FROM July 1 Wimmera residents must dispose any item with a plug, battery or cord at a designated e-waste drop-off point.
The state government's electronic waste (e-waste) ban starts on July 1 and is designed to prevent electronic items ending up in landfill.
E-waste is defined as "electrical or electronic equipment with a power cord or battery and its parts that have been discarded by the owner as waste without the intention of re-use".
It includes mobile phones; computers; audio devices; refrigerators and other white goods; hair dryers; TVs; heaters and air-conditioners; and batteries.
Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery executive officer La Vergne Lehmann said it was important that community members educated themselves about the ban.
"We are keen to help the community understand the life cycle of an electrical or electronic device and how they can make good choices to ensure that it lasts longer," she said.
"The growth of e-waste is a global issue but it is also a local problem. Australians are among the highest users and disposers of technology and that means more e-waste. In fact, in Australia e- waste is growing up to three times faster than general waste."
COMMENT:E-liminating our e-waste
She said the group had created a new guide to help people understand the e-waste ban. The guide is available on the group's website and in hard copy at its office in Horsham.
See the e-waste guide below
Ms Lehmann said the guide included information on how to maintain and care for electronic devices to ensure their longevity.
"We have produced the booklet because we wanted to do more educating the community around better purchasing, care and maintenance and repair choices for their electrical and electronic devices - beyond just disposal locations for e-waste at the end of their life," she said.
Councils respond to e-waste ban
Horsham Rural City Council
HORSHAM has two e-waste stations located at the Horsham Civic Centre and the Horsham Library. They were installed in December.
The stations allow residents to dispose of small e-waste items such as batteries, CFL globes and fluoro tubes, mobile phones, keyboards, computer mice and laptops.
Larger e-waste material can be dropped off by residents at the Kenny Road transfer station at no cost.
In a report to the council at its June meeting, council's infrastructure director John Martin said the transfer of waste material to Axis Worx would cost around $15,000 per year.
"Some upgrade of facilities at the Kenny Road transfer station will occur beyond the $100,000 Sustainability Victoria grant to facilitate receival and storage of this material," he said.
"This ban will require a significant change in people's waste behaviour. The burden of implementing this ban has fallen on councils, hence, council will need to demonstrate that it has taken all reasonable actions to prevent e-waste material going to landfill."
Councillor Pam Clarke said it was "disappointing" how the ban came about.
"The state government has $6 million in its environmental fund that we help pay for every year. This was an opportunity for the state government to put their money where their mouth was," she said.
"We have had to work out what we're going to do about it, how to manage it, and how to educate the community.
"Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery is doing a lot and is building a shed with the $100,000 (Sustainability Victoria) grant to put this e-waste in, with the support of Axis Worx."
She said it was a "huge issue for the community to get their head around".
Cr David Grimble agreed with Cr Clarke.
"This is another case where this has been put on local government and we have been given very little time to notify the community about the change," he said.
"The other thing that concerns me is the compliance placed on local government from the Environment Protection Authority and its standards. If we don't comply, they will slap some kind of monetary fine on us."
Mayor Mark Radford said it would be a "challenge" for the council. He also said Horsham needed more than two e-waste stations.
Yarriambiack Shire Council
E-WASTE disposal facilities are available at Warracknabeal, Hopetoun and Murtoa. The disposal fee is $5 per large item and $2 for small items.
There will also be an additional collection point for small scale e-waste stations at the council office in Warracknabeal.
Hindmarsh Shire Council
ALL of Hindmarsh Shire Council's Transfer Stations are approved drop off points for e-waste. It will cost residents $5 per item.
Alternatively, residents can return old mobile phones and chargers to the Mobile Muster drop off point in the council's Nhill Offices.
West Wimmera Shire Council
AN e-waste station will be located at West Wimmera Shire Council's Edenhope Council offices soon, which will accept small items such as mobile phones, batteries, light globes and other small electronic devices.
The Little Green Wagon will also be visiting Edenhope and Kaniva to help educate the community about e-waste.
Northern Grampians Shire Council
STAWELL and St Arnaud transfer stations will have special e-waste sheds that have been provided by Sustainability Victoria.
Northern Grampians Shire Council will work with Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group to roll out education programs.
"Initially when the ban gets underway, we are allowing our residents to dispose of their e-waste free of charge at our transfer stations, so we encourage our community to take advantage of this," Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin said.
Ararat Rural City Council
ARARAT Rural City Council chief executive Tim Harrison encouraged residents to use the e-waste recycling facilities at the Ararat Transfer Station.
Dr Harrison said construction of an e-waste storage shed at the Ararat Transfer Station was recently completed to accommodate the expected increase in e-waste recycling because of the ban.
"The Council is also in the process of tendering for a similar storage shed at the Lake Bolac Transfer Station, also paid for with a government grant," he said.
"There is a cost associated with dropping off e-waste to the recycling stations, and will be, once the 2019/2020 budget has been approved, $10 per small item and $25 for large items. This cost is to help cover the costs of reprocessing these items."
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