More funding for recycling e-waste

The Government has announced more funding for electronic waste depots and recycling campaigns. Photo / Thinkstock
The Government has announced more funding for electronic waste depots and recycling campaigns. Photo / Thinkstock

An additional $1 million in funding over two years will see new electronic waste depots and a campaign to get people recycling more.

However the annual e-Day collection will not be going ahead, a spokesman confirmed to NZPA.

Environment Minister Nick Smith announced the funding at the opening of the Wellington e-Cycle Recycling Facility at Seaview, in Lower Hutt.

The facility, and others based in Auckland and Christchurch, process e-waste, such as old computers and televisions.

"The Government last year provided (recycling company) RCN and the Community Recycling Network $400,000 to establish 20 permanent nationwide e-waste depots in New Zealand to recycle this waste," Dr Smith said.

"I'm pleased to announce that we are providing an additional $1m 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 believed ongoing initiatives were more useful than a one-off collection like e-day.

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

The minister previously told a select committee that the digital switchover that starts next year could see 400,000 old tellies dumped.

To go to digital, viewers with older televisions can buy a set-top box for about $150 and possibly a new aerial or satellite dish depending on what equipment they have and where they live.

However, many were expected to simply buy a new compatible set.

Dr Smith said the depots would be able to recycle the old TVs.

"These depots build on the good work started with e-Day 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."

- NZPA

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