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Publications archive - Waste and recycling


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Electrical and Electronic Products Infrastructure Facilitation

Prepared in association with Centre for Design at RMIT and Product Ecology Pty Ltd
Department of the Environment and Heritage, January, 2004

Appendix B - Australian Legislation / Policy

Table: B1: Summary of Australian Legislation and Policy Relevant to Electronic Waste
Legislation/Guideline Description
Hazard Status of Waste Electrical and Electronic Assemblies or Scrap, October 1999 This is a guidance paper, the purpose of which is to provide advice on the circumstances under which a permit is, or is not, required for the exports and imports of waste electrical and electronic assemblies or scrap, in line with the Basel Convention.
Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 Australia's obligation under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
National Environment Protection Measure: Movement of Controlled Waste Between States and Territories 1998 Is the establishment of a nation wide tracking system for the interstate transport of controlled waste.
Products Stewardship (Oil) Act, 2000 Establishes a partnership for the effective management of waste oil. Involves all oil producers, oil recyclers, State and Territory governments and the Australian government.
National Packaging Covenant (1996) The NPC is a self-regulatory agreement between companies involved in the packaging chain and Federal, State and local governments. It establish a collaborative approach to ensure the efficient environment management of post-consumer packaging and paper throughout its lifecycle.

Signatories to the NPC are required to prepare an Action Plan 'for evaluating and improving environmental outcomes, as appropriate, in their production, usage, sale and/or reprocessing and recovery of packaging materials'.

Although voluntary, it is backed by National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM) for Used Packaging Materials which establish a statutory basis for ensuring that Covenant signatories 'are not competitively disadvantaged in the market place by fulfilling their obligations under the National Packaging Covenant'.
Product Stewardship Strategy for Electrical and Electronic Products A discussion paper, 'Developing a Product Stewardship Strategy for Electrical and Electronic Appliances' was published in March 2001 by The Department of the Environment and Heritage in conjunction with AEEMA and State Government environment agencies. EPHC Ministers are awaiting detailed Product Stewardship commitments and programs from industry associations.
National Waste Working Group Under the auspices of the EPHC, a national Waste Working Group has been established to address priority national waste issues. An EEP Sub-group, comprising Commonwealth, State and Territory officials is currently lead by DEC.
State Legislation/ Guideline Description
ACT Environmental Standards: Assessment and Classification of Liquid and Non Liquid Wastes Directives for the generation, storage and disposal of waste material created through the processing of computer components.
Environment Protection Act 1997 The commercial collection of waste from commercial premises requires and environmental authorisation. This may apply to the collection of some used PC's
NSW Waste Minimisation and Management Act (1995) Contains state-wide waste licensing requirements; standard environmental protection requirements; and waste reporting obligations.
Environment Guidelines: Assessment and Classification of Liquid and Non Liquid Wastes Supports the Waste Minimisation and Management Act (1995) in assessing and classifying wastes.
Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 Requires that waste facilities pay a levy to the EPA.
Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) regulations 1996 General environmental obligations for waste activities (generators and storers); waste facilities (landfills); and non-licensed waste transporters.
Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001. Allows the Minister to make regulations establishing an extended producer responsibility scheme and product stewardship scheme.
Extended Producer Responsibility Priority Statement (Consultation paper), 2003 Purpose to identify wastes or products of concern and put industry in notice that it will have to act to reduce amounts and impacts of waste streams
NT Waste Management and Pollution Control Act 1998 There are no licenced landfill sites operating in NT. All Listed Waste are to be disposed in neighbouring states under the Movement of Controlled Waste NEPM.
Qld Environment Protection Regulations 1998 Any environmental activities defined as Environmentally Relevant Activities require site operators to be licenced.
Environmental Protection (Waste Management) Policy 2000 This policy establishes a framework for waste management planning by those involved in authorised activities.
Environmental Protection (Waste Management) Regulations 2000 A permit may be required as it may contain materials that are considered Trackable Wastes.
SA Environment Protection Act 1993  
Environment Protection (General) Regulations 1994 Indicates activities that require a licence rather then classifying particular materials.
Draft Environment Protection (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2003 Proposes amendments to 1993 Act: changes to penalties, enforcements procedures, jurisdictions.
Tas Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 The primary environmental legislation in Tasmania. Aims to prevent, reduce and remediate environmental harm, with a clear focus on pollution and waste management.
Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Waste Management) Regulations 2000 Any manufacturing, installation, servicing or decommissioning involving a controlled substance is a controlled activity.
Vic Environment Protection Act 1970 Includes both product stewardship and waste management hierarchy.
Environment Protection (Prescribed Waste) Regulations 1998 Lists material used in computers as prescribed industrial waste
Environment Protection (Transport) Regulations 1987 Requires a permit to transport prescribed waste.
Industrial Waste Management Policy (Prescribed Industrial Waste) 2000 Identifies wastes for which opportunities for reuse, recycling, recovery of energy and treatment
Materials Efficiency Strategy for Victoria (2003) EcoRecycle Victoria released a draft materials efficiency strategy in March 2003, 'Towards Zero Waste'. EEPs are included in the list of priority products for a product stewardship focus. The strategy is currently being finalised.
Sustainability Covenants Changes to the Environment Protection Act in 2002 included provision for Sustainability Covenants administered by the EPA. This provides companies with the opportunity for statutory recognition of improvements to products and services that have benefits beyond their manufacturing sites. Covenants have regulatory backing.
WA Environment Protection Act 1986  
Environment Protection (Controlled Waste) Regulations 2001 Lists material used as controlled wastes and must only be transported and disposed by licenced companies.
Guidelines for Acceptance of Solid Waste to Landfill 2001 (include outline here)
Landfill Waste Classification and Waste Definitions 1996 Waste material must be tested in accordance with AS4439 - 1997 and directed for disposal based on concentrations.