Dispose of your tech the right way

Publish Date : 26 Dec 2021
Ashkan Forouzani Vpoftztadle Unsplash

This time of year can bring a lot of temptation, and discounts, to upgrade your tried and true tech. And why not? ‘Tis the season, after all.

But what should we be doing with the old stuff? There are valuable materials inside electronics, and New Zealand is developing the capacity to save these items from landfill. There are also dangerous materials, such as Lithium-Ion batteries, that can cause fires in the rubbish or recycling truck. So, avoid throwing them in regular kerbside bins.

Speciality recyclers are growing their capacity to take electronic waste in New Zealand since it doesn’t belong in your kerbside bin. There are lots of places that are eager to get your computer or TV screen, refurbish it, and pass it on to a small business, school, or charity in need. They help keep these materials out of landfill, which also lessens the demand for new rare earth materials.

Here are some places in Auckland that take computer waste. For other materials, search by item online.

Why not make an event of it?

Computer Recycling is running community electronic waste recycling events this year around Auckland, with the hopes of diverting 300 tonnes of e-waste from landfill. Keep an eye out for an event in your neighbourhood.

Tech Collect also runs events throughout the region. They had already collected a staggering 44,933 kg of electronic waste by the end of October. Search for your nearest drop off location.

The need for product stewardship

Around 80,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated every year but the MFE estimates only two per cent of that waste is recycled, with the rest ending up in landfills across the country. The insides of electronics are full of toxic materials. A CRT TV or monitor may contain up to 3 kg of lead.

“Voluntary disposal methods are under-resourced and fragmented and rely on individuals to know what to do with their unwanted items,” says Parul Sood, General Manager for Waste Solutions.

“Product stewardship is when the manufacturer takes responsibility for considering the full life cycle of something when they make it, so that the product can be used for as long as possible and recycled at the end of its current function. Auckland Council supports the Ministry for the Environment initiative to create a product stewardship process for electronic waste,” explains Parul.

Together we can protect our land, our people, and waste nothing.

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