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What you need to know for the Victoria e-waste ban

As of 1 July, the Victorian Government will ban all e-waste from entering landfill. This change will affect the Victorian solar industry and it is important that you know what services are available and where to find more information on the ban.

As of 1 July, the Victorian Government will ban all e-waste from entering landfill. E-waste is defined by the Victorian Government as: ‘any end-of-life equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly’. Simply put, e-waste is ‘anything with a plug, battery or power cord that is no longer wanted or useful’. This includes solar panels, solar battery systems and inverters.

This change will affect the Victorian solar industry and it is important that you know what services are available and where to find more information on the ban.

Quick links

Solar Victoria ‘recommendation’ on solar panel recycling

Solar Victoria have recommended that those taking part in the Victorian Solar Homes program use a recycler complaint with Australian Standard AS/NZ 5377: 2013 to recycle solar panels. You can refer to the Solar Victoria guidance Notice to Market (page 19) for more information.

It is important to note, that currently in Australia, the solar panel recycling industry is in its infancy and there is no organisation who currently complies with Australian Standard AU/NZ 5377 who can recycle solar panels. We acknowledge that this is a big issue for the solar industry not only in Victoria, but Australia-wide, and we are taking steps to work with Federal and State Governments, key stakeholders and industry to address this. We are committed to a well-regulated and responsible e-waste recycling industry. For further information or to become involved, please contact the Clean Energy Council’s Project and Policy Manager, Maryanne Coffey on [email protected].

Victorian Government e-waste infrastructure grants

The Victorian Government is taking steps to address e-waste recycling infrastructure by committing $15 million in e-waste infrastructure grants to increase local government’s capacity to safely collect and store e-waste. More information on this program can be found on the Sustainability Victoria website.

Battery stewardship

The Clean Energy Council has taken a leading role in establishing a body to oversee the implementation of a battery stewardship scheme. The Battery Stewardship Council (BSC) was formed in early 2019, combining government and industry bodies that had undertaken important background work on understanding the markets and the barriers to recycling that need to be addressed in a stewardship scheme. The Clean Energy Council is working with the BSC on the design of an industry-led stewardship scheme and will undertake a range of consultations in the coming months to flesh out the details of a scheme. If you would like more information or want to be involved in this process, please contact Maryanne Coffey via [email protected]

Australian Standard AS/NZ 5377: 2013

This Standard refers to the collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment. The Standard is currently under review. The Clean Energy Council is playing a key role in the development of this standard and we want feedback from industry and key stakeholders. For more information please contact Maryanne Coffey via [email protected].