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Innovation

E-waste return scheme set for Sept

Plans flagged almost a year ago to force manufacturers to enable the recycling of computer equipment are set to come into force late next year.
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Written by Darren Pauli on

Plans flagged almost a year ago to force manufacturers to enable the recycling of computer equipment are set to come into force late next year.

Smashed CRT

(Computer problems image by
Amanda Tetrault, CC2.0)

Legislation for a mandatory e-waste take-back scheme is flagged for consideration in July following a meeting with state and federal ministers late last week.

Under the national scheme first announced by then Environment Minister Peter Garrett, manufacturers will be required to ensure their products are recycled in accredited schemes.

The plans have the support of computer and television manufacturers including Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Panasonic, and will be run by industry groups. The Department of Environment and Customs will monitor importation of computer equipment.

The Australian Information and Industry Association (AIIA) chief executive officer Ian Birks said he does not expect the plans to draw opposition.

"It needs to be considered, but it has solid support," Birks said. "It looks to be in place in September."

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show some 1.6 million PCs are dumped into landfill every year, and almost 6 million PCs are in storage. The production of e-waste is growing faster than any other waste stream, according to the bureau.

Voluntary recycling campaigns have been run by Sustainability Victoria and Clean Up Australia, as well as IT manufacturers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

In August, Hewlett-Packard and Dimension Data launched a recycling rebate for hardware refreshes and an eWaste Management Service respectively.

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