By Patrick Avenell

PERTH, WA & SYDNEY, NSW: Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, yesterday announced the creation of a new scheme to tackle the growing waste resulting from obsolete and abandoned televisions and computers. This announcement came after years of lobbying from the biggest manufacturers in the industry.

The new scheme will enable users to drop off their used televisions and computers for recycling without charge, with a levy on all imports being used to fund the program. Minister Garrett said he was optimistic as to the levels of recycling this initiative would ultimately generate.

“Under the new product stewardship scheme, 80 per cent of all TVs and computers are expected to be recycled by 2021,’’ Minister Garrett said.

According to the Minister, the nation produced 43,777,000 tonnes of waste in across 2006 and 2007. The Government said this was a 31 per cent increase in only five years.

“It has been 17 years since these issues were looked at in a national context and we now have a clear path for future action and a huge step up on existing efforts,” Garrett said.

The six key objectives of the scheme, as outlined by the Government, are:

-Taking Responsibility
-Improving the Market
-Pursuing Sustainability
-Reducing Hazard and Risk
-Tailoring Solutions
-Providing the Evidence

“This is a fundamental shift in our approach to waste complementing broader action on climate change and sustainability. It will lead to less waste and better management of waste as a resource, to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits, while ensuring that we continue to manage waste in a safe and environmentally sound manner,” Minister Garrett said.