Monday, September 29, 2008

WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE newspaper and e-waste

eDay Wairarapa co-ordinator Di Batchelor and helpful volunteers Michael Rigg, left, and Jack Barlow. Photo: Lynda Feringa

12 tonnes of e-waste expected


Nathan Crombie

Over 12 tonnes of old computer bits and bytes is expected to pour from Wairarapa homes during the inaugural eDay for the region next month.

Wairarapa eDay co-ordinator Di Batchelor said residents have the opportunity to dispose of their old PCs, computer peripherals and mobile phones on eDay, to be held at Elder's Woolstore, on Ngaumutawa Road, in Masterton, on October 4.

eDay is a free computer recycling event being held in 32 centres throughout New Zealand, she said, and it is expected to divert 1000 tonnes of e-waste from landfills.

"The drive-through event will enable residents in Wairarapa to recycle their old computer equipment and mobile phones in an environmentally-friendly way, and is aimed at raising awareness about the environmental and health dangers of dumping electronic waste (e-waste) in landfills," Ms Batchelor said.

"We're excited to be involved in the event and provide Wairarapa's residents with the opportunity to safely recycle their old computer equipment and mobile phones," she said.

Laurence Zwimpfer, Computer Access New Zealand Trust national organiser and chairman, said e-waste and its toxic materials  including lead and mercury from old computers  is the fastest-growing type of waste being sent to landfills globally and poses a potentially-toxic hazard for people, animals and the environment.

"Our aim with eDay is to educate New Zealanders of the dangers of dumping e-waste in landfills while giving them the opportunity to dispose of unwanted computer items in a safe way," Mr Zwimpfer said.

New Zealand's first national eDay was held last year and diverted 415 tonnes of e-waste from landfills. The 2008 Wairarapa event is expected to divert over 12 tonnes of toxic waste from landfill, Ms Batchelor said.

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

Organisers expect a two-to-three-year lifespan for the event until legislative change is implemented and industry product stewardship schemes take effect, she said.

Only computers, computer peripherals such as printers and scanners, gaming consoles and mobile phones can be recycled in the eDay collection.

Other electronic equipment including televisions and stereos will not be accepted, Ms Batchelor said.

"We know that TVs and other electronic equipment pose similar threats to our environment, but because of the huge variety in size and weight of this equipment, we don't think it is fair to ask volunteers to handle TVs," Mr Zwimpfer said.

"The best advice we can give is for the public to hold on to their old TVs until sustainable solutions are available."

CANZ advises people to wipe all data from computer hard drives as well as removable media such as floppy disks and PC cards before handing them over for collection on eDay, he said.

The event is supported nationally by the Ministry for the Environment, 2020 Communications Trust, KiwiRail, Pub Charity, Computer Recycling Limited, the NZ Lotteries Commission, Dell, Toshiba, Trade Me, The Laptop Company and the Ministry of Education, which funds the Computer Access NZ Trust.

The Wairarapa event is also being supported locally by Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa district councils, Sustainable Wairarapa and REAP, Ms Batchelor said.

1 comment: said...

PC Recycler applauds any and all efforts to tackle the ever growing problem of electronics recycling. Our country and world needs more efforts like these. Electronics recycling has become an ever growing problem and more work is yet to be done. Check out our upcoming blog that will deal exclusively with data destruction and electronics recycling.