The development of the Environment Protection and Heritage Council’s (EPHC) national e-waste scheme has taken a significant step forward with the opening of the public and stakeholder consultation process.
The television and computer consultation package is now available through the EPHC website . The package includes a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS): Televisions and Computers, willingness to pay for e-waste recycling final report choice modelling study and a draft code of practice for managing end-of-life televisions.
The initial decision to form a national e-waste scheme was made in June, and was embraced by the industry at large.
Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) CEO, Ian Birks said about 2000 people had been interviewed so far as part of the process, and the results suggested that consumers were willing to pay for e-recycling, and pay quite heavily.
“There’s a high degree of desire for a national e-waste recycling scheme,” Birks said. “We’re finding that people are willing to pay up to $50 per item.”
There are a number of options being proposed for an e-waste scheme.
“One option is for a flat fee levy with a levy of $20-$30 being worked into the cost of a new panel,” Birks said.
“It’s a model that the TV industry is favouring, but we prefer a waste arising approach, where individual companies are responsible for their own waste, and negotiate contracts with recyclers.
“The system would have two benefits. Through competition it would drive costs down to ultimately impact less on the consumer, and it also encourages vendors to design products for recycling.”
Birks pointed to the Victorian Byteback program, first launched in 2007 as a pilot program for this kind of system.
“We’ve collected more than 6000 tonnes of computer waste, have 11 companies on board, and 15 collection depots around Victoria as well as other depots in Officeworks,” Birks said.
“It’s been a successful pilot that has set us up well for a national scheme.”
Industry and community feedback is open until August 13 with a final decision expected to come at the EPHC’s November meeting. The program itself is expected to begin in the first few months of next year.