Waste management leaders called for greater cohesion between industry, government and the community to tackle the growing problem of e-waste at this year’s Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo.
Chairing the ‘E-waste futures’ panel discussion at AWRE, Infoactiv Chief Sustainability Officer John Gertsakis said that the waste industry needs better strategies to deal with the proliferation of e-waste in Australia.
Despite ongoing improvements in e-waste recycling practices, panellists spoke of how the country was lagging behind its counterparts in Europe, which leads the way after creating a sense of shared responsibility between manufacturers, government and the community.
Panellists also called for greater leadership at a government level, as aspiring to be e-waste free would create jobs, business opportunities and investment in infrastructure.
On the exhibition floor of AWRE, e-waste featured heavily, with MobileMuster creating a dynamic installation out of 570 old mobile handsets and 500 circuit boards to replicate an Australian Rules football field.
The 570 phones represented the 5.7 million unused mobile phones in storage across Victoria, which is enough phones to cover the surface of the MCG one and a half times. If recycled, it would divert 985 tonnes of e-waste from landfill, which would have the same environmental impact of planting 30,000 trees.
AWRE organisers Diversified Communications concluded the event with the announcement that they have an in principle agreement with the Waste Management Association of Australia to host the association’s Enviro Conference at AWRE from 2016.