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Peak technology body applauds national eWaste scheme

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) welcomes the decision for the creation of a national legislative framework to address eWaste in Australia.
  • 05 November, 2009 15:32

<p>Peak technology body applauds national eWaste scheme</p>
<p>Sydney, AUSTRALIA – 5 November 2009 – The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) welcomes the decision announced by Australia’s Environment Ministers through Environmental Protection Heritage Council (EPHC) in Perth today for the creation of a national legislative framework to address eWaste in Australia.</p>
<p>The decision will see the implementation of a consistent national policy regulating the disposal of electronic products in Australia, including computers, monitors and TVs. The new policy will require manufacturers and importers of electronic equipment to join a government-accredited Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO).</p>
<p>Following today’s announcement, AIIA will immediately work with members to establish a PRO that will manage the operational requirements of individual manufacturers in relation to the scheme. In its submission to the EPHC, AIIA has outlined its plans for a PRO that includes an industry-based financing model with a defined scope, timeline and target for setting up a viable takeback program in Australia.</p>
<p>“AIIA and a dedicated group from our membership base have been working towards a comprehensive eWaste scheme in Australia for many years,” said AIIA CEO Ian Birks. “Today’s decision represents a win for industry, consumers and the environment. AIIA and our members fully support this landmark decision and congratulate the Federal and State Environment Ministers on today’s announcement.”</p>
<p>“AIIA views the national eWaste scheme as yet another demonstrable example that our industry takes a highly responsible approach to environment and sustainability issues. The framework supports AIIA’s recommendations and we can now get on with the job of establishing a comprehensive scheme to dispose of end of life computer equipment in a responsible manner,” Mr Birks said.</p>
<p>The EPHC decision will result in the creation of a co-regulatory framework that places a strong emphasis on compliance. Both Government and the information and communication technology (ICT) industry will regulate participation and there will be clear penalties for companies that fail to participate in the scheme.</p>
<p>Based on long-term pilot schemes, previous AIIA submissions have argued that co-regulation and compliance are essential to any successful scheme in Australia. In partnership with a number of key industry brands and the Victorian Government, AIIA has trialled end-to-end computer equipment recycling in Victoria through the Byteback program for over four years.</p>
<p>“The Byteback scheme has provided essential data to support the creation of a national scheme in Australia. It delivered a clear picture of the eWaste stream and demonstrated the detailed requirements for a successful working relationship between government, industry and recyclers,” Mr Birks continued.</p>
<p>“We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Victorian Government, Apple, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Fujitsu, Fuji-Xerox, HP, IBM, Lenovo and Lexmark for supporting Byteback. We also commend the efforts of the Total Environment Centre and the Boomerang Alliance for their dedication to achieving these outcomes.”</p>
<p>Other issues related to today’s announcement include the opportunity to create efficiencies with related recycling initiatives in Australia.</p>
<p>“The ICT sector has been in close consultation with IT Equipment PROs based in Europe and the TV industry here in Australia. AIIA will continue to work with all parties to deliver the best possible recycling outcomes to the Australian community,” concluded Mr Birks.</p>
<p>Media contact:</p>
<p>Rhett Somers</p>
<p>Communication Manager</p>
<p>Australian Information Industry Association</p>
<p>0411 670 007</p>
<p>About Byteback</p>
<p>AIIA made submissions to the EPHC based on its experience operating Byteback, an industry recycling program that has been trialled in Victoria for over four years in partnership with the Victorian Government industry brands Apple, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Fujitsu, Fuji-Xerox, HP, IBM, Lenovo and Lexmark.</p>
<p>AIIA and ICT industry commitment to a national eWaste collection and recycling scheme</p>
<p>Following today’s EPHC announcement of a nationally consistent product stewardship policy to support regulated disposal of electronic waste in Australia, AIIA, as the peak body representing the Australian ICT industry, is ready to commit to the implementation of a large-scale IT equipment end-of-life recycling program in Australia.</p>
<p>AIIA and ICT industry commitments include:</p>
<p>1. progressively rolling out the equivalent of a larger scale Byteback scheme in every State following the commencement of a national framework</p>
<p>2. establishing an industry relevant Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) to handle the interests of the IT equipment industry – formalising the processes currently operating to manage the Byteback pilot program</p>
<p>3. collecting all IT equipment that is available for collection from consumers and small business through a staged approach, including all historic, branded, ‘orphan’ (equipment produced by manufacturers who are no longer trading), and ‘whitebox’ (custom equipment assembled from imported components) products</p>
<p>Scope and Targets</p>
<p>4. managing an industry scheme with the target of collecting 75 – 80 percent of all IT equipment available for collection from organisations and households by 2020 (assuming the scheme commences in 2010)</p>
<p>5. anticipated minimum resource recovery targets of 80 percent; based on current experience we expect higher achievements almost immediately</p>
<p>6. coverage of all capital cities and key regional centres within three years of the commencement of the scheme</p>
<p>7. providing opportunities for individuals and small business in regional and remote areas of Australia to participate within the first five years of operation</p>
<p>8. an initial focus on collecting all end-of-life IT equipment from the community (small businesses and households), followed by a commitment to incorporate the reporting of corporate and organisational IT waste disposal, effected via PRO members, into the scheme within a short timeframe. In other words, the scheme will ultimately account for all imported computer equipment.</p>
<p>9. industry paying for all waste collected and recycled through the scheme, requiring the industry to work with various levels of government to share responsibility, where appropriate, on the development of the scheme including infrastructure, education and compliance</p>
<p>10. implementing a finance methodology that is specific and relevant to the IT industry. Those companies participating in the PRO will pay a share of the collection, recycling and administration costs through the PRO commensurate with their current import market share. No upfront fee per item imported would be collected from consumers or importers under this model.</p>
<p>Cooperation with Stakeholders</p>
<p>11. AIIA and the television industry, through Product Stewardship Australia (PSA), are committed to working cooperatively on issues of national collection and recycling. Specifically, AIIA and PSA are committed to:</p>
<p>12. wherever appropriate, a seamless approach to collection, recycling and community education.
cooperating to develop the most efficient e-waste collections in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia. The need to maximise scheme efficiencies while minimising transport related impacts and emissions will be an imperative.</p>
<p>13. working with Government, Recyclers, Green Groups and other relevant stakeholders to continuously improve the national scheme and national framework.</p>
<p>Government support</p>
<p>14. While industry will actively promote the role and existence of the scheme, we believe government still has a significant role to play in engineering changes of community attitudes to the management of waste</p>
<p>15. As a fundamentally important element underpinning targets proposed for the scheme we believe government must implement a clearly promoted ban on disposing of IT equipment through landfill. Whilst this would need to be progressively rolled out in parallel with the progressive establishment of drop off facilities across the country the enforcement of this regulation will be essential as a compliment to the education requirements outlined above.</p>
<p>AIIA – Leading the ICT Business Community</p>
<p>The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) sets the strategic direction of the ICT industry, influences public policy, engages industry stakeholders and provides member companies with business productivity tools, advisory services and market intelligence to accelerate their business growth.</p>
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<p>AIIA will handle any personal information collected from you in accordance with its information handling policy. AIIA will not disclose your personal information to third parties, except to a service provider for the sole purpose of performing an activity on behalf of AIIA. In this case, AIIA will use all reasonable efforts to ensure that the recipient handles your personal information in accordance with appropriate privacy principles.</p>

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