Sustainability Victoria launch e-waste campaign ahead of ban

In the lead up to Victoria’s ban on e-waste to landfill, the state government has launched a $1.5 million public education and awareness campaign.

The campaign aims to help Victorians better understand e-waste and reduce the amount sent to landfill ahead of the 1 July 2019 ban.

Relates stories:

Regulatory measures were made in late June to update existing statutory policies to include e-waste as a material banned from landfill and an amendment which specifies how it should be managed safely.

Current practices show that at least 90 per cent of a computer, television or mobile phone can be recovered and reused.

Victoria currently has a range of collection points for e-waste, but there is the potential to develop new collection sites and expand the range of electrical, electronic and battery powered items to be recycled.

Managers of e-waste in Victoria have a year to adapt to the new regulatory measures and gives time for Victoria’s e-waste collection network to be operational.

Victorian councils can also apply for $15 million in grants to upgrade or build collection and storage facilities in 130 areas where need has been identified. Funding applications close 14 September.

Sustainability Victoria acting CEO Jonathan Leake said Electronic waste is growing up to three times faster than general municipal waste in Australia.

“Australians are high users of technology and among the largest generators of e-waste in the world,” he said.

“It’s estimated the country’s e-waste will increase more than 60 percent, to a predicted 223,000 tonnes in 2023–24.”

“Recycling captures valuable metals like copper, silver, gold, aluminium and other metals, as well as plastics and glass so they can be re-used in the next wave of technology rather than mining or making new materials,” Mr Leake said.

Victorian Government seeks feedback on e-waste ban

The Victorian Government is seeking community and industry input on the details of its proposed ban on e-waste from landfill.

It comes one year before the next election, and is part of the state government’s 2014 election commitment to ban e-waste from landfill.

The government has invested $16.5 million into an education and awareness campaign, to educate Victorians about how and why to recycle their e-waste, along with new e-waste collection points to be installed across the state.

E-waste includes any device that requires a power cord or a battery to operate and that is no longer wanted or useful, including phones, computer and computer accessories, and even kitchen equipment such as toasters.

The government estimates it is growing three times faster than general waste, with research showing that in 2015, some 109,000 tonnes of e-waste got into the Victorian waste system. Projections suggest Victoria will be producing 256,000 tonnes of e-waste by 2035.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the consultation process was important, with action from the community, recyclers and landfill managers required to divert e-waste from landfill.

The government believes responsibly managing e-waste will help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and the negative impacts on our environment, provide safe management of hazardous materials, and allow greater recovery of valuable materials.

The development of the Waste Management Policies to ban e-waste from landfill and ensure appropriate management of e-waste is a joint project between Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Environment Protection Authority.

Victoria’s seven waste and resource recovery groups, who help to deliver waste and resource recovery programs around the state, will join with these other agencies to discuss the ban and the supporting measures with stakeholders.

A policy impact assessment and draft Waste Management Policies that will give effect to the ban have now been released for public comment for three months, with the ban expected to be implemented by July 2018.

The documents are available on the government’s website.