Less waste, more resources
About the Scheme
The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme will provide Australian householders and small business with access to free recycling services for televisions and computers, printers and computer products (such as keyboards, mice and hard drives) regardless of their brand and age. The Scheme does not cover other e-waste products.
The Scheme will also allow other organisations, such as large business enterprises and government departments, to enter into agreements with industry arrangements to have television and computer products recycled under the Scheme. These agreements may be subject to costs and other conditions
The Scheme will be funded and run by industry and regulated by the Australian Government under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and the Product Stewardship (Televisions and Computers) Regulations 2011.
The first Scheme recycling services were established in May 2012 and services will gradually become available in metropolitan, regional and rural areas of Australia throughout 2013. To provide flexibility to suit local circumstances, services could take a number of forms, including a permanent collection site, take back events or mail back.
- Recycling Drop Off Points - including sites in ACT, NSW, Qld, SA, Vic, WA, Tas
The Scheme will boost the recycling rate for television and computer products in Australia to 30 per cent in 2012-13 and to 80 per cent by 2021-2. This will benefit the community as these products make up an increasing part of the waste stream, contain valuable materials that can be re-used and contain hazardous materials that are better kept out of the environment.
The Scheme will build on and complement existing collection and recycling services, including those provided by state and local governments, which will reduce costs for government and, through them, the community. Some existing collection and recycling services may need to continue in order to meet community needs, as the Scheme is not intended, nor able, to replace these services in its early years.
Importers and manufacturers of televisions and computers are now required to join arrangements (known as co-regulatory arrangements ) that will collect and recycle televisions, computers and computer products. These arrangements will need to be approved by government and will have to meet progressive recycling targets and standards for safety and good environmental practice. The arrangements will charge a fee to their members (the importers and manufacturers) to cover the costs of collecting and recycling these products.
Electronic and electrical waste (e-waste), including televisions and computers, is growing three times faster than any other type of waste. Televisions and computers make a significant contribution to the waste stream. In 2007-8, an estimated 106,000 tonnes of televisions and computers (16.8 million units) reached their end of life. It is estimated that in 2010 only 17 per cent of television and computer waste was recycled.
Televisions and computers contain hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury, which need to be managed in a safe manner. Recyclable materials that can be recovered from televisions and computers include glass and plastics, iron, steel, aluminium and copper, and precious metals such as gold, platinum and silver. The precious metals and recyclable materials contained within these products can be lost when sent to landfill.