Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Recycling regulations for televisions and computers

Media release
8 November 2011

A national recycling scheme for televisions and computers came a step closer today with the making of regulations under the new Product Stewardship Act.

The Product Stewardship (Televisions and Computers) Regulations come into effect from today.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the regulations were an important step towards implementing the industry-led scheme, which aims to boost the recycling rate for televisions and computer to 80 per cent by 2021-22.

"We've reached a significant milestone with these regulations and it's fitting that they commence this week, which is National Recycling Week," Senator Farrell said.

"The commencement of these regulations means that the television and computer industry can now apply for approval of their recycling arrangements, which will be responsible for the roll-out of collection services across Australia and for delivering on the scheme's recycling targets.

"The television and computer industry will also be able to get credit for early recycling action from 8 November 2011 towards their first recycling target of 30 per cent.

Senator Farrell said the making of the regulations follows nearly two years of extensive consultations with industry, NGOs, consumer groups, local and state governments.

"Industry, states and territory and local governments have been working closely with the Australian Government on a scheme to reduce television and computer waste to landfill and increase the recovery of valuable resources from these products," he said.

"TVs and computers contain valuable materials like gold, glass and plastics that can be re-used. They also contain hazardous materials like lead, bromine, mercury and zinc that are better kept out of the environment."

The scheme will be implemented by the television and computer industry and regulated by the Government.

Households and small businesses will be able to drop off their unwanted televisions or computers at a designated service point, free of charge. Collection services will be progressively rolled out by industry across Australia over the next two years and will start being available in 2012.

The Product Stewardship Act commenced on 8 August 2011 and is a key element of the National Waste Policy.