Call for action on computer recycling

Tuesday, 08 January, 2008

Sydney recycler WSN Environmental Solutions has called on computer makers and governments to fund the cleanup of unwanted computers stored in households around the nation.

WSN Environmental Solutions has begun a trial computer recycling service at its centrally located Chullora recycling centre, but without producer or government assistance, there is a charge to cover the cost of recycling.

“With so many people updating their home computers during Christmas, the inevitable question arises: what happens to the old ones?” WSN Environmental Solutions’ CEO Ken Kanofski said.

“There are currently up to 1.6 million computers — many with bulky CRT monitors — sitting in cupboards and garages in greater Sydney and this number is set to grow even further during the Christmas holiday season.

“It is unacceptable that more than 350,000 disused computers were sent to landfill in greater Sydney over the last year alone and nearly 400,000 were put in storage.”

Kanofski said that, despite years of talking, computer makers had been unable to coordinate a take-back scheme, and governments had generally been unable to enforce a scheme, with the previous federal government’s reluctance to impose import/export controls.

“This stand-off between producers and government has left consumers and businesses frustrated and with few options but landfill or long-term storage.”

Kanofski said he did not expect large volumes of computer recycling to be delivered to Chullora at cost to the deliverer.

“However, we are providing the service seven days a week at a well-known and centrally located facility, and we are calling on producers and governments to help subsidise the recycling cost,” Kanofski said.

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