E-waste – or electronic waste – is growing three times faster than the rate of standard municipal waste. It contains many potentially hazardous and valuable materials, which don‘t belong in landfill.
In an effort to help protect our environment and recover more precious resources, the Victorian Government has banned all e-waste from going to landfill as of 1 July 2019.
To support the rollout of the ban, the Victorian Government is investing $16.5 million to upgrade e-waste collection and storage facilities across the state and deliver an education campaign to support the ban on e-waste in landfills. $15 million has been allocated to design and implement an e-waste infrastructure support program to upgrade Victoria’s e-waste collection network, increasing community access to e-waste drop-off points and expanding capacity to receive and safely manage rising volumes of e-waste.
Examples of e-waste
– Washing machines
– Electric fans
– Air conditioners
– Coffee machines
– Hair dryers
IT, telecommunications and TV equipment
– Mobile phones
– Remote controls
– Medical devices
– Automatic dispensers
– Fluorescent lamps
– High intensity
– Discharge lamps
– Compact fluorescent lamps
Electrical and electronic tools
– Sewing machines
– Lawn mowers
Toys, leisure and sports equipment
– Electric trains and racing cars
– Hand-held video games
– Musical instruments
What it means for retailers
Any item with a plug, battery or cord can only be disposed of at designated e-waste collection points and can no longer go into any kerbside bin or general waste skip bin. This includes faulty products you might have stockpiled in the storeroom or would normally throw out.
Some retailers are negotiating e-waste pickups with local waste services, while others are arranging product stewardship agreements with manufacturers (ie. sending it back up the supply chain to be recycled and reused to create new products). Putting any e-waste in a general waste or standard recycling bin may now incur penalties under Illegal Dumping laws.
There are also some free e-waste drop-off options including select Officeworks sites which will collect mobile phones, ink cartridges and IT waste items: See factsheet here >
Have questions about current laws and developments regarding sustainability in retail?
Contact the Policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.