Information for local government - Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

How does the Scheme affect local government's roles and responsibilities in managing waste?

Local government is responsible for providing safe and environmentally sound waste management and resource recovery services in their local community. The scheme does not change this role. The Scheme builds on existing waste management services by providing Australians with greater choice for recycling their unwanted televisions and computers.

Local government participation in the Scheme is voluntary. Many Scheme recycling services are operating from existing local council resource management centres and local governments may choose to partner with a co-regulatory arrangement in the implementation of the Scheme.

Can local government form contractual arrangements with a co-regulatory arrangement?

All discussions relating to contractual arrangements are commercial decisions to be determined between the co-regulatory arrangement and the individual council. Councils are encouraged to contact the co-regulatory arrangement directly to discuss participation in Scheme services.

Does the Scheme handle waste arising from the digital television switchover?

While the Scheme was not developed in response to the digital television switchover it may help in providing options for some of the waste arising from the digital switchover in particular areas of Australia.

Co-regulatory arrangements have some flexibility in when and how they provide services under the Scheme, and are encouraged to consider the digital switchover when determining the roll-out of scheme services.

To address community demand for the recycling of televisions in areas where the digital switchover will occur, there is a need for state, territory and local waste management authorities to continue their role in providing adequate waste and recycling services, including for waste televisions and computers.

How much will the Scheme recycle and how much waste will need to be managed through existing processes?

The television and computer industry has obligations under the Scheme to collect and recycle a minimum amount of products each year. These annual targets are identified in the Regulations.

The Scheme will boost recycling of televisions and computers from an estimated 17per cent of waste generated in 2010 to a target of 30per cent in 2012-13. The Scheme recycling targets will then progressively increase each year, reaching 80per cent of television and computer waste generated by 2021-22 (as shown in the graph below).

Graph showing Scheme recycling targets

The Scheme is intended to build on, rather than replace existing services and there will be a continued need for councils and local waste management authorities to collect and recycle television and computer waste over and above Scheme recycling rates.

How will households and small businesses know which products are covered under the Scheme?

Co-regulatory arrangements are required under the Regulations to clearly define what products are accepted at Scheme recycling services. In addition, the Regulations provide a detailed list on what products are covered under the Scheme.

The Scheme accepts televisions, computers and computer products for recycling. This includes the following items: all televisions (CRTs, plasma, LCD, LED and projection televisions), desktop and portable computers, monitors, mice, keyboards, cables, drives, printers, scanners and computer-related peripherals.

The Scheme does not accept: mobile phones, game consoles, video recorders, DVD and blue-ray players, toner cartridges, radios/stereos, power tools, universal power supplies and other electrical appliances.

What assistance is available to local governments in responding to enquiries about the Scheme?

The Australian Government has made available an information toolkit for local government containing a video, brochure, poster and postcard. This toolkit should assist councils in communicating information about the Scheme to their community.

Should councils be stockpiling television and computer waste?

No. There are no guarantees that stockpiles will be collected by the co-regulatory arrangements.

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