10 November, 2008 - Local government across Australia should follow Muswellbrook Shire Council’s lead in the fight against electronic waste by encouraging recycling of electrical appliances and conducting e-waste collection days, Clean Up Australia said today.
Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman of Clean Up Australia applauded Muswellbrook Shire Council’s approach to Australia’s fastest growing waste problem and encouraged other councils to adopt similar strategies.
“It’s great that local communities like Muswellbrook are taking steps to eliminate the amount of electrical equipment going into landfill.
“This is an excellent initiative and I would encourage other local governments to add an e-waste collection day to their annual calendar,” said Mr Kiernan.
Mr Kiernan said e-waste is a significant problem that continues to grow each year and can have highly detrimental effects on the environment.
“E-waste is highly toxic and can be particularly harmful to the natural environment if such toxins are released into landfill.”
Between 1980 and 2011 Australians will have purchased 45 million computers and based on current estimate from the EBA, the majority of these – 24 million in total – will end up in landfill.
Electronic waste is 30 per cent plastic and contains a significant amount of toxic materials, such as lead and cadmium, which are highly detrimental to the environment.
“Electrical equipment can be recycled and should not have to end up in landfill,” said Mr Kiernan.
“Muswellbrook’s approach of free e-waste collection is a commendable initiative and I would urge other councils to take this lead.”
Mr Kiernan went on to say that a national approach was also needed to be able to combat the growing problem of e-waste across Australia.
“This is Australia’s fastest growing waste problem and it will spiral out of control unless we have a national scheme in place to address the amount of electronic waste going into landfill.”
Further information: Claire Johnston 0434 489 533