$1 million Govt boost for e-waste recycling network

  • Nick Smith

The Government is to provide more than $1 million to support the recycling of electronic waste such as televisions and computers, Environment Minister Nick Smith announced today.

The Minister made the announcement at the opening of the Wellington e-Cycle Recycling Facility at Seaview. This facility, along with others in Auckland and Christchurch, is breaking down e-waste received from the network of depots all round the country.

“The Government last year provided RCN and the Community Recycling Network $400,000 to establish 20 permanent nationwide e-waste depots in New Zealand to recycle this waste.  I’m pleased to announce that we are providing an additional $1 million over two years from the Government‘s Waste Minimisation Fund to allow 15 more depots to be established as well as a nationwide campaign to ensure the public are aware of this service and the importance of recycling their old TVs and computers,” Dr Smith said.

“This initiative is a further step towards New Zealand better managing the 80,000 tonnes of electronic waste each year from used computers, cellphones, printers, monitors and TVs which have thousands of tonnes of recoverable lead, mercury, gold, cadmium and silver.

“A new TV is not required to receive digital television when the phased digital switchover starts next year, but some Kiwis may look to replace their cathode ray tube sets and will be conscious of how and where to dispose of them. These depots are able to take these old TVs for recycling keeping the harmful lead from going to landfills.

“These depots build on the good work started with eDay but provide a responsible disposal option every day. Other initiatives with industry are also in the pipeline. Government is also exploring a product stewardship scheme with industry in parallel with developments in Australia.  

“This is the type of smart Bluegreen initiative the Government wants to encourage and is consistent with our 2010 Waste Strategy to put greater emphasis on harmful waste.”

For details of the e-Cycle project go to http://www.e-cycle.co.nz