AS/NZS 5377 E-Waste
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AS/NZS5377 is the management system standard developed by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and the New Zealand Ministry of Environment.
The standard aims to provide a uniform approach management of e-waste activities, mostly around safety and environmental concerns. The standard is divided into 5 sections. The first section applies to all businesses, and the remaining 4 sections are specific to different recycling and reuse functions.
Companies often initially seek certification for external reasons such as getting on preferred supplier’s lists, improving company image and responding to customer demands. The benefits of this are obvious – more work.
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The standard is divided into 5 sections. The first section applies to all businesses, and the remaining 4 sections are specific to different recycling and reuse functions.
Section 1: General Requirements
Section 1 outlines the general requirements of the standard that are applicable to all organisations.
This section provides a framework for identification of legal and other requirements to manage business functions as well as risks related to safety and environment. This section of the standard requires organisations to consider the following:
- The requirement to identify relevant legislation and licencing requirements
- Risk assessment processes and emergency response and identification of training needs
- Records management and data security
- Ensuring requirements for refurbishment of equipment and disposal to landfill are met.
Section 2: Collection & Storage
Section 2 of the standard covers requirements for collection and storage facilities.
This section applies to organisations who are positioning themselves in the market as a place where end of life electrical equipment will be collected and/or stored for the purpose of transport to a facility for material recovery or processing. Considerations in this section of the standard include:
Section 3: Recover Reuse from End-of-life
Section 3 of the standard contains requirements for organisations who recover for reuse from end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment.
This applies to businesses who are recovering assemblies or components from end of life electrical and electronic equipment. It should be noted however that repair, refurbishment and remarketing of whole equipment is outside of the scope of the standard. Areas to consider include:
- Identification and handling of materials identified for re-use
- Processes for harvesting assemblies and parts (including a documented procedure for the process)
- Systems for managing waste generated from parts that are not re-used
Section 4: Transportation
Section 4 articulates requirements for transportation.
This section applies to organisations who transport electrical and electronic equipment for recovery and recycling or disposal, and applies whether transportation is intrastate, interstate or for export. This section of the standard requires that organisations consider:
- Ensuring minimal vehicle movements, and that waste is not stockpiled
- Ensuring staff are trained and appropriate equipment is used
- Maintaining documentation where waste is classified as traceable.
Section 5: Process & Separation of Compnents
Section 5 applies to organisations who process end of life electrical and electronic equipment in order to separate out the components.
This can be either manually, mechanically, metallurgically or chemically; with the result that hazardous substances, preparations and components are an identifiable stream. Table 1 Annex B of the standard provides guidance on processing methods and disposal. Further requirements of this section of the standard include that waste remains traceable, with documentation to the point of final disposal be maintained.