While there have been a number of studies into the life cycle, recycling and waste disposal of e-waste - including major appliances - in Australia, there remains a lack of hard data regarding the real environmental impact of disposal of major appliances.
The percentage of these recovered for recycling is not known. It is generally assumed that 70% of major appliances are recycled, but a recent study in New Zealand concluded that in that country the figure was approximately 95%. One important outcome of the NZ study is a demonstrated need to accurately determine this figure in Australia.
AEEMA considers that before any decision can be made on what actions need to be taken, a rigorous study of current practices and options should be undertaken. It is expected that the study will provide the basis for sound decisions.
SCOPE Items to be considered are those appliances that are typically too large for ‘cash and carry':