Technology organisations focus on e-waste

Companies such as Canon Australia are meeting with representatives from Planet Ark and the CSIRO this week to discuss alternatives to the current waste treatment system for consumer product batteries.

With battery recycling facilities that treat the waste to recover valuable components already in Europe, America, Japan and Korea, the group will discuss whether a battery recycling facility could be established in Australia.

Canon Australia managing director Shuichi Tsukahara says they originally approached CSIRO Minerals about high temperature metallurgical processing being increasingly used to treat industrial waste.

“CSIRO brings a deep knowledge of pyrometallurgy to the industry workshop,” says Tsukahara. “We are also thrilled at the prospect of working with Planet Ark on another mass collection scheme. This discussion would not be possible without the support of the technology and consumer product industries and we’re delighted that so many influential companies are sending representatives to participate.”

Canon Australia believes that a domestic battery recycling facility can help Australia reduce or eliminate its export of used batteries. Each year Australians discard about 8000 tonnes of used batteries – a major component of e-waste.

According to CSIRO high temperature processing manager Dr Sharif Jahanshahi, recycling batteries will deliver both environmental and economic benefits. “CSIRO has a strong focus on waste treatment and recycling R&D. By harnessing our research skills and partnering with industry and environmental groups, CSIRO can help develop a potential new industry for Australia and reduce landfill.”

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