Yesterday Robert Hart was kind enough to take a group of local hackerspace members on a tour through Aspitech, and Adelaide e-waste recycler. The Australian government has mandated that all importers must pay to recycle 33% of their products (by weight), which has created a new, high growth industry. The South Australian government is unique is requiring zero landfill from old TVs and PCs which I think is pretty cool.
Aspitech currently processes 200 tons per month. The TVs and PCs are disassembled into broad categories, such as plastic, copper wire, circuit boards, metalwork. These are then bagged up and shipped off to other companies that can use them as raw materials, for example melting down the copper, or using glass from CRTs as road base. Aspitech is a social enterprise that employs a number of disabled people.
Robert is looking for entrepreneurs who have ideas and most importantly the passion to create spin off businesses from e-waste resources.