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Jul
20

E-waste Management: A long road ahead

Posted by Applied Machinery Australia   

Our appetite for the latest in technology is insatiable and constantly growing. Of course, we’re not alone in our demand for the newest electronics on the market, with most of the developed world joining us in this exciting quest. Nonetheless, Australia is one of the biggest consumers of electronics in the world, which adds up to 600,000 tonnes of e-waste annually.

Applied Machinery at Austech

 

E-waste refers to any discarded old technology that clutters your home or ends up as landfill waste. This includes televisions, smartphones, laptops, computers, microwaves and other white goods. E-waste is generated three times faster than all other forms of waste, due to its shorter shelf life. This increases its scope to be a grave environmental and public health hazard if haphazardly disposed of, since they contain pollutants such as lead, arsenic and mercury.

 

Recycling helps prevent these pollutants from ending up in landfill, while also recovering valuable metals in electronics that can be reused. However, this is an expensive process to invest in, which serves to discourage businesses from actively partaking in it. Instead, they may find it more cost-effective to illegally ship e-waste to less developed countries, where they become part of an ever-growing, toxic landfill.

 

While industries such as IT, manufacturing, transport, health and education are typically considered to be the largest producers of e-waste, in reality any industry that requires electronics for its operations would contribute to e-waste production. With a world that’s increasingly reliant on technology, there is a growing demand for e-waste management processes and equipment that are simplified and cost-effective.

 

Challenges with e-waste management

Despite the need for extensive e-waste management processes, challenges exist. One of the greatest hurdles faced by this industry is the legislation pertaining to it. While a number of key pieces of legislation have been introduced in recent years, including the National Waste Policy 2009 and the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme 2011, much work is required to combat the worsening e-waste problem.

 

In 2016, researchers at the University of New South Wales concluded that Australia’s approach to e-waste management isn’t too effective and requires greater compliance measures to prevent hazardous pollutants from ending up in landfill. While the introduction of e-waste laws in Australia has resulted in an overall increase in recycling, the industry is still plagued by the narrow legal definition of e-waste, a lack of clarity over the role of stakeholders and weak auditing and compliance measures. In effect, Australian businesses are prone to treat e-waste as a problem that can be offloaded to recycling businesses, without validating their methods and credentials.

 

Making a solid investment in e-waste management processes

With the rules and regulations around e-waste management still a work in progress, businesses should be proactive in thinking about the steps they can take to tackle this issue, by adopting sustainable e-waste management processes.

 

Genox is one of the largest manufacturers in this industry, developing cost-effective solutions for e-waste recycling, whilst also heavily investing in research and development. Genox’s extensive range of e-waste management equipment includes shear shredders, vertical crushers, heavy duty granulators and air separation systems. The brand can also develop equipment that’s tailored to suit specific business requirements, making them a reliable, cost-effective brand to work with. Applied Machinery, are the exclusive distributors of Genox recycling machinery in Australia and we maintain a constant inventory of machines in stock here in Melbourne for quick delivery across the nation. We provide turnkey solutions for all of our equipment including installation and of training to ensure our customers are able to get maximum benefits from all of their Genox equipment.

 

Curious to know more about e-waste recycling? We will be exhibiting at the upcoming Australian Waste & Recycling Expo on 23 & 24 August at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Visit or stall to find out more about the latest product innovations in e-waste management, with customised solutions for your business.