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Australia-NZ joint e-waste standard draft welcomed

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister for the Environment

14 March 2012

Australia-NZ joint e-waste standard draft welcomed

The release of a draft joint Australia-New Zealand Standard for processing electrical and electronic waste, like old televisions, computers and whiteware was welcomed today by Environment Minister Nick Smith.

“This will be an important tool to help the e-waste recycling sector lift its performance,” Dr Smith says.

The draft Standard was released for public comment by Standards Australia today. Once finalised, the Standard provides voluntary guidelines for processing e-waste. Councils, community and private recyclers, scrap metal dealers, and others who handle e-waste, can apply the procedures outlined in the Standard as a means of quality control, and to demonstrate that they apply consistent standards to their business or activity.

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

“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.”

“As New Zealanders embrace new technology, and as we switch over to digital television, we face large numbers of redundant televisions and other kinds of electronic waste.”

“This joint Standard is an important initiative that fits in with my intentions to find a robust, enduring solution to New Zealand’s e-waste problem.”

“It references Ministry for the Environment guidance for dealing with e-waste that was introduced last year. This remains relevant and is best practice, so anyone following the Ministry’s guidance is likely to be already well placed to meet the joint Standard.”

“The Ministry has been working with other New Zealand groups and the Australians on developing this draft. It is important that New Zealand views are captured in this consultation so I encourage businesses and organisations with a role in handling e-waste to make submissions on the draft,” Dr Smith said.

To make a submission on AS/NZS 5377 (Collection, storage, transport and treatment of electrical and electronic equipment) go to www.standards.org.au and click on the link ‘Draft Standards open for public comment’. Submissions close 15 May 2012.

ENDS

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