The Government has outlined a national framework for e-waste to be developed and set in place for all industry organisations from 2011.
In a meeting today, the Environmental Protection Heritage Council (EPHC) confirmed the national e-waste management program will be a consistent national policy regulating the disposal of electronic products in Australia including computers, monitors and TVs.
The development of the initiative was first announced by the EPHC in May. Since then, it has been conducting a Regulatory Impact Statement and review to determine what would be the most appropriate solution.
Following the creation of the regulations, manufacturers and importers of electronic equipment will be required to join a Government-accredited Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO).
It is a development welcomed by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). CEO, Ian Birks, said the announcement was in line with its lobbying and complemented itsByteback initiative, which has been running in Victoria as a trial in conjunction with Sustainability Victoria and various vendors. As a result of the Government’s decision, the AIIA will now look to expand Byteback into a national PRO program.
While a manufacturer or importer will not need to subscribe to the AIIA’s program, they will need to demonstrate they are a member of an accredited PRO scheme. Organisations that would like to put forward their own PRO scheme will need to meet a set of Government criteria that hasn’t yet been formed, Birks said.
The AIIA’s PRO submission to the EPHC includes an industry-based financing model with a defined scope, timeline and target for setting up a viable take-back program in Australia.
“The Byteback program will continue to run over the next year in Victoria as the regulations are formed, and then transition into a national scheme a year later,” Birks said. “Our target is to reach 75-80 per cent of all tech waste collected by 2020.”