NZ communities can again safely dispose of e-waste - eDay 2010 in Hawera announced

NZ communities can again safely dispose of e-waste - eDay 2010 in Hawera announced

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The date for eDay 2010, New Zealand’s free computer recycling event, was announced today by the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Nick Smith. eDay will be held in over 40 centres throughout New Zealand, including Hawera, on Saturday 6 November 2010. Organisers are aiming to divert as much as 1,300 tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) from landfills, up from last year’s record amount of 976 tonnes.

Now in its fifth year, eDay is the only nationwide community e-waste recycling event for households and small businesses to dispose of old computer equipment in an environmentally sound way, at no cost to the user. Over 83,000 items were collected last year, including 9 tonnes collected in Hawera.

This year eDay organisers are encouraging communities to work together to collect their neighbourhood e-waste. Collecting it in one place and taking one trip to the drop-off locations saves time and reduces vehicle emissions. It’s also a great way to meet your community and make sure everyone can take part in eDay.

eDay has been run successfully since 2006 by Computer Access New Zealand (CANZ) with support from the 2020 Communications Trust and numerous national and local partners. For eDay 2010, the 2020 Trust has secured funding support from the Waste Minimisation Fund.  This year, eDay will be run by the eDay New Zealand Trust, a new independent community trust set up by CANZ members specifically to promote the responsible recycling of electronic waste in New Zealand. 

Product stewardship the best way forward

eDay New Zealand advocates for compulsory product stewardship and says eDay is just an interim measure until this is in place.

“We are delighted that the Minister has agreed to allocate provisional funding for a more sustainable long-term solution. We know that we need to ensure the scheme for recycling e-waste in New Zealand meets international best practice and plan to collaborate with Government and Industry to see this happen,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chairperson of eDay New Zealand and national organiser of eDay 2010.

“The eDay events are a good stop-gap measure, but compulsory  product stewardship needs to be put into place, to ensure that hazardous and scarce materials are not buried in our landfills, or exported to parts of the world where processing is unregulated and likely to result in harm to human and environmental health.”

What can be disposed of?

Material that can be disposed of at eDay 2010 includes all computer-related equipment, game consoles, fax machines and digital cameras. The Trust also accepts mobile phones although this year is encouraging people to donate them to Starship’s Mobile Phone Recycling Appeal.

“The Starship scheme is a good example of e-waste recycling that is benefiting the community, and we are very keen to support such initiatives,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

“We had hoped to be able to include TV sets and home hi-fi equipment this year as 25% of the 16,000 people disposing of equipment at last year’s eDay indicated they have an old TV waiting for disposal. But unfortunately we can’t include them,” said Mr Zwimpfer. “The channels for recycling this equipment are not sufficiently well developed so we encourage everyone to hold onto old TVs for just a bit longer.”

Sponsors make eDay possible

In addition to funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund, national partners and supporters from previous years have confirmed their support, including KiwiRail, More FM, the Blue Star Group, Trade Me and industry partners, The Laptop Company and Invo. Local support is being led by South Taranaki District Council and Egmont Refuse and Recycling,

“Electronic waste is now one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world so we thank the Minster and our other eDay partners for their support,” said Mr Zwimpfer. 

The 2020 Communications Trust and the Ministry for the Environment are working together to ensure the e-waste collected in 2010, and the last of the 2009 e-waste, continues to be handled safely and processed in an environmentally sound manner.

The Hawera eDay will be held at TSB Hub, Camberwell Road carpark, on Saturday 6th November from 9am – 3pm. 

Further details can be found at www.eday.org.nz.