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South Australia becoming the country’s e-cycling leader

April 07, 2017 by Kirstin Linnenkoper

Australia: Global multi-metals business Nyrstar is upgrading its electronics recycling facility at Port Pirie, Australia. The site will process 3000 tonnes of e-scrap per year by 2018, increasing to more than 20 000 tonnes annually, with a recovery of 98% of metal content.

Nyrstar’s site will accept a wide range of electronic products such as photovoltaic cells from roof
solar panels, alkaline batteries, printed computer circuit boards, cathode ray tubes, mobile phones and related devices.

‘Featuring proven state-of-the-art technology available in Europe, Asia and North America, the site will be Australia’s first e-waste treatment facility, helping to reduce landfill and recover valuable metal to reuse in consumer products,’ says Bertus de Villiers, Nyrstar’s vice president metals refining.

The South Australian waste management sector contributes more than AU$500 million to Gross State Product, while employing almost 5000 people in the area. The success is partly due to the fact that South Australia is the only state in Australia that has banned e-scrap from landfill, argues Ian Hunter, South Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation.

‘It sets our state apart from the rest of Australia – together with our Container Deposit Legislation, ban on single-use plastic bags and strong track record in recycling and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill,’ Hunter observes.

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