Officeworks Bytes into AIIA IT recycling trial

Officeworks Bytes into AIIA IT recycling trial

AIIA claims initiative cannot continue to be financially viable until more vendors sign on

The Victorian Byteback trial has been extended via a partnership with retailer, Officeworks.

Officeworks stores in the Victorian suburbs of Dandenong and Ballarat will become collection points for unwanted computer equipment from the end of June. The Byteback program is run by Sustainability Victoria in partnership with the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and vendors Apple, Canon, Dell, Epson, Fujitsu, Fuji-Xerox, HP, IBM, Lenovo and Lexmark. The two additional collection points bring the state total to six.

AIIA CEO, Ian Birks, said the addition of Officeworks added another level of credibility to the program trial. The next stage of the program was to look at how to best service regional areas in Victoria.

"Byteback is still a trial at this stage while we determine whether the strategy works. As such it's limited in its scope, but if it works we'll be looking to expand nationally and we'd hope Officeworks would be a part of that," Birks said.

AIIA executive officer for environmental sustainability, Josh Millen, said the volume of unwanted computer equipment being returned was on the rise as awareness of the program was increasing. "At the moment 42 per cent of the products coming in are from the 10 vendors involved in the program. The other 58 per cent are from outside brands and Victorian taxpayers are picking up the tab on these," he said.

Millen reiterated comments he made to <i>ARN</i> last month that a voluntary scheme was not going to work by itself.

"That 58 per cent highlights the need for a regulatory framework for the program. Vendors such as Acer account for five to six per cent of the returns and the government is paying the entire cost of these returns," Millen said.

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