A 16-day window of free disposal of unwanted television sets in Hawke's Bay kicked off big time over the weekend - with members of the receiving crew at Hastings' main recycling depot kept on the go.
Saturday was the first day of the Environment Ministry's TV Takeback programme and at the Hastings District Council depot, on the former Mitre 10 site in St Aubyn's St, about 900 cars arrived during the day.
Their occupants dropped off 1800 unwanted television sets, which filled seven containers.
It was the start local government and environmental agencies had hoped for.
The recycling disposal of old sets is being subsidised until October 28 with no drop-off fees to be charged.
There are four collection locations in Napier, four in Hastings, one in Wairoa and one in Waipukurau.
TV TakeBack spokesman Glenn Wigley said the programme would divert up to 500,000 televisions from being dumped in landfills across the country.
The ministry has partnered with a string of recycling companies and retailers to provide a national network of subsided disposal options.
"Televisions contain materials like lead, mercury and cadmium, which pose a threat to the environment if they are disposed of in landfills, or dumped elsewhere," Mr Wigley said.
"The recycled materials have a variety of uses, with glass recycled in New Zealand and used in roading aggregate, metals such as steel melted down and made into new products such as construction material, and copper wire and aluminium removed and recycled."
Hastings District Council waste minimisation officer Dominic Salmon said being the first of two regions to go digital had created an upsurge in the number of older or second sets, which were no longer wanted.
"This is an opportunity to get rid of your old TVs at no charge and staff will be on hand to unload them from your car."
He said he anticipated another big rush over the coming long Labour Day weekend, as residents took the opportunity to get rid of their TVs for no charge.
The free recycling term is for TVs only and other electronic waste needs to be disposed of in the normal manner.
Following the free recycling period, TVs will be accepted at the Environment Centre or the Henderson Rd recycling depot but there will be a small charge.