The role of recyclers
Recycling organisations play a vital role in helping to manage and reduce e-waste.
As a recycler, there may be a business opportunity to act as a service provider to approved co-regulatory arrangements. In order to contract with an arrangement administrator, you will need to be able to demonstrate that your business can meet all relevant requirements including required environmental, health and safety policies and practices, and suitable collection and recycling processes. You will also need to be able to provide the administrator with information required for annual reporting under the Regulations.
Businesses operating in the e-waste recycling industry are responsible for their ongoing viability, and must be prepared for the competitive and often unpredictable natures of domestic feedstock supplies, international commodity markets and changing market conditions. Based on experience of the scheme to date, businesses should consider the operational requirements when negotiating agreed volumes of e-waste with their relevant co-regulatory arrangement. It is also apparent that contracted scheme recyclers who have diversified their business with customers and business lines outside the scheme are better able to manage fluctuations in demand for their service.
From 1 July 2014 the Regulations include a material recovery target of 90 per cent. This target requires each co-regulatory arrangement to ensure that at least 90 per cent of the weight of the material processed by their contracted recyclers in the financial year is sent for further processing into useable materials. This is consistent with the estimated average material recovery rate currently being reported by Australian recyclers of televisions and computers.
Environmental and Health and Safety Requirements
The aim of the scheme is to reduce the impact of television and computer e-waste products on the environment and to reduce the impact that substances contained in these products have on people’s health and safety.
Therefore, as the rate of e-waste recycling increases nationally, it is essential that all stakeholders commit to best-practice health and safety and environmental processes and are fully compliant with the relevant regulations in their jurisdiction.
From 1 July 2016, the Australian Government will require co-regulatory arrangements to only contract with recycling service providers that are certified to AS 5377: the Australian Standard for the collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment. This will ensure a consistent industry standard for scheme recycling providers and ensure positive work health and safety outcomes.
AS 5377 can be purchased from SAI Global here http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/Details.aspx?ProductID=1612190.