The Andrews Labor Government is upgrading e-waste collection and storage facilities across Victoria to help them receive and safely manage increasing levels of e-waste.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas visited Australia’s first lithium and hand-held battery recycling facility at Envirostream Australia in Gisborne – announcing that $16.5 million will go towards upgrading more than 130 e‑waste collection sites.
The Labor Government’s ban on e-waste will start 1 July 2019, and is in response to important issues raised during consultation on the ban.
Starting the ban mid next year will allow extra time for new infrastructure to be in place, for the statewide education campaign to reach more people, and for those managing e-waste – particularly local councils – to prepare for the new arrangements.
Envirostream Australia will partner with Planet Ark and Mobile Muster on a network off battery disposal units.
E-waste can be described as anything with a plug or battery at the end of its useful life. It includes everything from old mobile phones, computers and related equipment, audio devices, refrigerators and other white goods, hair driers, TVs, heaters, and air-conditioners.
The amount of e-waste generated in Victoria is projected to increase from 109,000 tonnes in 2015 to approximately 256,000 tonnes in 2035.
The upgrades will ensure 98 per cent of Victorians in metropolitan areas will be within a 20-minute drive of an e-waste disposal point, and 98 per cent of Victorians in regional areas will be within a 30-minute drive of an e-waste disposal point.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Only three per cent of Australia’s battery waste is recycled each year – this will ensure Victoria has one of best e-waste collection infrastructure networks in the country.”
“We know how damaging e-waste can be to our environment – we’re delivering our election commitment to maximise recycling and reduce the amount of material that goes to landfill.”
Quote attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas
“Envirostream Australia is at the forefront of managing the rising volume of e-waste – that’s why we’re investing more to help other companies manage e-waste.”
Quote attributable to Envirostream Australia National Development Manager John Polhill
“For the first time, Australia has a cost-effective, onshore solution for end-of-life lithium batteries, with the potential to significantly grow the current three per cent recovery rate of this e-waste stream, the lowest rate in the OECD.”