AS/NZS5377 – Collection & Storage

Our last blog post there are the essential AS/NZS5377 elements to managing the almost 40 metrics tonnes of e-waste created each year. AS/NZS5377 is a management system standard developed by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and the New Zealand Ministry of Environment. The intent of the standard is to provide a uniform approach management of e-waste activities, mostly around safety and environmental concerns. AS/NZS5377 has 5 sections that relate to various “steps” in the e-waste processing progress.

Section 2 of the standard covers requirements for collection and storage facilities. This section applies to organisations who are positioning themselves in the market as a place where end-of-life electrical equipment will be collected and/or stored for the purpose of transport to a facility for material recovery or processing.

Considerations in this section of the standard include:

  • Signage and access
  • Security of the storage area
  • The ability to segregate waste
  • Processes for ensuring the storage area adequately protects waste (to prevent discharge, leakage or combustion)
  • Systems for handling electronic and electrical waste that is dumped at the facility.

Most operators fall into one of two categories: a business that collects e-waste using methods such as putting out bins at waste disposal locations or bins at electrical retailers and collects the waste directly from the community and then brings it back to a facility.

This competent of the e-waste collection process can be outsourced in some instances but is commonly seen to go hand in hand with storage of e-waste.

A wide arrange of businesses and functions could potentially exist in this space. Storage of e-waste is similar to a warehousing processes. This function often interacts hand in hand with the collection but can be isolated to storage only.

Section three on Storage and Collection has a lot of crossover with Safety & Environmental fundamentals that are shared in ISO14001 and AS/NZS4801. One key aspect of storage of e-waste address the environmental impacts of storing waste. Environmental impacts are a key concept of getting and maintaining ISO14001 which we cover in our Guide to ISO14001 series.