Alliance formed to mandate computer recycling

An e-waste recycling alliance in Australia has been formed to lobby state and federal governments to introduce mandatory schemes to force computer manufacturers to recycle old equipment.

The alliance, calling itself the Lets do IT! Group, was founded this month by a consortium of recycling and environmental advocates and will extend Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) proposals calling for mandatory IT equipment take-back, which have been rejected by state and federal governments.

Group member Kane Siegel, TIC E-waste Solutions general manager, said the group will demand the government accelerate legislation so that recycling infrastructure can be fully used to stem the waste generated by the 1.6 million computers disposed of annually.

"The infrastructure is in place to enable large-scale e-waste recycling, but it is being under-used as increasing volumes of toxic e-waste continue to go to landfill," Siegel said.

New South Wales Local Government Association president Cr Genia McCaffery said local councils are being unfairly burdened with increasing volumes of throw-away e-waste, while the industry actively promotes product replacement and redundancy.

McCaffery said councils don't have the capacity to recycle the e-waste, so known hazardous materials are going into landfill even though recycling technology is available.