[LINK] NBN and Batteries/E-Waste

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Wed Feb 23 15:38:33 AEDT 2011

Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> Tom,
> Only if they didn't pull the fibre through already-crowded ducts. 
> Otherwise, the copper gets de-comissioned.
> Also, who is going to assume responsibility for running the batteries 
> now in the exchanges?
> And a final point: the NBN moves the backup; what is now a bunch of 
> lead-acids (I suppose) in exchange buildings becomes (probably) gel 
> batteries at homes. The net effect is that for X number of batteries 
> added to the environmental load, another bunch of batteries are 
> *removed* from it.

If the batteries are supplied by the NBN then under producer 
responsibility it would be the NBN who should be responsible 
for them at the end of their life. However, the reality is 
that the household batteries (fluro lightbulbs, old modems, 
old phones, old cables etc) will end up in the general 
household garbage. Some may be separated and dropped off on 
special days by local councils. Either way the cost of 
disposal is borne by ratepayers in their domestic waste charge.

> What’s the problem with E-waste?
> E-waste is electronic waste and can contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury which can leach into waterways and cause irreparable environmental and human harm when sent to landfill . In Australia, E-waste is growing at three times the rate of ordinary household waste. Australians generate 140,000 tonnes of E-waste each year.

> Next time you purchase a product why not ask what happens to it at the end of its life?
> Leichhardt Council supports Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). EPR provides the incentive to producers to design products for longevity, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling by making them responsible for their products throughout the entire life of the product. EPR schemes include up-front levies, deposit-refunds, such as Container Deposits and physical take-back of products eg for electronic wastes (e-waste) i.e. computers, TV’s; batteries. Currently only voluntary schemes are in place for the take-back of products.  

In the US some employers encourage their employees to take 
advantage of their corporate e-waste programs.

Marghanita da Cruz
Tel: 0414-869202

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