Posts Tagged ‘National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme’

Guest Blog – Coordination in Waste Policy

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:32 pm, August 31st, 2016Comments1

nick_harford2

The Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is Nick Harford, Managing Director of Equilibrium

The latest edition of Corporate Waste Solutions contains an article in which I argue that in Australia there are pockets of good resource recovery and product stewardship, but that more can be done.

The article points out that the resource recovery side of waste management is increasingly influenced by global factors and where the market is not delivering good waste management, where valuable resources are being lost and where health and the environment are exposed to risk, policy needs to address market failures and provide appropriate interventions.

In this regard, a key outcome of Australia’s National Waste Policy has been the Product Stewardship Act and the product stewardship schemes it has, if not directly spawned, aided. These include the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS), Paintback, FluoroCycle and Tyre Stewardship Australia, as well as endorsement for the long-running MobileMuster.

Clearly, while the performance of some schemes such as the NTCRS has attracted criticism because of failed recyclers and some poor outcomes, what cannot be refuted with respect to the schemes is this: if they were not in place e-waste and other materials would be a bigger environmental and social problem.

While the National Waste Policy may have been somewhat neglected and patchy as a vehicle for driving national coordinated approaches to a range of waste and recycling issues, product stewardship is proving to be a successful means for industry and government to establish programs that will have lasting economic, environmental and social value. For more detail, click here.

 

The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Global Product Stewardship Council. 

Nick Harford is Managing Director of Equilibrium, a Melbourne-based sustainability consulting and management company servicing a range of private companies and governments. From 2009-2014 Nick was also a director of the Metropolitan Waste Management Group. Prior to Equilibrium, Nick was Group General Manager of environment at packaging and recycling company Visy and has a background in corporate affairs, government and the media.

 

Guest Blog – E-waste Targets Must Go Up

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:41 pm, May 14th, 2015Comments1

john_gertsakisThe Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer for Infoactiv. John is also a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group

 

Clear and logical support grows for increased recycling targets under Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS).

Australia’s electronics recycling scheme is currently subject to an Operational Review by the Australian Government, and many stakeholders, including the Waste Management Association of Australia, are expecting the recycling targets to be sharply increased.

Anything other than a significant increase will continue to exacerbate stockpile creation, questionable recycling practices, and the appalling situation of Co-regulatory Arrangements (industry programs) terminating or minimising collection and recycling services to local councils across urban and regional Australia.

The NTCRS has achieved significant collection and recycling outcomes in a product category that was in urgent need of industry-wide Product Stewardship attention and industry support. The Product Stewardship Act and the subordinate regulations represent landmark policy reform aimed at applying the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility to unwanted, obsolete and end-of-life electronics. Infoactiv remains very supportive of the NTCRS and its achievements to date.

The majority of participating stakeholders wish to see the NTCRS expand and thrive as it continues to deliver measurable environmental, social and economic benefits. However the continuation of ‘easy-to reach’ recycling targets does nothing to demonstrate genuine CSR goals, nor do low targets address the vast volume of television and computer waste that continues to flood into landfills in all States and Territories.

We receive several calls each week from frustrated local councils that have had their collection and recycling service withdrawn by industry Arrangements under the NTCRS. And ‘frustrated’ is the polite translation of how they express their views. These are not isolated instances but a steady stream of municipalities who are now having to bear the cost burden of industry not recycling the very products that they produce and place on the market.

Most importantly, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment is perfectly placed to significantly increase the enforceable targets under the NTCRS and swiftly deal with several issues that require prompt and decisive attention.

Low-level target increases will continue to aggravate key issues at a time when the scheme needs proactive adjustment by the Australian Government. More information about the Government’s Operational Review that is currently underway can be found here.

Ongoing research and data collection by Planet Ark underscores the importance of the NTCRS given the number of public enquiries received every week wanting information about where and how to recycle unwanted televisions, computers and IT peripherals. Consumers, householders, small business and the wider public have clear expectations that manufacturers and brands in particular must play a greater role in managing the total product life cycle of their product beyond the point of sale and warranties. This merely reflects current activity in many other OECD countries.

In summary, Infoactiv believes that the NTCRS is a fundamentally sound and innovative scheme that addresses a significant and growing resource recovery imperative related to the consumption and disposal of television and IT equipment. The Department of the Environment is to be commended for its efforts in successfully launching and administering the NTCRS since inception in 2011.

Additional detail about our 10 point plan to adjust and improve the NTCRS can be found here.

We also recognise that any new, nationwide initiative such as the NTCRS will experience establishment phase glitches and minor hurdles, which only serve to inform the scheme’s long-term performance and success.

The Environment Minister’s option is very clear; sharply increase the enforceable collection targets, and do it swiftly. This will not only meet community expectation, it will also address the genuine needs of local councils nationwide, especially those that have been ignore by industry.

Most importantly, and often overlooked, is the unequivocal fact that a target increase under the NTCRS will further maximise resource recovery levels and better manage hazardous substances that are otherwise ending up in Australian landfills.

Losing such scarce and non-renewable resources at a time when the solution is available, obvious and uncomplicated would reflect poorly on the necessary policy reforms that are urgently required.

As always, greater public discussion about the NTCRS and how to achieve positive outcomes is welcome and encouraged.

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Global Product Stewardship Council. 

John Gertsakis is a sustainability practitioner with over 20 years experience as an industry adviser, consultant and research academic. He works on a range of issues including Product Stewardship for electronics and EPR strategy, regulatory analysis, government relations and environmental communications. Through his current position as Chief Sustainability Officer with Infoactiv, John’s work is focused on strategic business development and the design of new stewardship solutions for manufactured durables.

John served as Executive Director of Product Stewardship Australia from 2006 – 2011, representing global consumer electronics brands and OEMs. He was deeply involved as a key advocate of the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and sat on the Implementation Working Group for the NTCRS. He authored Australia’s first report on e-waste product stewardship in 1995 titled: Short Circuiting Waste from Electronic Products. He was also the co-author and editor of Return to Sender: An Introduction to Extended Producer Responsibility (1997). John is also Vice President of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative, and an Honorary Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia.

 

Australia Consults on Potential Regulatory Changes to TV and Computer Recycling Scheme

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:40 pm, April 29th, 2015Comments1

DSC_1929The Australian Department of Environment is consulting on potential regulatory changes to the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme. Possible changes include revised recovery targets, changes to conversion factors and scaling factors affecting liability under the scheme, and making the Australian Standard 5377 for the management and recycling of certain electrical and electronic items mandatory. A brief discussion paper has been made available, and comments are invited until close of business 7 May, Australia time.

 

GlobalPSC Member – National E-Waste Alliance

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:47 am, January 30th, 2015Comments0

Conceived in 2009 and incorporated in 2012, the National E-Waste Alliance (NEWA) exists to better enable Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) to create financially viable, sustainable EWaste recycling businesses – and provide ongoing employment opportunities to their disabled staff.

While the emergence of EWaste recycling has provided many new employment opportunities for ADE’s, the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme presents a range of management challenges for many of these small social enterprises such as compliance and reporting, procurement, logistics, cost analysis, productivity and training.

NEWA helps ADE’s navigate accreditation requirements and regulations surrounding the EWaste sector, such as the Product Stewardship Act 2011.

With collective decades of experience in the EWaste and Recycling Sectors, NEWA has proven effective in facilitating the ADE’s practical day-to-day operations in a collaborative manner so that each site is fully optimized for commercial success in a way that recognizes the core values of the enterprise – the gainful employment of people with disability.

 

Australia Conducts Operational Review of National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:52 pm, December 2nd, 2014Comments2

Australia is conducting an operational review of its National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (the scheme). Australia’s Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced the scheme’s review on 22 September 2014. A fact sheet and discussion paper on the review are now available. The Department of the Environment has invited submissions on the operational review by 6 February 2015.

The scheme was established nearly three years ago to achieve the following key objectives:

  • Recycle televisions and computers rather than landfill them.
  • Build on existing e-waste management activities across Australia, including ongoing activities by private and charitable recyclers and state and local government efforts.
  • Implement a progressively higher annual recycling target to increase television and computer recycling to 80 per cent within 10 years.
  • To incentivise investment, increase capacity and create employment within the recycling industry in Australia.

First Year Outcomes for Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:59 am, March 31st, 2014Comments1

Australia has released a report on the first year outcomes of its National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS or Scheme).

Reports have also been made publicly available for the three approved co-regulatory arrangements that were operational in 2012–13: DHL Supply Chain (Australia) Pty Limited, the Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform Limited (ANZRP) and E-Cycle Solutions Pty Ltd. Two of the three approved co-regulatory arrangements, DHL Supply Chain and TechCollect/ANZRP, are GlobalPSC Sustaining Corporate members.

According to the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment, a Government member of the GlobalPSC:

“A total of 635 collection services, including drop off points at major electronics retailers and local government and other waste facilities, as well as temporary collection events, were provided by the three co-regulatory arrangements between the commencement of the Scheme and the end of June 2013.

“An estimated total of 137,756 tonnes of televisions and computers reached end of life in Australia in 2012–13. Industry’s target under the scheme was to recycle 30 per cent of this amount, or 41,327 tonnes. A total of 40,813 tonnes of recycling was achieved, equivalent to 98.8 per cent of the scheme target and almost double the estimated level of recycling prior to the scheme’s introduction. DHL Supply Chain and E-Cycle Solutions exceeded their recycling targets, while ANZRP fell short of its recycling target. E-waste not covered by the scheme target remained the responsibility of state, territory and local governments. National data is not available on the amount of e-waste recycling that occurred outside the scheme in 2012–13.”

GlobalPSC Corporate Member – TechCollect

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:29 am, July 30th, 2013Comments11

TechCollect Logo & Line - 4 Colour Version Feb 2013

 

TechCollect is an Australia-wide recycling service for old computer and accessories, printers and TVs. It is part of a big effort by industry and the Australian government to reduce the amount of electronic waste that goes into landfill through the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.

TechCollect is funded by some of the world’s leading technology importers and manufacturers, and was set up by the Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform Limited (ANZRP), the only not-for-profit e-waste recycling service approved by the government under the Scheme.

Some key outcomes under the Scheme include:

  • Give all Australians reasonable access to an e-waste collection service by December 2013;
  • Increase recycling of e-waste diverted from landfill from 10-17% to 30% in the first year;
  • Aim to increase recycling of e-waste to 80% by the year 2021–2022; and
  • Ensure that 90% of raw materials are recovered during the recycling process for reuse.

The TechCollect program provides the Australian community with services that enable them to safely dispose of their e-waste and have it recycled for free.

ANZRP is required to collect and recycle a specific volume of e-waste each financial year and provide ‘reasonable access’ to e-waste collection services across Australia, as defined by regulation. The target is calculated from the volume to be recycled (liability) for the scheme based on the number of televisions and computers and their peripherals that are manufactured and imported in Australia each year. ANZRP’s volume is then determined from this and is based on the volume imported and manufactured by its members (as liable parties). As at 30 June 2014, ANZRP had successfully met its volume and ‘reasonable access’ targets for the second year of the scheme.

Liable parties may also run their own recycling programs – known as Individual Producer Responsibility programs (IPR). The volume of e-waste recycled from these programs is reported through the ANZRP/TechCollect. The volume from the IPR counts towards the volume of e-waste TechCollect must collect and recycle.

TechCollect ensures its recycling standards focus on keeping old technology out of landfill in Australia and overseas, and protecting the health and safety of workers.

All products collected by TechCollect are recycled. They are broken down in Australia into their individual parts and materials. The components and materials are then processed so that the valuable resources can be recovered and reused when manufacturing new products.

ANZRP evolved from the joint work of the AIIA Environmental Special Interest Group (ESIG) members being 13 major IT brands and the PSA (Product Stewardship Association formed by CESA) representing the major TV brands. This group representing industry played a significant role in the formation of the Product Stewardship Act and Regulations and in the development of the Interim Industry Standard.  ANZRP’s establishment has been funded by the AIIA ESIG members and has their full support.

 

2013 WME Leaders List Recognises John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer of Infoactiv

Posted by GlobalPSC at 10:42 pm, July 3rd, 2013Comments0

John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer of Global Product Stewardship Council Corporate Member Infoactiv, has been named as a ‘Resources and Waste Leader’ in the 2013 WME Leaders List. This acknowledgement resulted from over 100 nominations and more than 1500 public votes. The GlobalPSC is pleased to have supported John’s nomination and see this recognition as further proof of the emergence of product stewardship.

The WME Leaders List is an annual event focused on recognising individuals and their leadership qualities. It is judged by industry experts and the WME readership, and highlights outstanding individual achievements that advance sustainability.

There is movement across the Asia Pacific region for increased e-waste recycling of unwanted electrical and electronic products, including televisions, computers, printers, appliances and batteries. In Australia, the scale of the problem is significant with an estimated 106,000 tonnes of televisions and computers (16.8 million units) reaching end-of-life in recent years, and the numbers are growing. The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme is leading the way with various industry organisations rolling out collection and recycling services across urban and regional areas.

John was involved from the outset in 2000 with early calls to establish a national approach to industry-funded e-waste recycling. Underpinned by relentless advocacy, his collaborative approach with government, industry and NGOs played a critical role in realising the Commonwealth Product Stewardship Act 2011.

As part of a specialist team at Infoactiv, John’s work on e-waste recycling is now expanding into new sectors, and is aimed at helping organisations minimise business risk and environmental harm from a hybrid of products and related waste such as laptops, appliances, batteries, commercial furniture and polystyrene.

Infoactiv’s Managing Director, Helen Jarman noted that:

“John’s knowledge, history and action on product sustainability is comprehensive, and spans over a decade of consulting to brands, OEMs, industry associations and governments in Australia and New Zealand. John’s WME accolade further accentuates the quality of commitment and expertise fostered at Infoactiv in pursuit of exceeding customer expectations.”

John’s commitment to ensuring long term solutions to e-waste recycling began in 1996 with Australia’s first comprehensive report on e-waste titled ‘Short Circuiting Waste from Electrical and Electronic Products’, published by RMIT University. He also advised the consumer electronics industry on the development of TV recycling in Australia.

John’s work on environmental stewardship has been further highlighted through his appointment to the Australian Government’s Product Stewardship Advisory Group, where his experience is directly relevant to recommending new products and wastes that could be addressed under the Product Stewardship Act.

In response to the Leaders List accolade, John said that:

“Being a WME Resources and Waste Leader is a wonderful honour and I feel truly humbled. More importantly it keeps product stewardship and e-waste recycling on the agenda. It also demonstrates that our customers and their investment in product recovery results in broader social, economic and environmental benefit.”

Global Product Stewardship Council CEO Russ Martin, nominated by peers to the Leaders List in the same category and also serving on the Product Stewardship Advisory Group, supported John’s win, saying,

“I have had the good fortune to work closely with John over the years, and was honoured to be nominated in the same category. John has long been a leader in product stewardship and is truly deserving of this broader recognition. We benefit from having strong GlobalPSC members such as John and Infoactiv, and we look forward to their ongoing contributions in our field.”   

DHL Supply Chain on Track for Electronics Recycling Targets

Posted by GlobalPSC at 6:12 pm, June 24th, 2013Comments0

 

 

 

 

DHL, the world’s leading logistics company and a Sustaining Corporate member of the Global Product Stewardship Council, today announced that it will meet the recycling target of 18,500 tonnes of e-waste set by the Federal Government under Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme and is on track to meet the “reasonable access” requirements of the Scheme. DHL Supply Chain’s Drop Zone service is free to residents and small businesses and helps support a number of social enterprises through employment opportunities across Australia.

“DHL Supply Chain is delighted to be leading the way in e-waste recycling in Australia. We’re proud to provide many Australians an alternative to landfill disposal and plan to make the service even more accessible to a greater number of people across Australia over the coming months with even more sites to go live,” said Peter Bruce, Senior Director, EnviroSolutions, DHL Supply Chain.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP said, “Congratulations to DHL on a successful first year of operations under the National Television and Computer Scheme. I wish DHL every success as the scheme continues to roll out across the country, providing Australian households and small businesses with access to free recycling drop-off points for their unwanted televisions and computers. DHL was the first organisation approved by the government to deliver services as part of this groundbreaking recycling initiative and it has certainly achieved a lot in one year.”

DHL Supply Chain now operates over 360 Drop Zones across Australia with many located at major retailers such as Harvey Norman and Officeworks making it easier for people to dispose their e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner. For exact locations of e-waste recycling Drop Zones, as well as their accepted products and opening hours, please visit the Drop Zone site.

A media release announcing DHL’s progress and providing additional information is available here.

Making Meaningful Comparisons Between Electronics Product Stewardship Programs

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:36 pm, April 30th, 2013Comments1

     

 

 

In April 2013 DHL Supply Chain, an approved co-regulatory arrangement under Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (Scheme), operator of the Drop Zone program and Global Product Stewardship Council Sustaining Corporate member, held a workshop in Sydney for liable parties under the Scheme. DHL is holding a similar workshop early May in Melbourne.

As part of our ongoing efforts to draw meaningful lessons from international experience, the GlobalPSC is conducting further research into comparing recycling rates and costs of recycling between product stewardship and EPR programs. DHL invited the GlobalPSC’s Russ Martin to preview the GlobalPSC’s research on making meaningful comparisons between electronics product stewardship programs.

The presentation, posted in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members, addresses producer responsibility programs for electronics in the US, Canada and Europe, discusses the challenges in comparing costs of electronics programs, provides several case studies and explores market trends for electronics.

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