Plugging in to e-waste experts

The Australasian Waste and Recycling Expo 2015 will host e-waste industry leaders ECOACTIV and MobileMuster at this year’s event to help attendees better understand the current state of the e-waste industry and how businesses can make changes to help combat the growing problem of e-waste disposal.

According to a recent Australian and New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP) report, global e-waste produced is projected to reach 65.4 million tonnes by 2017, but with Australians leading the world as early technology adopters and significantly lagging when it comes to e-waste regulation, how we manage e-waste is fast becoming a critical problem.

ECOACTIV Chief Sustainability Officer John Gertsakis will head a panel discussion, ‘E-waste futures’, to talk about the current state of Australia’s e-waste industry, what needs to be done and what are the best options for Australian waste professionals, councils and businesses moving forward.

Mr Gertsakis said that although Australia is a world leader when it comes to mobile phone disposal through programs like MobileMuster, and the recent changes raising the target of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme to 50 per cent are a step in the right direction, there is still quite a way to go.

“Australia still has many e-products that aren’t covered by any legislation and lags behind many other developed countries in terms of how wide-reaching the recycling schemes through the manufacturers of electronic products are,” Mr Gertsakis said.

“Do we legislate to enforce businesses to be more proactive? Do we educate and hope businesses do the right thing? Will bans on e-waste in landfill like the Victorian government is considering result in greater recycling or increased illegal dumping? Questions such as these need to be addressed.”

ECOACTIV will also host a workshop with Telstra and MobileMuster’s Manager of Recycling Rose Read at AWRE to discuss how businesses can go e-waste free.

“Electronics are embedded in our everyday life both at home and in the office but there are steps that businesses and consumers can take to close the loop on the level of e-waste they produce, starting from who they buy e-products from,” Ms Read said.

“Part of our workshop will also be Telstra talking about what they’re doing as a business to manage and reduce e-waste, not only from a supplier perspective, but as a consumer themselves, and how they are working to ensure products are recycled properly.

“As e-waste becomes a greater problem and expense on businesses it will be vital that businesses know the best, most cost-effective way to properly dispose of e-waste,” Ms Read said.

Individuals can register to attend the free event, 12-13 August 2015 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and purchase tickets to attend seminar sessions by visiting www.awre.com.au/seminars