Clean Energy Finance Corporation sets aside $7.5 million to boost e-waste recycling

Millions of dollars will be spent in Australia to recycle old phones, computers, cables, printers and batteries.

Millions of dollars will be spent in Australia to recycle old phones, computers, cables, printers and batteries.

Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation said it is setting aside $7.5 million to help tackle Australia’s growing e-waste problem and reduce associated emissions.

Throwing away your old phones and computers might not seem like a lot, in terms of overall waste. But this represents hundreds of thousands of tons per year.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that Australia generated 539,000 tonnes of e-waste in 2018-2019 alone, and it’s growing rapidly.

Emissions associated with electronic products entering the Australian market are expected to increase by 13% by 2030, to over 10 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Global volumes of e-waste are expected to reach 74 million tonnes per year by 2030, almost doubling in 16 years. About 40% is household waste.

The company said it will commit $7.5 million in funding to e-waste recycler Scipher Technologies as part of its Series B funding round. The sum is being complemented by a $7.5 million investment. of the Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF).

The company’s investment, made on behalf of the federal government, will allow Scipher to increase its e-waste processing capacity using new and improved recycling infrastructure. Scipher plans to expand its recycling capacity to include cell phones, lighting equipment, major appliances and solar panels.

As part of the investment, Scipher is acquiring Total Green Recycling, a Perth-based family business that has become WA’s first e-waste recycler in just 14 years, processing over 3,000 tonnes of e-waste a year.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation chief executive Ian Learmonth said the company needs to tackle the end-of-life treatment of our many devices as we inevitably throw them away and adopt new technologies.

“More efficient use of finite resources is an important part of the transition to net-zero emissions by 2050, with the added benefit of supporting the growth of new industries and new jobs,” Learmonth said.

“In our first e-waste investment, we are delighted to support Scipher in its ambitious plans to modernize Australia’s e-waste recycling sector, improve recycling rates and reduce emissions.”

Scipher chief executive Chris Sayers said his company aims to be Australia’s leader in responsible and transparent recycling of electronic waste and end-of-life solar panels.

“CEFC and ABGF’s investment will allow us to continue to focus on innovation, regulatory compliance and exceptional customer service, while expanding our national operating footprint to deliver positive environmental and social outcomes to all of our stakeholders and partners.”

ABGF co-chief investment officer Patrick Verlaine said regulators, businesses and consumers are increasingly focusing on dealing with e-waste.

“We are delighted to invest alongside such an experienced and industry-leading management team,” he said.

Electronic waste includes toxic materials such as mercury and lead.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, an agency created by the federal government, said that 95% of electronic waste components could be recycled, which would reduce the environmental impact of dumping in landfills, pollution, contamination as well as supply of new materials.

Originally published as Clean Energy Finance Corporation sets aside $7.5 million to boost e-waste recycling

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