally responsible recycling of unwanted TVs.

"It's estimated that around 1.5 million televisions are discarded annually," Senator Farrell said.

"Recycling these is good for our society and good for the environment.

"These discarded TVs contain non-renewable resources, such as tin, nickel, zinc aluminum and copper, all of which can be recycled for other uses. Recycling also prevents hazardous substances being released into the environment.

"This timely take-back initiative follows the successful scheme rolled out in regional South Australia after the December 2010 digital switchover, which saw nearly 20,000 old TVs diverted from landfill..

"It is also in line with the Australian Government's commitment to a landmark television and computer recycling scheme, due to commence from the end of this year. The scheme will see a national, industry-led effort to recycle 80 per cent of all TVs and computer equipment by 2021.

"In the interim, this important initiative is helping regional areas make the switch to digital TV and manage TV waste safely and responsibly."

For information on the switchover to digital television call 1800 20 10 13 or go to:

Applications for the Household Assistance Scheme can be made by calling 1800 55 64 43 between 8.00am and 5.00pm (AEST), Monday to Friday.

For further information on the National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme visit: