TV recycling scheme up-and-running in 6 months: PSA

By Patrick Avenell

Product Stewardship Australia (PSA), an industry body set up to organize and implement a TV-recycling scheme, has today called on the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, to rapidly advance the Government’s participation in this scheme at the next conference in November. PSA claim that with sufficient Government support, this plan could be up an running in just six months.

For some time now, the implementation of an industry-funded scheme to pick-up and recycle old, broken or unused televisions has been delayed by logistics, conflict over what the model the plan should take, and the financial commitment required.

Pressure is now increasingly mounting for an outcome, with Senator Stephen Conroy last weekl announcing the switch-over dates to digital television. At that time, all analogue television will be effectively rendered useless, and will need to be recycled to avoid damage to the environment.

“If Governments can provide sensible and effective regulatory underpinning to deal with industry free-riders, the industry is in a position to be collecting and recycling ready within six months.

“This represents a major positive outcome for resource conservation, environmental protection and the community,” said PSA chairman Ken Thompson.

This 6-month timeframe is a surprise to industry observers, with some well-known commentators recently saying it could be years away. In August 2008, Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey was quoted in Appliance Retailer predicting a long wait for progress.

“All these things [industry recycling schemes] are going to happen in our lifetime, but they’re going to be a very gradual thing, and they’re going to be determined a lot by the cost,” said Harvey.

The state and federal environment ministers will be meeting in Adelaide in November at the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) meeting. PSA reports that Minister Garrett has affirmed his commitment to address the issue of TV recycling at this conference.

 “The industry is expecting that the November EPHC meeting of all Environment Ministers, to very clearly communicate significant leadership on how Australian Governments can move forward on supporting and enabling a consumer-friendly TV recycling scheme underpinned by effective safety net regulation,” said PSA executive officer John Gertsakis.

There is no doubt that those involved in this process will be following this conference closely, with most hoping for a resolution to this issue, rather than another false dawn.

Additional reporting by Chris Nicholls.

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