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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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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 E - International Policy and Programs

Table AE1: Overview of National Policies on e-waste
Country Title Description Products covered Current status Data / info re success
Sweden Ordinance on producer responsibility Producers and importers must

Take back free of charge a piece of old equipment when the customer buys a new product

Inform households and others about the take back obligation

Present a take back plan to the municipalities and participate in discussions about the take back plan, if the municipalities wish so

Handle WEEE in an environmentally sound manner

Inform establishments carrying out treatment operations of the contents of the products and

Give Swedish EPA the data needed to monitor the compliance of the ordinance.

End of life products must have hazardous materials removal before disposal, incineration or shredding

Government set up 1000 drop off points

Scrapping companies must be licensed certification
Household appliances, tools and garden equipment

IT and office equipment

Telecommunication equipment

Television, audio and video equipment

Cameras and photo equipment

Clocks and watches

Games and toys

Lighting equipment

Medical equipment

Laboratory equipment
Came into force in July 2001  
Netherlands Disposal of white and brown goods decree Producers and importers responsible for setting up take-back systems for their end-of-life products.

Recommends that producers and importers place 'visible' levy on new products to fund system.

Ban on landfill and incineration of collected products.

Ban on sale of fridges using CFC or HCFC

Collection by local authorities, but consumers can take-back to retailers for no charge.
Covers all EEPs including Whitegoods

Computers and peripherals

TVs, videos, DVDs

Communication equipment

Heating appliances

Hot water heaters

HiFi equipment

Small household appliances (kettles, blenders etc)

From 1999 the decree covered only large household appliances.

From 2000 it covered small products.
TNO The Dutch equivalent to the CSIRO) investigated compliance during 2000/1 - approximately 60 % of the companies checked were not meeting their responsibilities. After a warning from the Inspectorate, the companies joined the collective disposal systems. An official report was drawn up against 2 companies, because they refused to join the collective disposal systems.

In 2000: appr. 65 million kg collected, equivalent to 4 kg/inhabitant (572,000 fridges/freezers; 285,000 other large appliances; 303,000 televisions; total number of pieces was 1,160,446).
Norway Regulations regarding scrapped electrical and electronic products Producers and importers responsible for collection, transportation, recycling and safe disposal

Drop-off points established by retailers and local authorities (free of charge)

Levy (recycling fee) on all new products

Target to collect 80% of all generated WEEE by 1 July 2004.
Covers all EE products Came into force in July 1999 Norway's Ministry for Environmental 2001 Environmental Report states:

23,384 tonnes or 74% materials recycled

5,460 tonnes or 17% to landfill

No national policy or legislation

There are various State initiatives
National Product Stewardship Initiative (NPSI) Representatives from electronics manufacturers, government agencies, environmental groups, and others have met several times to develop a joint plan for managing used electronics.

Objective: "the development of a system, which includes a viable financing mechanism, to maximize the collection, reuse, and recycling of used electronics, while considering appropriate incentives to design products that facilitate source reduction, reuse and recycling; reduce toxicity; and increase recycled content."
  Launched in June 2001  

Computer and Electronic Solid Waste Management Act
Maximize the use and sale of surplus computers owned by state agencies

To prevent the environmental implications of disposing computers in landfills.

All agencies required to prepare and implement a policy to manage and sell surplus computer equipment.

Creates the Computer and Electronic Recycling Fund, which promotes market research and development grants to determine the most effective way to collect, transport, and process scrap electronics. A portion of the sales of state agency equipment goes into the State environmental quality department to consider a ban on landfill disposal of electronics after January 1, 2005.
Computers Jan 2001  

Computer Equipment Disposal and Recycling Council
Established a state Computer Equipment Disposal and Recycling Council which will:

Investigate problems and concerns related to the disposal and recycling of computer equipment

Advise the state assembly on these issues.

Design and implement pilot recycling programs.
Computers May 2002  
California California Senate and Assembly approved 2 trail-blazing CRT recycling bills that would have placed a $10 advance disposal fee on new computers and televisions sold in California, with proceeds funding a state program to recycle CRTs, would have established a grant program and recycling and diversion goals for CRTs. CRTs 2002

Both bills were vetoed in September 2002 by the California Governor.
Taiwan   Requires the recycling of used computer hardware, including central processing units, monitors, and notebook computers.

Consumers can return used hardware to one of 600 takeback stations operated around the country, or to a recycling company or municipal recycling facility

Hardware is disassembled and separated for reuse or recycling.


Washing machines

1998 As of October 2000, roughly 1.4 million used computers had been recycled, and officials of Taiwan's EPA said that they were achieving a recycling rate of about 75 percent of all used computers.
Japan Specified Home Appliance Recycling Law Obligation of the end-users to pay fees for collection, take-back and recycling at the time of disposal - the government set the fees to cover industry's actual costs for take-back, transportation, and recycling. They are (in U.S. dollars): washing machine, $24; air conditioner, $35; refrigerator, $46; and television, $27.

Actual physical handling of end-of-life products by manufacturers themselves;

Establishment of take-back/recycling infrastructure on an individual basis;

Retailers are required to take back old products when they sell replacements, as well as products that they themselves have sold

Local governments collect the products not covered by retailers

Limitation of scope of the products that fulfil four criteria set under the Law;

Coverage of all the historical and abandoned products;

Emphasis on the achievement of resource recovery;

Sets targets for recovery of iron, copper and aluminium and glass from TV screens

Exclusion of recycled materials with negative value.


air conditioners washing machines
Enacted in 1998, fully operational in 2001 Study by IIIEE (International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics) of companies found following:

Generally has had a positive influence

Experiments for recycling have been conducted both individually and collectively,

Design for Environment (DfE), with special attention to end-of-life management, has been initiated

All the companies that were studied had incorporated LCA in the product development policy, which was triggered by one of the preceding laws that encouraged manufacturers to promote recycling on a voluntary basis.

Infrastructure for take-back and recycling plants is being developed, which the manufacturers regard as the hardest challenge.

Table AE2: Summary of Other Regulatory Approaches
Country Legislation/ Guidelines Description
Canada: Ontario Waste Diversion Law

(July 2002)
Electronics and battery waste likely to be regulated under this Act. The newly established not-for-profit industry group - 'Electronics Product Stewardship Canada' is likely to play a key role in implementation in Ontario as well as other Canadian provinces.
Mexico Draft General Waste Law

(November 2002)
Presented by the National Action Party, the Bill features a major chapter specifically related to manufacturer and importer responsibility for discarded consumer products. Has direct relevance to EEPs. An essential aspect of the Bill is the establishment of a list of environmentally problematic substances found in consumer products. Companies with products containing listed substances will be required to develop comprehensive plans which include deposit-return systems, Design for Environment obligations and financial responsibility for implementation.
Mexico Waste Take-Back Bill

(June 2002)
Mexican Chamber of Deputies passed a major waste Bill that changes the manner in which 'wastes' are defined and managed. In relation to EEPs, the Bill targets stronger regulation for batteries, lamps, components and peripherals. Waste management plans featuring take-back of EoL EEPs is likely to be a integral response.
Chile Draft Technical Standards on Clean Production

(September 2002)
Two draft standards issued by the National Standards Institute and the National Council for Clean Production outlining new definitions and specifications for the creation of voluntary-based clean production agreements with industry. Design for Environment guidelines will also be included.
Puerto Rico Draft Waste Electronics Equipment Bill

(August 2002)
Seeks to regulate 'waste electronic equipment' that has lost its value or original use because of damage or obsolescence. Products covered include TVs, computers, VCR, CD players, CRTs containing products and other consumer electronics.
Argentina Argentine Take-Back Bill

(August 2002)
Requires EPR for waste products or packaging whose components are declared 'hazardous or affect the environment or human health. Is likely to include EEPs.
Brazil Industrial Waste Reporting Rules

(December 2002)
Increased reporting by industry with a focus on office machines and computers. Information must cover a comprehensive range of issues including reuse, recycling and final disposal options.
Brazil: Sao Paulo Solid Waste Law Regulating Electronics

(July 2002)
Seeks to formalise Polluter Pays and Product Stewardship principles with a view to industry implementing take-back schemes for electronics, batteries and lamps.
Brazil National Solid Waste Law

(June 2002)
Includes product stewardship provision for technological and packaging wastes.
European Union Directive 2002/95 Directive on the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electric and Electronic Equipment (RoHS)

(February 2003)
From 1st January 2008, Lead, Mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) in electrical and electronic equipment must be replaced by other substances.
European Union Draft Proposal for a Directive on Eco-Design of End Use Equipment

(November 2002)
Seeks to expand the WEEE Directive's scope
European Union Directive 2003/11 on the Phase Out of Flame Retardants

(February 2003)
Amends previous Directive 76/769 with the purpose of phasing out brominated flame retardants, penta and octabromodiphenyl ether.
European Union Various other substance phase outs  
European Union

Individual countries
Individual members will in most cases 'transport' the WEEE Directive into national legislation.  
China Draft Regulation to Eliminate Certain Chemical Substances Contained in Electronic Products

(March 2003)
Aimed at eliminating certain environmentally problematic substances from electronics.
China Draft Management Regulation for Recycling and Re-use of Household Electronic Products.

(March 2003)
China's State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC) and State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) establishing rules for the take back and recycling of electrical and electronic products including televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, rice cookers, microwave ovens, radios, tape recorders, and DVD players/recorders, among other consumer electronic products.
China Numerous other draft and proposed acts directly and indirectly related to EEPs.  

Basel Convention
The Basel Convention A global treaty that limits exports of hazardous waste.

Basel Convention
Expanded focus to Regulate Cross-Border Shipment and Recycling of Waste Electronics including Tianjin Asia Pacific ESM Workshop on Electronic and Electrical Waste

(November 2002)
Invitation-only meeting of government representatives throughout Asia to address issues related to the generation, import, recycling and management of electronic wastes in Asia generally, and in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Meeting served as a starting point for an expanded focus on waste electronics under the Basel Convention.

Waste Stream Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of Used and Scrap Personal Computers

Advanced draft completed November 2002; with final publication forthcoming.
The Guidelines will establish the first internationally recognized benchmarks or standards for the environmentally sound recycling of used and scrap PCs. Under OECD Council Decision (C(2001)107(2001) governing the transboundary movement of wastes, governments must ensure that waste shipments destined for recovery operations will be recovered in an "environmentally sound manner." The new ESM Guidelines for PCs are the first waste-stream specific guidelines produced by the OECD. Governments might also use the Guidelines as a reference point in evaluating domestic electronics recycling facilities. The Guidelines include an overview of substances of concern, provide general facility guidelines for dismantling and metals recovery operations, and guidance for the treatment of specific components such as circuit boards, batteries, CRTs and flat panels.

UNEP Government Council Decision

22nd Session/4th Global Ministerial Environment Forum
Several Governing Council decisions are of significance to the electronics industry related to lead, mercury and chemical management,