Don't just dump your telly. It's one of hundreds of goods that doesn't have to crowd our landfill.

The Environment Centre Hawke's Bay in Hastings will take them off your hands for a small fee, keeping toxic e-waste out of our soils and stopping valuable resources going to waste.

The Karamu Rd centre is busy because Hastings District Council currently subsidises the cost of TVs for its residents.

Operations Manager Gabriel Hurford-Lorenzo said it would take anything with an electric cord, giving it to volunteers to process.


But old-school vacuum TVs and computer monitors are more difficult e-waste to recycle because they are both low value and toxic. So they're shipped to Auckland for Abilities Group to process cleanly and safely.

Hurford said it disturbs him that people are recycling e-waste without a conscience.

"Other organisations that may take e-waste for free, take out the valuable components and then dump the 'nasties'. We see that frequently down the rivers or just in paddocks that people are dumping items and they have just extracted the valuables.

"We do the right thing, the full process. Yes, we take out the valuable components and we recycle them, but we also make sure that all the nasty chemicals and anything inside of the TVs or any other item, is dealt with safely, and disposed of correctly."

Valuables include gold, copper, aluminium and silver, but the labour needed to extract them does not always make it worthwhile.

The centre's main revenue stream is the fee it charges to dispose of e-waste.

"Expect a fee, because even though we are a charity and we do things as cheap as possible, we still need to pay for our facilities and our shipping, electricity etc," Hurford said.

Run by a charitable trust, E-waste is just one of the Environment Centre's sustainability projects, recycling other waste items destined for the landfill.


Free waste programmes include printer cartridge's, coffee capsules, toothbrushes and toothpaste, cell phones, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, vegetable oil and bottle tops.

Recently moved to a much larger building in Hastings, the centre is currently on the lookout for volunteers keen to make a difference.

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