Sets stockpile for digital TV switch
THE stockpiles of old televisions is continuing to grow at Bundaberg Regional Council dumps as the deadline for the switchover to digital TV looms.
Bundaberg Regional Council waste and recycling manager James Stanfield said the televisions were being stockpiled while a management plan for the sets was created.
Next Tuesday, thousands of televisions around the region will be rendered useless when the analogue signal in the area is switched off.
The only way an analogue television will receive a signal is with the help of a set top box.
The switch has meant a number of people were upgrading to newer models and creating a landfill problem.
Mr Stanfield said the council was unable to dispose of the TVs in the dump as lead and other toxic products were used to make the "tubes".
"In small amounts that would not be a problem but when you get a large volume of them, you don't want that sitting in the ground," he said.
Mr Stanfield said on average there were two-and-a-half analogue TVs per household meaning there were tens of
thousands in the region.
He estimated that in the next five years, about 70,000-90,000 TVs would need to be disposed of per annum.
Mr Stanfield said the council was researching the best option to dispose of the television sets both safely and cheaply.
One possibility was expanding the e-waste facility which had been set up in conjunction with Impact Make Your Mark.
"We are yet to do our research as to whether it is viable at the moment," he said.
"We may be being a bit naive about the cost."
While the council is having trouble disposing of televisions, retailers are seeing digital models and set top boxes walk out the door.
Retravision Bundaberg brown goods manager Brian Groves said a number of people had started coming in this week looking to upgrade their television or buy a set top box.
"About 75% of people already have a digital TV in their house and they are just looking for something for their second or third TV," he said.
When you get a large volume of them, you don't want that sitting in the ground.