National PC And TV Disposal Regulations Still Some Way Off

If you want to recycle an old mobile phone, it's pretty straightforward no matter where you live. If you want to dispose of an unwanted PC in a responsible fashion, your options may be more limited, and government pushes to establish better national regulations appear to be stalling.

Picture by Michael Neel

Karen Dearne at Australian IT reports that while a National TV and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme is being developed, environmental and industry organisations are concerned that it won't be effective because it lacks sufficient scope and impact. In particular, there are concerns that the scheme won't be mandatory, meaning that cheap importers might simply opt out of taking full responsibility for products they sell in order to cut prices. (In contrast, European regulations mandate that companies which sell consumer electronics must also take them back for recycling.)

While some local councils offer specific collection and disposal programs for computers (and TVs), there's still a risk those items will simply end up as landfill, rather than having their component parts recycled appropriately. Here's hoping we eventually end up with a more comprehensive national scheme once the bickering stops.

Participants fear e-waste recycling scheme has lost direction [Australian IT]


Comments

    I worked for a company that "recycled" old computers and monitors a few years ago.
    They would charge just under the amount it cost to take it to the landfill and then sell it to china.

    when Verge Collection rolls around, I often collect and fix up pcs that are still useful to donate (or occasionally sell). There are a couple of charities in my city that do the same thing, but they only accept donations from companies.

    I'd be happy to strip down the rest of the machines for correct recycling, but I have absolutely no idea where I'd deliver them to. Until then, I'll just focus on keeping perfectly good computers from being binned.

    Even mobile phones are only partially recycled here-- for example, the batteries are still shipped overseas for some unspecified "processing" -- which could mean just about anything. Who knows whether they are actually properly recycled or just dumped in someone else's landfill.

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