Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Aotearoa/New Zealand and E-Day

eDay 2008
Wednesday, 13 August 2008, 11:32 am
Press Release: Computer Access NZ

Media release
13th August 2008
For immediate release

eDay 2008 has potential to divert 1,000 tonnes of e-waste from landfills

Electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest growing type of waste being sent to landfills globally, New Zealand being no exception.

The Computer Access New Zealand Trust (CANZ) today announced another eDay (free computer recycling day), for the weekend of October 4th and 5th 2008, with the aim of diverting 1,000 tonnes of e-waste from landfills in up to 30 regions – a substantial increase from the 12 regions that participated in 2007.

The annual eDay event is the only community-driven e-waste recycling event for dropping off computer items including monitors, CPUs and printers, at no cost to the public.

“While the Product Stewardship Bill is making good progress in Parliament, it is still likely to be two to three years before industry-supported schemes for recycling e-waste are fully operational. eDay is helping to plug the gap and buy New Zealand a little more time without generating new problems in our landfills,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chairperson of CANZ and organiser of the event.

Securing funding for eDay is the biggest challenge for CANZ, a not-for-profit trust. The programme relies on support from a wide range of partners, including computer manufacturers and related IT industries, computer retailers, community trusts, local authorities and central Government.

“We have received interest from over 30 regions that are keen to host local eDays. We are excited to announce that eDay will take place on a larger scale this year, but we are conscious that without further funding we cannot commit to all areas of New Zealand at this stage,” Mr Zwimpfer says.

CANZ has already received funding support for eDay 2008 from the Ministry for the Environment through the Sustainable Management Fund and recognition in June with a prestigious Green Ribbon Award for ‘Community Action for the Environment’.

Mr Zwimpfer says he is encouraged by the support from government and the high level of community support received to date. “This acknowledgement and support from government along with community funding from Pub Charity and the Community Lottery Board has given us the confidence to proceed. The support from local and regional councils in each eDay area will also ensure that eDay 2008 is just as successful as last year’s event,” he says.

Industry support is being led by Dell, who introduced the idea of community-driven free computer recycling days to New Zealand in 2006, as well as The Laptop Company, Toshiba and Trade Me. “We want to thank Dell in particular for their enthusiasm and eagerness to be a part of this event for the third year in a row. We are also grateful for the early support from The Laptop Company, Toshiba and Trade Me. We look forward to similar positive responses from others in the IT industry,” Mr Zwimpfer says.

National transport operator KiwiRail is confirmed as an eDay transport partner. KiwiRail will be freighting containers from local collection centres to regional consolidation centres. “We are excited to have KiwiRail as a partner providing a sustainable transport option for the event. We will be announcing other transport and logistics partners shortly as well as recycling partners. We are evaluating proposals to find the most effective recycling solutions while ensuring compliance with best international practice,” said Mr Zwimpfer. “We are insisting on detailed information about the recycling processes used by eDay partners.”

In 2007 eDay diverted 415 tonnes of computer waste from landfills. More than 6,900 carloads of e-waste was dropped off at 12 venues over two days with more than 26,000 computer items diverted from being dumped in New Zealand's landfills.

eDay gives people the chance to dispose of their old computer equipment and mobile phones quickly in an environmentally-friendly way, and is aimed at raising awareness about the environmental and health dangers of e-waste dumped in landfills.

Participating eDay regions are listed in the attachment. Updates will be posted to the eDay website, as venue details are confirmed in each region. Volunteers wishing to help out at an eDay in their area are invited to sign-up online at the eDay website.

CANZ and eDay are initiatives of the 2020 Communications Trust. The 2020 Communications Trust has been supporting the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in communities throughout New Zealand for more than 10 years.

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