Standards Australia unwraps e-waste standard for ANZ

Joint standard sets up process for collection, storage and recycling.

A new standard has been published for safe and environmentally sound handling of electronic waste in Australia and New Zealand.

The joint standard, “AS/NZS 5377:2013 Collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment,” was announced today by Standards Australia. It builds upon existing environmental protections and international agreements, setting up processes required to reduce the amount of e-waste going to the landfill, the standards body said.

“The standard will help to divert e-waste from landfill by providing a rigorous process for its collection, storage, and recycling,” Standards Australia's CEO, Colin Blair, said in a statement.

“The standard states that a lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation or adverse health and safety effects,” Blair said.

“The standard sends a strong message regarding the environmental concerns of e-waste.”

Senator Don Farrell, federal parliamentary secretary for sustainability and urban water, said the standard complements the Australian government’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, which provide free pick-up of computers, hard drives, keyboards, printers and televisions to households and businesses.

“Householders and businesses can drop off unwanted e-waste products confident that the valuable materials they contain will be recovered, and that any hazardous materials will not enter the environment,” Farrell said.

“The standard also provides environmentally-effective guidelines for industry and will help ensure that, from 1 July 2014, at least 90 per cent of all materials in e-waste collected under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme are recovered for use in new products.”

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