Victorian govt seeks to remove e-waste from landfill
The Victorian Government is reducing the impact of e-waste through the establishment of a new centre in the satellite suburb of Officer in Melbourne’s outer south-east. The facility is expected to process 1000 tonnes of e-waste in its first year, with capacity to divert 5000 tonnes from landfill.
E-waste (electronic waste) includes everything from old mobile phones to computers and related equipment, audio devices, refrigerators and other whitegoods, hair dryers, TVs, heaters and air conditioners. In 2014 around 109,000 tonnes of e-waste entered Victoria’s waste and recovery system — a figure that is expected to more than double to over 250,000 tonnes by 2035.
The government hopes to avoid such a scenario, investing $500,000 in social enterprise Outlook Environmental to build a 1000 m2 shed on land bought from Places Victoria. Moving Outlook’s e-waste operations to Officer from Pakenham expands its operation from existing facilities at Mornington, Darebin and Hampton Park.
The new facility will receive discarded electronics, which will be stripped of components for reprocessing into new technology or sold on the second-hand goods market. It will provide continued employment to 13 existing Outlook employees and has the capacity to provide 13 new jobs and ongoing employment support services for people with disabilities, or those who may otherwise find it hard to get work.
“We know how damaging e-waste can be in the sustainability of the environment,” said Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio. “That’s why we’re working with companies like Outlook to maximise recycling and reduce the amount of material that goes to landfill.”
The government has additionally announced that it will ban e-waste from landfill and has invested $16.5 million in measures to ensure the ban is effective. Submissions on the e-waste ban, which will start in July 2018, can be made via https://engage.vic.gov.au/waste/e-waste.
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