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Australia-NZ e-waste standard draws closer

Kicking the issue of electronic waste to the kerb is making progress in the form of a draft joint Australia-New Zealand Standard for processing the likes of old televisions, computers and whiteware.

Kicking the issue of electronic waste to the kerb is making progress in the form of a draft joint Australia-New Zealand Standard for processing the likes of old televisions, computers and whiteware.

The draft standard AS/NZS 5377 (Collection, storage, transport and treatment of electrical and electronic equipment) was released for public comment by Standards Australia yesterday, providing voluntary guidelines for processing e-waste. Councils, community and private recyclers, scrap metal dealers, and others who handle e-waste, would be able to apply the procedures outlined as a means of quality control and to demonstrate that they apply consistent standards to their business or activity.

The Environment Ministry has been working with other New Zealand groups and with Australia on developing this draft, which references ministry guidance for dealing with e-waste that was introduced last year.

“It makes sense to have a joint approach with Australia due to our shared markets for the ICT, television, and e-waste recycling sectors,” said environment minister Nick Smith.

“The main issue facing a small country like New Zealand is economy of scale. E-waste recycling is one example where large volumes are required to make it economically viable. This is why aligning good practice guidelines for e-waste recycling with the much larger market in Australia is so important.”   

Submissions on the standard close May 15. You can make a submission at www.standards.org.au – click on the link  ‘Draft Standards open for public comment’ to the right.

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