Australia publishes new standard for safe, environmentally sound disposal of e-waste

A new standard, has been published for safe and environmentally sound handling of electronic waste in Australia and New Zealand aimed at building upon existing environmental protection.

The joint standard, ''AS/NZS 5377:2013 Collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment,'' was announced today by Standards Australia. Building up on international agreements, it aims to set up processes required to cut the amount of e-waste going to the landfill, according to the standards body.

''The standard will help to divert e-waste from landfill by providing a rigorous process for its collection, storage, and recycling,'' Standards Australia's CEO, Colin Blair, said in a statement.

''The standard states that a lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation or adverse health and safety effects,'' Blair said.

''The standard sends a strong message regarding the environmental concerns of e-waste.''

According to senator Don Farrell, federal parliamentary secretary for sustainability and urban water, the standard complemented the Australian government's National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, which provided free pick-up of computers, hard drives, keyboards, printers and televisions to households and businesses.