Thursday, August 20, 2009

Aotearoa Gets It

New Zealand residents can dispose of their old PCs, computer peripherals, mobile phones and digital cameras at eDay on Saturday 12th September.

eDay, a free nationwide computer recycling event, is expected to divert over 1,000 tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) from landfills and will enable the recovery of valuable materials such as gold, copper and aluminium so they can be reused. The drive-through event has extended from 32 regions last year to close to 40 regions in 2009.

National Organiser and Chairperson of Computer Access New Zealand (CANZ), Laurence Zwimpfer, said e-waste is the fastest growing and one of the most challenging waste problems in the world and New Zealand is no exception; over 87,000 computer related items were diverted from local landfills at last year's eDay. "Computers contain many valuable resources which can be recovered and put to good use. Our aim with eDay is to educate New Zealanders about the benefits of recycling computers while providing convenient drop-off points for them to dispose of unwanted computer items in a safe way," said Mr Zwimpfer.

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

Only computer equipment, mobile phones and digital cameras can be recycled in the eDay collection. Other electronic equipment including televisions and stereos will not be accepted. "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," said Mr Zwimpfer. "The best advice we can give is for the public to hold onto their old TVs until sustainable solutions are available."

The event is supported nationally by The Ministry for the Environment through their Sustainable Management Fund, the 2020 Communications Trust and the Ministry of Education which funds the Computer Access NZ Trust. National transport operator KiwiRail and international e-waste recyclers CRTNZ are national partners again in 2009. Corporate sponsors include Meridian Energy, More FM, Dell, Canon, Printlink, The Laptop Company, Invo, Trade Me and NZICT. Each eDay event is also being supported by numerous local partners, typically including local and regional authorities, as well as a wide range of other interested organisations. For details of eDay 2009 sites across the country, visit All equipment collected as part of eDay will be recycled by accredited international recyclers. Items in good condition can be donated to genuine charities through or sold on Mr Zwimpfer said the very successful charity auction for antique and collectable computers organised in 2008 with the generous support of Trade Me means the auction will be held again this year. "There was a lot of nostalgia last year as many old-time computer users were able to get their hands on equipment that for many was their first computer," said Mr Zwimpfer. eDay 2009 is a drive-through community event and is open to cars only. Businesses and schools or organisations with large quantities of e-waste are advised to visit for alternate disposal options and more information about recycling options.

The eDay 2009 logo is available for publication. High resolution photographs are available at

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