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Government plans to ban e-waste at landfills

Electronic waste, including light globes and television sets, will be banned from rubbish dumps under a new State Government plan.

 

South Australia is prepared to go it alone and introduce the strict new bans if the Commonwealth and states do not agree to a scheme.

 

Manufacturers and the community will have to recover and recycle electronic waste, similar to schemes operating in countries such as Japan.

 

Environment Minister Jay Weatherill will present the plan to a meeting of state and federal environment ministers in Adelaide today.

 

Under the policy, products such as light globes, computer monitors, TV screens and whitegoods would be banned from going to landfill and diverted to a system of recovery, reuse and recycling.

 

Lead, arsenic, beryllium, copper, zinc, cadmium and mercury are some of the more toxic materials that can leach into the soil from dumped e-waste.

 

It was revealed in May that two million TV sets would end up in Australian landfill this year. Television manufacturer Panasonic has called for a national scheme.

 

The proposed scheme includes:

PROHIBITING the disposal of certain waste in landfill.

PROHIBITING the unlawful disposal or stockpiling of waste with fines of up to $250,000.

FINES of up to $30,000 for dumping illegal waste in landfills.

 

Mr Weatherill said: "Our strong preference is for a national approach to product stewardship. But if we don't get that, we will again go it alone on a crucial environmental issue."

 

Source: GREG KELTON, AdelaidNow

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