Australia stuck in e-waste dark ages

E-waste is contaminating our soil and waterways three times faster than general waste. But industry, government and consumers aren't doing enough to combat the problem

In August, AIIA CEO Sheryle Moon said the Byteback scheme will be used to lobby the federal government to mandate compulsory nationwide e-waste recycling.

"The federal and state governments have been very receptive to the idea and, together with our state [AIIA chapters], they are waiting on the results to deploy the campaign across Australia," she said.

Castle, however, is less optimistic.

"State and federal governments need to take action. This is not rocket science. As soon as NSW regulates, other states will follow suit and fall into line. Computers aren't difficult to recycle. What is difficult is getting industry to stop crying wolf that the sky is going to fall in, and governments to muster more political will."

"Without regulation to guarantee the numbers, recycling companies won't invest in new infrastructure and we'll remain stuck in the e-waste dark ages," she said.

Businesses and consumers can check out Planet Ark's RecyclingNearYou Web site for details on disposal of electronic goods in their local area, or contact the National Recycling Hotline on 1300 733 712.

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