QLD sets example with e-waste and green procurement

By Adam Coleman

In a bid to provide an example to industry and the broader community, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has delivered 2300 computers for recycling, saving more than 70 tonnes of e-waste from landfill.

The computers were handed to SIMS e-recycling at the EPA Building, in Brisbane as part of the Queensland Government's strategy to minimise the environmental impacts of office technology.

"By working with companies such as Hewlett Packard, NetOptions and SIMS e-recycling, the EPA has ensured the computers are environmentally sound from 'cradle to grave',” said Environment Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr.

“Obsolete five-year-old computers are being replaced with 'green' machines that meet world's best practice environmental standards.”

Around 1.6 million computers nationally going to landfill each year.

The EPA demanded suppliers meet strict environmental criteria for energy efficiency, manufacturing, and recycling of computers and computer packaging.

They then worked with Queensland Purchasing to build these criteria into a whole of government standing offer arrangement for computer supply.

"The arrangement conforms to international environmental standards (ISO14001) and includes the offer of a 'take-back' scheme for computers," she said..

Ms Nelson-Carr said the EPA's new HP machines were energy efficient, using 60 per cent less power than its previous fleet, with minimal toxics.

She said many economic benefits flowed on from Queensland demanding and achieving environmental best practice in this area.

"Green procurement strategies offer commercial advantages for manufacturers and suppliers who meet the environmental standards, and they also create opportunities for employment and business growth."

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