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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Mr Jason Clare MP
Member for Blaxland

Minister launches e-waste recycling facility

Joint media release
18 November 2008

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Environment Minister Peter Garrett today opened a new e-waste recycling facility expected to divert as much as 20,000 tonnes of electronic waste from landfills when it operates at full capacity.

Visiting the Sims e-waste recycling plant in Villawood, Sydney, Mr Garrett said the facility was a great start to boosting Australia’s ability to effectively manage e-waste.

“The Government welcomes the development of recycling plants capable of processing electronic waste such as computers and televisions, which have been recognised as a priority waste by all levels of government in Australia,”Mr Garrett said.

“Recycling delivers important environmental benefits, including energy and water savings, and a reduced demand for landfill space.

“Sims expects the plant will divert up to 20,000 tonnes of material from landfill per year and recycle up to 98 per cent of the material that passes through its front gate.

“We know that e-waste is a growing problem as Australians embrace newer technologies across a range of electrical and computing goods, and it is an issue that I am closely examining with my state and territory colleagues through the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC).

“At the recent meeting of the EPHC in Adelaide, ministers agreed to develop a national policy to deal with Australia’s increasing volumes of waste. Arecent snapshot of waste and recycling trends in Australia showed the amount of waste Australia generates has increased by 28 per cent between 2003 and 2007.

“A national waste policy will provide much-needed clarity on what is appropriately dealt with at which level of government, and will improve economic efficiencies by better harmonizing waste policies between jurisdictions. It also affords a timely opportunity to revisit waste policy in the context of broader Government policies on climate change and sustainability.

“The development of the policy will be informed by a comprehensive report on waste, ensuring thatpolicy development is informed by a detailed analysis of action currently being undertaken and emerging issues, including e-waste.”

Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare, said: “The opening of the Sims recycling plant is a positive, practical step in support of the Government’s ambition to finding lasting and effective solutions for our waste problems, while also demonstrating the economic opportunities that are available in this area.”

Commonwealth of Australia