Along with the lifesaving message to change the batteries in your smoke alarm this year, Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley is urging households to take an extra safety step and recycle the batteries.
Ryan Swenson, Officeworks Head of Sustainable Development, explains the company’s commitment to viewing all operations through a waste lens.
Officeworks has launched a new way for customers to dispose of batteries, pens and markers, as part of upgrades to recycling stations across most of its stores over the next 12 months.
The program was launched by Assistant Waste Reduction Minister Trevor Evans at Officeworks Osborne Park store in Perth, Western Australia.
“Australians can now recycle their batteries, pens and markers at Officeworks, in addition to e-waste, computers and accessories, ink and toner cartridges and mobile phones,” Mr Evans said.
“It is another step forward in Australia transitioning towards a more circular economy, in which we recognise the value of our waste resources and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.”
Mr Evans said every Australian, including all levels of government, has a part to play in the waste and recycling “revolution.”
“I am delighted that Officeworks is playing its part to improve our environment, and assisting customers to dispose responsibly of unwanted technology items for free in their stores at dedicated recycling collection points,” Mr Evans said.
“Recycling old batteries and plastic pens and markers is one very practical and easy thing we can all do.”
According to Mr Evans, Officeworks existing recycling program has already collected more than 10 million ink and toner cartridges and 4800 tonnes of e-waste.
“Officeworks is planning to have battery recycling available in all its stores, and pen recycling in most stores, by the end of 2020,” Mr Evans said.
“Officeworks will recycle batteries in partnership with Envirostream, and pens and markers in partnership with BIC.”
Officeworks’ Ryan Swenson highlights the company’s smart approach to back-of-house and customer recycling.
Officeworks has received funding though the state governments $25.3 million Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund to upgrade e-waste collection facilities at 42 stores across Victoria.
The Officeworks sites will collect mobile phones, ink cartridges and IT waste items – forming part of a network of more than 1000 e-waste drop-off locations across the state.
Officeworks already operates as a drop-off point for mobile phone product stewardship scheme MobileMuster and the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program.
From 1 July 2019, any device with a power cord or battery will be prohibited from landfill.
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the ban will ensure valuable materials left inside e-waste can be safely recovered and reused, while reducing the damage electronic items can have on the environment and human health.
“We’re making sure Victorian households know how to dispose of e-waste properly and easily ahead of the e-waste to landfill ban on 1 July.”
“It’s great to see businesses like Officeworks getting on board to ensure all Victorians to have a convenient drop-off point close to home.”
The state government has also invested $16.5 million to help councils across the state upgrade their e-waste collection and storage facilities, and deliver a public education program.