Total Green Recycling has launched a campaign urging the Western Australian Government to support local jobs and businesses by putting an end to e-waste, starting with a landfill ban.
E-waste is any electrical item with a plug, battery or cord that is at the end of its useful life. These items contain valuable materials which are scarce and worth recovering, but also hazardous materials which pose considerable environmental and health risks, especially if treated inadequately.
Western Australia has the highest rate of waste generation per capita in the nation, and the equal third lowest rate of resource recovery. The latest data reveals that Western Australia’s average e-waste collection per capita is just 67% of the national average.
The Perth e-recycling company is disappointed by the state government’s lack of leadership on the issue.
“As much as 63% of e-waste is still ending up in landfill,” says Total Green Recycling’s Director Michael Coghill, “It doesn’t make sense to bury these valuable resources in the ground, only to dig up more from somewhere else. We need to close the loop.”
“E-waste does not belong in landfills – it can leach harmful chemicals and contaminate our soils for generations to come. It’s more sensible to reuse and recycle,” he added.
Total Green Recycling is calling on the Western Australian Government to ban e-waste from landfill. The e-recycler is urging the community to show their support by signing their petition.
“We want to see more e-waste reused and recycled in Western Australia,” Director James Coghill said. “The first step to making this happen is to stop allowing direct disposal of e-waste by including it alongside tyres and asbestos as a banned material to landfill.”
Western Australia currently relies on the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) to make sure e-waste gets recycled. However, Western Australia is well below the national average for e-waste collected through the program.
James Coghill said that for the program to really make a difference, the federal government needs to introduce state-based minimum targets for the NTCRS.
Over the years, operational issues with the NTCRS in Western Australia have resulted in less funding for materials collected, passing costs on to councils. This can lead to councils stockpiling e-waste hoping for full funding to return in the new financial year, or stopping collections altogether.
The Western Australian Transitional E-waste Program supported local government e-waste recycling activities while the NTCRS was rolled out.
“We would like to see the program extended to remove the uncertainty around access to NTCRS funding and keep councils recycling this rapidly growing waste stream, while a landfill ban is implemented,” James Coghill said.
These policy changes would encourage further investment into the sector, supporting local businesses and jobs. With high recycling volumes come more competition and greater economies of scale, which would lead to an overall reduction in the cost of recycling e-waste.
Banning e-waste from landfill and securing NTCRS funding presents a better deal for Western Australian councils, industries and residents. Total Green Recycling’s models suggest that with these changes, if all the e-waste was recycled locally through first stage recycling facilities, then the entire waste stream could be recycled for less cost to taxpayers and councils than the cost of landfill.
The recently released Western Australian waste strategy aims to increase the state’s overall recycling rate to 75% and reduce landfill rates by 15%, by 2030.
Total Green Recycling are confident that these results can be achieved – by ensuring that recycling infrastructure is supported and continuously innovated and by sending a clear message that the recycling of e-waste is important and landfilling of it is unacceptable.
About Total Green Recycling
Total Green Recycling is a Western Australian family business dedicated to finding the best and most sustainable recycling solutions for the 90+ materials that can be recovered through its process. To learn more about Total Green Recycling’s campaign to end e-waste and to sign the petition, visit www.totalgreenrecycling.com.au.
0422 755 816