Adelaide set for digital switchover


April 01, 2013 17:07:49

Old televisions are piling up at collection centres as Adelaide prepares to become the first capital in Australia to have its analog signal switched-off.

From Tuesday, the city and surrounding areas will only receive the digital signal.

Analog televisions will require set top boxes and free collection centres have been set up for unwanted televisions.

Simon Schrapel from Uniting Communities is encouraging people to make use of the centres.

He says it costs thousands of dollars a year to dispose of televisions dumped at Goodwill bins.

“We expect it to become an increasing problem with this turnover. For the last eight months we’ve had about 1200 TVs dumped at our sites and we have to dispose of those at significant cost,” he said.

“$25 is the deal we’ve got at the moment to get rid of every TV so it’s costing us about $10,000 a year.

“That’s $10,000 we could use for our services.

“The problem we’ve had with electrical goods is the cost it takes to test them and many of the TVs were not in good order, by the time they were dumped they were ruined.”

Environment Minister Ian Hunter says hazardous and valuable materials can be salvaged from old televisions.

He says there are 14 drop-off centres around the state and those caught dumping televisions in the street face fines from local councils.

“It’s a huge expense for local government and it’s one they don’t need to pay for because we have these free dumping centres,” he said.

Skips fill

Geoff Laver says his collection centre at North Plympton has been inundated in the past few days.

“Yesterday morning I reckon I got 200 in an hour,” he said.

“It would be thousands. We usually fill up a skip a day, but this is two skips, three skips a day now.”

The analog signal was switched off in some rural parts of South Australia in December 2010.

Remote areas will make the switch to digital television by the end of the year along with the rest of the country.

The Digital Switchover Taskforce says most households have already upgraded to digital-ready televisions or connected digital set-top boxes to their existing TVs.

Taskforce chief Nerida O’Loughlin expects the transition to go smoothly.

“There might be reception issues in different pockets across Adelaide, and we’re advising people to, it’s a really good time to check your aerial and your wiring to avoid any reception issues,” she said.

About 23,000 homes across Adelaide have made the switchover under an assistance scheme for people on maximum-rate pensions.


First posted

April 01, 2013 13:26:20

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