The SHOROC group of councils of Mosman, Manly, Warringah and Pittwater say their ban on E-waste, will likely be followed across Australia and has received tacit support from combined state and federal governments following the announcement of a new national waste policy last week.

The four councils are introducing a ban on the kerbside collection of E-waste (electronic waste) from 1 January 2010, due to concerns about their effect on the environment when placed in landfill. E-waste contains an alarming range of toxic materials, including lead, cadmium and mercury. E-waste also contains valuable non-renewable resources such as nickel, copper and zinc which can be recovered during any recycling process.

E-waste has been defined by the councils as computers, televisions, printers, scanners, modems, DVD players, VCRs and gaming machines. Previously E-waste had been collected as part of each council?s general household clean-up collection, which normally take place twice a year.

However, from 1 January residents will no longer be allowed to place E-waste items out for collection. The councils will hold scheduled „drop-off days? in early 2010 at centralised locations as is currently the case with unwanted paints and household chemicals. Residents should visit their local council website for further re-use and recycling options.

SHOROC President and Warringah Mayor Michael Regan said that the councils had led the campaign nationwide. The agreement reached last week between the state and federal environment ministers on a new national waste policy includes a nationwide E-waste recycling scheme by 2011.

“We took our concerns about the effect of e-waste on the environment to Canberra and we?re pleased to see a national approach to this issue as a result,” he said.

“Our e-waste recycling/collection strategy such as drop-off days in 2010 will be an interim measure until a federal E-waste recycling scheme takes effect.

” The national waste policy announced last week would introduce a nationwide scheme from 2011 whereby householders would be able to drop off their E-waste at centralised collection points across Australia.

Federal Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett said that under the scheme, around 80% of Australia?s E-waste would be recycled by 2021.

For more on what you can do with your e-waste, click here.