Why AS/NZS 5377 is important for Australian Businesses
AS/NZS 5377 is a management system standard developed by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and the New Zealand Ministry of Environment in early 2013. The standard was developed to provide a uniform approach management of e-waste activities, mostly around safety and environmental concerns.
Since 2011, The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) has provided Australian householders and small business with access to industry-funded collection and recycling services for televisions and computers. Since its inception, the NTCRS has proven an effective way for industry to efficiently deliver high quality environmental outcomes. As a result of the scheme, an increased number of Australians in metropolitan, regional and remote areas now have access to free recycling of their old televisions and computers.
The television and computer industries have so far funded the recycling of over 100,000 tonnes of e-waste since May 2012, more than doubling the annual rate of e-waste recycling in Australia. In order to ensure ongoing stability of the scheme, an operational review of the NTCRS was commissioned in 2014. The review was aimed at addressing a number of broader market factors, however one of the outcomes from the process was the recommendation that organisations involved in e waste recycling activities be certified to AS/NZS 5377.
This recommendation arose out of a bid to get all stake holders to commit to best practice safety and environmental practices, particularly as the rate of e waste recycling continues to increase nationally. From 1 July 2016, the Australian Government will require co-regulatory arrangements to only contract with recycling service providers that are certified to AS 5377: the Australian Standard for the collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment.