In many countries, a small levy is added to the price of all electronic goods to cover the cost of manufacturers reclaiming them at the end of their life and ensuring their components are recycled. In Australia, just 4% of electronic items are properly recycled, and the rest end up at the local tip, Karen Dearne reports at AustralianIT. Despite that poor record, however, the Federal Government doesn't want to commit to a similar scheme, with environment minister Peter Garrett rejecting suggestions effectively dodging the question:
I want to develop a national waste policy which maximises our opportunities to increase recycling, working closely with state and local jurisdictions to consider the best options for reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. I am not ruling anything in or out at this stage.
Given the current poor record, it seems to me that a financial incentive is the best chance to stop people dumping old electronics. If you've got suggestions for other tactics, let's hear them in the comments.