Information for Local Government

About the Scheme

The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme will provide Australian householders and small business with access to free recycling services for televisions and computers, printers and computer products (such as keyboards, mice and hard drives) regardless of their brand and age. The Scheme does not cover other e-waste products.

In its early years the Scheme will build on, rather than replace, existing waste management and recycling activities. However, over time it is likely the Scheme will replace existing recycling services which will reduce costs for local government and, through them, the community.

The Scheme will boost the recycling rate for television and computer products in Australia from an estimated 17 per cent in 2010 to 30 per cent in 2012-13 and 80 per cent by 2021-22. The Scheme will be funded and run by the television and computer industry, and regulated by the Australian Government under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and the Product Stewardship (Televisions and Computers) Regulations 2011.

Local government does not have any obligations under the Regulations and the Scheme does not change state, territory or local government responsibilities in relation to regulating waste. However, there may be opportunities for councils to participate in the Scheme. For example, councils may choose to enter into partnerships or commercial arrangements with the administers of a co-regulatory arrangement to collect televisions and computers on behalf of the co-regulatory arrangement. The co-regulatory arrangement will then arrange for them to be recycled.

The first services under the Scheme, commenced in the ACT on 15 May 2012, and are expected to roll-out progressively, with reasonable access to collection services to be provided across Australia by the end of 2013.

Existing local government collection and recycling services

The Scheme will boost the recycling rate for televisions and computers and provide a long-term solution to television and computer waste.

However, there will be a continued need to collect and recycle waste outside the Scheme as it is designed to build on existing arrangements, particularly in its early years of operation.

Consultation with local government over the past two years has highlighted the importance of coordinating the Scheme with existing electronic waste collection, and to work closely with local governments on any issues that arise, including communication with householders.

Local government involvement in the Scheme

Manufacturers and importers of televisions and computers (referred to under the Scheme as liable parties ) are now required to join an approved 'co-regulatory arrangement' . Co-regulatory arrangements are membership arrangements responsible for meeting the outcomes of the Regulations, including collecting and recycling televisions and computers.

Co-regulatory arrangements may choose to select and contract service providers, such as local governments or recyclers, to operate these collection and recycling services. Local Governments that are interested in participating in the Scheme as service providers should contact the administrators of the co-regulatory arrangements in the first instance. Participation of councils in the Scheme is voluntary.

Some changes to existing services may be required for councils to be service providers or to partner with industry in the Scheme. For example, relevant environmental and occupational health and safety requirements must be met and fees cannot be charged to householders or small business for the collection of products under the Scheme.

Safe Work Australia is developing a Model Work Health and Safety Code of Practice for the e waste recycling industry:

Standards Australia is developing an Australian and New Standard for the collection, storage, transport and treatment of used electrical and electronic equipment:

Find out more

For more information on the Scheme, please contact ewaste@environment.gov.au and subscribe to the department's Television and Computer Recycling Scheme E-bulletin.