Victoria State-wide E-waste Ban

How does the Victorian E-waste Ban affect your company?

Lighting Council Australia Public Affairs & Environment Manager Brodie Easton, recently met with Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA Victoria) to discuss the state-wide ban on waste which was implemented on July 1. The purpose of the meeting was to gain greater clarification of the Waste Management Policy (E-Waste) and its effects on the lighting industry.

The objectives set out by the EPA Waste Management Policy are as follows, however the entire document can be downloaded here, which further provides definitions and requirements of the policy.

  1. Ensure the appropriate management of e-waste in Victoria, to compliment the diversion of e-waste from landfill as set out in the Waste Management Policy.
  2. Eliminate or reduce, so far as reasonably practicable, the risk to the environment and human health from e-waste.
  3. Maximise the recovery of materials from e-waste.
  4. Ensure records are kept and made available to assess compliance with this policy

E-waste Ban requirements:

  1. General requirements apply to any person involved in the following activities with respect to e-waste:
    1. Generation: The generation of e-waste can be defined by the individual/company who is in possession/ownership of that product when it reaches end-of-life or waste. E.g. A lighting manufacturer who sells a product to a customer is no longer responsible for that products disposal rather the appropriate disposal is now passed on to the consumer when it reaches end-of-life however return policies and warranty will affect this.
    2. Collection: Compliance with Section 2 of AS/NZS 5377
    3. Storage: Compliance with Section 2 of AS/NZS 5377
    4. Handling: Compliance with Section 2 of AS/NZS 5377
    5. Transport: Compliance with Section 4 of AS/NZS 5377
    6. Reprocessing: Compliance with Section 3/5 of AS/NZS 5377
  2. A person must take all reasonable steps to eliminate or reduce the risk to human health and the environment
  3. Without limiting sub-clause 2, a person must;
    1. Prevent breakage or spoilage of e-waste that might limit its suitability for reprocessing.
    2. Provide e-waste to an e-waste service provider who complies with this policy.

AS/NZS 5377:

The standard sets out principles and minimum requirements for the safe and environmentally sound collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment.

Lighting Manufactuers:

Lighting Manufacturers should be aware that it is not the company’s responsibility for the disposal of e-waste products by customers, this obligation is passed on following point of sale.

Companies operating in both Victoria and South Australia are encouraged to review current waste disposal and storage procedures to ensure you are compliant with expectations set by the Waste Management Policy and AS/NZS 5377. Companies focus should be reviewing the handling, collection, storage and disposal of e-waste products and materials at their facilities, furthermore, I would encourage discussions with facilities waste services to ensure compliance is being maintained.

For any further information required please contact Brodie Easton.