Thursday, December 30, 2010

National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme

Details of the Australian National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme are in the latest "Television and Computer Scheme E-bulletin" from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. The Department issued a Product Stewardship Legislation Consultation Paper for comment 10 November 2010 and the 45 submissions received are avialable online. The need for such legislation is made more urgent by the success of the federal government's switch-over to digital TV, resulting in householders replacing old analogue sets with new digital models. The National Broadband Network is similarly likely to result in obsolete networking equipment needing to be disposed of from millions of households.

Unfortunately the e-bulletin is designed as a poorly formatted printed brochure provided in PDF and as a large Ms-Word document, not as an easy to read web page. Here is the text of the latest issue, converted to HTML (minus some images):

TELEVISION AND COMPUTER SCHEME E-BULLETIN

National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme

Inside this issue

  • Message from the department
  • Progress made in 2010 towards establishing a national scheme
  • Dates to note in 2011
  • Byteback wins International Best Practice Award

Upcoming events

February 2011 - Television and computer regulation consultation paper and public meetings

Useful links

SUBSCRIBE NOW

To keep up to date with the development and implementation of the National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme, subscribe to the e-bulletin at: environment.gov.au/ewaste

Message from the department

As 2010 comes to an end, the department wishes to acknowledge the significant contribution and commitment from our many stakeholders in progressing the development of the national product stewardship legislation and the National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme (the Scheme). The Scheme is expected to be operational in late 2011.

Since the decision by the Environment, Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) in November 2009 that the Australian Government would, under the new product stewardship legislation, implement regulation to support an industry-led scheme to collect and recycle end of life televisions and computers, a considerable amount of work has been undertaken. This final issue of the e-bulletin for 2010 contains a record of achievements made by the Scheme Implementation Working Group, as well as key dates and opportunities for further engagement in the development of the Scheme in 2011.

Of key note is the upcoming release of a consultation paper on the television and computer regulations, scheduled for February 2011. The consultation paper will provide the opportunity for all interested members of the community to be consulted in the development of the Scheme and to hear more about the proposed regulatory arrangement. More information will be made available at environment.gov.au/ewaste closer to the release date.

The department would like thank all subscribers for their continued support and interest in the development and implementation of a solution for end of life televisions and computers and looks forward to building on the substantial progress made in 2010.

On behalf of the IWG, we wish you a relaxing and safe break shared with family and friends.

Progress made in 2010 towards establishing a national scheme

The National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme (the Scheme) Implementation Working Group (IWG) was established in March 2010 to:

  • facilitate planning arrangements for the Scheme;
  • consider the relationships between the operational aspects of introducing a national product stewardship scheme for televisions and computers;
  • ensure industry developed schemes are consistent with government policy; and
  • deliver on the core product stewardship objectives.

The IWG comprises representatives from the computer and television industry and Australian and state governments.

Since 30 March 2010 the IWG has formally met eight times; participated in three workshops; and established five sub-groups to focus on key areas of communication, standards, performance indicators, the national geographic roll-out plan and governance arrangements for the industry-led arrangements. As a result of this ongoing work the IWG has:

  • created a formal work plan, risk management plan, stakeholder engagement strategy and communications plan;
  • launched the National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme one-stop portal and e-bulletin service;
  • received approval from Standards Australia to establish an Australian Standard for the collection, storage, handling, transport and treatment of e-waste;
  • assisted the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and Product Stewardship Australia (PSA) to develop the draft interim industry standard for the collection, transportation and recycling of televisions, computers and computer peripherals.
  • developed a draft set of key performance indicators (KPIs) for the Scheme; and
  • developed a draft geographical roll-out plan for the Scheme.

In addition to these achievements, the IWG has actively engaged and consulted with many stakeholders throughout 2010. The IWG plays a vital role in disseminating information and educating interested individuals about the Scheme.

The IWG consulted stakeholders via the Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) on the:

  • an appropriate definition for e-waste;
  • factsheet on the Responsible disposal of unwanted televisions and computers;
  • interim industry standard;
  • KPIs for the Scheme; and
  • Scheme roll-out plan.

The IWG has also reached out to a broader audience by attending various conferences and events. In 2010 the IWG participated in:

  • E-waste 2010, Brisbane (21 July)
  • Enviro 2010, Melbourne (21-23 July)
  • Zero Waste Summit 2010, Sydney (13-15 September)
  • International Product Stewardship Summit, Sydney (9-10 November)
  • Australian Waste and Recycling Expo, Sydney (10-11 November)
  • Community Recycling Network Australia, National Meeting, Melbourne (19 November)

Further consultation has also occurred through meetings between the IWG and all sectors impacted by the Scheme. The IWG consulted through the Australian Government, with both Austraian Government and state government agencies. The IWG has also consulted with local councils, retailers, recyclers, reverse logistics, waste management operators, community and environmental non-government organisations, charitable and social enterprise organisations, and television and computer suppliers and manufacturers.

The many accomplishments listed above are a reflection of how much has already been achieved and outlines the focus to deliver the Scheme in 2011.

Byteback was honoured with an ICT Best Practice Award because it was considered by the judges to be the best excellent example in the region of how policy and project implementation through a public-private partnership can achieve significant outcomes for the ICT industry and broader society.

AIIA's National Policy and Program Manager for Sustainability, Josh Millen, who accepted the award in Taipei on behalf of the Byteback program, explained, "The Byteback program has proven that an effective collection and recycling program could be scaled up and delivered to the Australian community. The information collected over the past three years during the trial has already been informing the development of the national e-waste take-back and recycling scheme which will roll-out in 2011."

The brands involved in Byteback also share in this award with Sustainability Victoria.

"Sustainability Victoria is very proud to be accepting this award together with AIIA," Sustainability Victoria CEO Anita Roper said. The Byteback program is a fantastic example of how working in partnership with industry and local government can create solutions that improve resource recovery and recycling and create new business opportunities and markets. Since the program started in 2005, around 2883 tonnes of waste has been diverted, equating to about 11,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas avoided - or the equivalent of taking 2650 cars off the road."

"I would like congratulate and thank AIIA and its members for their commitment to Byteback, which is now set to roll-out as a national solution to e-waste," Ms Roper said.

Dates to note in 2011

2011 will see the planned introduction and passage of the Product Stewardship Bill through the Federal Parliament and the commencement of the National Television and Computer Scheme. There is still considerable work to be done to meet this timeline and the IWG will be continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure outcomes are achieved.

The key dates for 2011 are:

  • Jan - Frequently asked questions (FAQs) targeted to specific stakeholders available on the one-stop portal
  • Feb - Public consultation on the Regulations (Information will be made available at: environment.gov.au/wastepolicy)
  • Feb - KPIs for the Scheme finalised
  • Mar - Scheme roll-out plan finalised
  • March - Interim industry standard finalised
  • September - Commencement of the National Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme

Byteback wins International Best Practice Award

AIIA's e-waste collection and recycling program, Byteback, was awarded a regional ICT Best Practice Award by the Asian-Oceanic Computing Industry Organisation in front of a Gala Dinner featuring the who's-who of APAC IT business leaders in Taipei on Friday 3 December. Byteback is run in partnership with Sustainability Victoria, leading IT equipment manufacturers (Apple, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Fujitsu, Fuji-Xerox, HP, IBM, Lenovo and Lexmark) and with support from sites in Boorondara, Moonee Valley, Darebin and the Barwon Region council areas, and Officeworks in Ballarat and Dandenong. ...

From: "Television and Computer Scheme E-bulletin", Issue 4, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, December 2010.


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