E-waste facilities upgraded in Victoria

Friday, 27 April, 2018

E-waste facilities upgraded in Victoria

E-waste collection and storage facilities will be upgraded across Victoria to help with managing increasing levels of e-waste.

A $16.5 million investment from the Victorian Government will see Envirostream Australia partner with Planet Ark and MobileMuster on a network of battery disposal units.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas visited Australia’s first lithium and handheld battery recycling facility at Envirostream Australia in Gisborne — announcing that more than 130 e‑waste collection sites will be upgraded.

“Only 3% of Australia’s battery waste is recycled each year — this will ensure Victoria has one of the best e-waste collection infrastructure networks in the country,” said Minister D’Ambrosio.

The investment aligns with the government’s ban on e-waste, which will start 1 July 2019, and is in response to important issues raised during consultation on the ban.

Starting the ban mid next year will allow extra time for new infrastructure to be in place, for the statewide education campaign to reach more people and for those managing e-waste — particularly local councils — to prepare for the new arrangements.

E-waste can be described as anything with a plug or battery at the end of its useful life. It includes everything from old mobile phones, computers and related equipment, audio devices, refrigerators and other whitegoods, hair driers, TVs, heaters, and air-conditioners.

The amount of e-waste generated in Victoria is projected to increase from 109,000 tonnes in 2015 to approximately 256,000 tonnes in 2035.

The upgrades will ensure 98% of Victorians in metropolitan areas will be within a 20-minute drive of an e-waste disposal point, and 98% of Victorians in regional areas will be within a 30-minute drive of an e-waste disposal point.

“For the first time, Australia has a cost-effective, onshore solution for end-of-life lithium batteries, with the potential to significantly grow the current 3% recovery rate of this e-waste stream, the lowest rate in the OECD,” said Envirostream Australia National Development Manager John Polhill.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Maksym Yemelyanov

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