Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Australian council e-waste ban

According to the Sydney Morning Herald last week, four local councils in Sydney (Mosman, Manly, Warringah and Pittwater) have banned the dumping of electronic waste from next January. It's hoped that the move will force the federal and state governments to implement a national recycling scheme when the national e-waste policy is announced - expected in November. Other local governments are being urged to join the ban.

The councils will not accept computers, printers, scanners and other electronic goods either in the kerbside collections or at the councils' tip. Residents will be told to find responsible alternatives instead, with the hope that a nationally regulated recycling system will be agreed and running in 2010.

There are some manufacturer recycling programs in place, for example from Dell, Apple and Toshiba, although understandably limited in scope. According to the Environment, Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) Australians discarded 16.8 million electronic devices in 2007/8, but only 9% were recycled.

I'm surprised that Australia, a country that seems to be very aware of environmental issues generally (and on the ball for green IT), hasn't got this sorted yet. Maybe it's because there's plenty of space for landfill.

© The Green IT Review

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