WA goes green with grants program to reduce e-waste

Monday, 26 October, 2020

WA goes green with grants program to reduce e-waste

Western Australia’s new WasteSorted E-Waste Grants program, funded by the New Industries Fund (NIF), has been launched to support job creation in the recycling industry. The grants program from the NIF will support projects and innovations that reduce the amount of e-waste ending up in landfill through increased waste collection and recycling.

WA Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly emphasised the McGowan government’s commitment to reducing electronic waste through innovative technology.

“Recycling e-waste is not only good for the environment, it also creates jobs in Western Australia. These grants will support R&D that improves the efficiency and reduces costs for the recycling of e-waste,” said Kelly.

Grants of up to $200,000 are available to support businesses and partnerships to fund research and development of processes to recycle and reuse the e-waste. Up to $80,000 is available for organisations, including local governments, to support an increase in the volume of e-waste collected for recycling. Applications for the e-waste grants are now open and will close on 16 November.

E-waste (short for electronic waste) is any item with a plug, battery or cord that is no longer working or wanted. E-waste contains materials that may present risks to human health and the environment if not disposed of appropriately. E-waste also contains recoverable materials, often including materials that are high in value.

The global volume of e-waste has grown 21% over the past five years; in 2019, the UN estimated that up to US$57 billion worth of gold, silver, copper, palladium and other high-value materials were discarded annually as e-waste worldwide.

“The WasteSorted E-Waste Grants are aimed at developing better ways to deal with the issue, so we can recycle this waste in WA, supporting WA Waste Strategy objectives including material recovery, environmental protection and progress towards a more circular economy,” said WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.

The $16.7 million New Industries Fund was established to support and accelerate new and emerging businesses to diversify the Western Australian economy and create new jobs. The E-Waste Grants support the WA Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery 2030 objectives to avoid waste, recover more value and resources from waste, and protect the environment from the impacts of waste.

“There are three times more jobs in recycling than when you send a similar amount of waste to landfill, so the McGowan government is really keen to reinforce the message that landfill is the last resort. As technology rapidly evolves, we need to develop better ways to recycle old technology so those resources don't end up in landfill,” said Dawson.

Alongside the WasteSorted E-Waste Grants, the Waste Authority Business plan includes $150,000 for e-waste research to further increase WA e-waste recycling rates.

For more information about the grants, visit the Waste Authority website.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Sergey

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