Government considers recycling tax on computers, televisions

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The Federal Government is said to be considering on a new tax to pay for a new compulsory recycling program after a commissioned report was given to the Environment Protection and Heritage Council, which is made up of the federal and state environment ministers.

The commissioned report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers said that the community and commercial behaviours have to change in relation to recycling, with a tax to pay for their disposal is an option that has to be considered by the council.

The new tax, which is said to be adding an average of $30 on a price of a TV or a computer, has been called a “a billion-dollar scam” by retailers, according to Sunday Herald Sun; and computer users have also criticised the move.

“It’s just slugging the consumer. Computers are expensive enough as it is,” former president of the Melbourne PC Users Group, Lyn Goodall, said to the newspaper.

Other possible ways to increase recycling, which is currently around 10 percent, that were mentioned in the report include public education; or, a collection scheme at a local or state government or the industry itself. Also discussed was making the scheme mandatory for the local councils, or banning televisions and computers from landfills.

Australia does have recycling services for computers and televisions; but the State of Victoria, along with computer manufactures, have established a computer recycling program called Byteback. However, it is set to end sometime in the second half of 2009, because Sustainability Victoria (a government agency) is to review its progress.

To find more recycling locations, go to Planet Ark’s, where you can find many other locations on recycling technology.