Households and small businesses will have better access to free recycling for computers and televisions following approval of two new providers for the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS).
Sustainable Product Stewards Pty Ltd and the Activ Group Solutions Pty Ltd have joined the NTCRS, Australia’s only national regulated e-waste product stewardship scheme.
The scheme recycles about 60,000 tonnes of televisions and computers, including printers, computer parts and peripherals, from Australian households and small businesses every year. Funded by industry, it has recycled more than 400,000 tonnes of e-waste.
The Activ Group is for the first time offering to collect e-waste from consumers’ homes and businesses.
Helen Jarman, Activ Group Chief Executive, said the group’s Ecoactiv Digital Platform allows consumers to choose the best fit solution for their needs.
“Most consumers want to recycle their NCTRS items, along with, on average, five to seven other items. Consumers now have a service that can collect eligible NTCRS e-waste and other items, either from the home, the office, or if nearby, a suitable facility.
“This should considerably boost Australia’s e-waste recycling and further activate Australia’s growing circular economy,” Jarman said.
Kevin Mooney and Sharon Selwood, co-founders of Sustainable Product Stewards, said the company is looking forward to helping Australians recycle their televisions, computer and computer parts in an environmentally responsible way with a positive social outcome.
“Our aim is not only to keep NCTRS eligible products out of landfill and to support a circular economy by making valuable components available for recycling but to continue to support ongoing employment for over 400 individuals with special needs working in e-waste processing,” Mooney said.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the government is improving the management of e-waste under the NTCRS as part of its broader agenda to better manage Australia’s e-waste.
“Our e-waste is growing at a rate three times faster than any other waste stream and is the single fastest growing waste stream globally,” Ley said.
“The benefits of recycling our e-waste cannot be contested. According to a US study, about 12.6 jobs are created for every 1000 tonnes of e-waste recycled, we save money by not using virgin materials and we keep potentially dangerous materials out of landfill.”
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans said the government’s strong ambition is to ensure every device with a plug or battery can be recovered through a product stewardship scheme before it becomes landfill.
“Computers, solar panels, and batteries all have recyclable components which shouldn’t be wasted in landfill,” Evans said. “We want brands, manufacturers, retailers and industry groups to take greater responsibility for the entire lifecycle of the products they produce and sell, including at disposal.”
A new taskforce has been established in the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment focusing on consumer electronics stewardship. The taskforce will assess the options, costs and benefits of developing product stewardship arrangements for electrical and electronic equipment in addition to products covered by the NTCRS.
Consultation with industry and other key stakeholders throughout the supply chain has already begun.