AIIA: IT importers on PC take-back duty

The channel will have a clearer understanding of its potential recycling responsibilities when the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) presents a progress paper to the Federal Government's Environment Protection and Heritage Council in September.

With a recent report into e-waste concluding that just 2 per cent of old PCs were recycled last year in Australia, the AIIA and all levels of government have been working to address the issue.

AIIA general manager of strategy and policy services, James McAdam, said the progress paper would be based on the results of a recent round table meeting hosted by Environment Minister, Ian Campbell.

"All AIIA members involved in our Environment Special Interest Group were present alongside local, state and federal government representatives," McAdam said. "It was a very encouraging meeting and great progress was made."

McAdam said a proposal, which AIIA took to the round table as a flowchart, would be amended with input from the session and turned into the September progress paper.

"We're looking to create a scheme that will involve as many industry players as possible covering both future and historic waste," McAdam said. "The proposal we took to the round table is a mechanism that would see all IT importers on a register taking care of their part of the waste that arises."

The AIIA estimated there were 1000 IT importers in Australia, McAdam said, although 15 per cent of those organisations brought 98 per cent of material into the country.

"We would like all companies to be responsible participants in recycling, whether they run their own scheme, subject to minimum standards that will be agreed on, or by hooking into what the AIIA is doing," McAdam said. "Particularly with the whitebox market, we need an appropriate mechanism to deal with recycling."