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Nick Smith

6 October, 2010

Govt steps up e-waste recycling

Environment Minister Nick Smith today announced $1.15 million in grants from the Waste Minimisation Fund for eDay 2010 and new e-waste processing facilities.

"New Zealand needs to recycle more of the 80,000 tonnes of electronic waste that goes to landfill each year to recover resources and reduce pollution," Dr Smith said. "Our strategy is to support eDay 2010 to help co-ordinate collection and raise the profile of e-waste but also to fund a new initiative to ensure better recycling and processing of the waste.

"The electronic waste from used computers, cellphones, printers, monitors and televisions has thousands of tonnes of recoverable lead, mercury, gold, cadmium and silver. For instance, there is an estimated 20,000 tonnes of lead in the 10 million cathode ray tubes in New Zealand's computer monitors and TVs."

The first grant of $750,000 is to the 2020 Communications Trust to run eDay on 6 November 2010 at more than 40 venues right across New Zealand.

"eDay's popularity has grown exponentially and problems developed in 2008 and 2009 with management of the waste after it was collected," Dr Smith said. "This year we are engaging e-waste professionals to ensure best practice in recycling and in managing the residual waste."

The second grant of $400,000 is a joint venture between the RCN Group and the Community Recycling Network towards developing a nationwide network of 20 permanent depots for e-waste as well as recycling facilities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

"We need to move beyond just eDay to a permanent solution for New Zealand's electronic waste where we have the capacity to collect and recycle all year round," Dr Smith said. "This initiative enables us to provide a long-term solution to our electronic waste problem.

"I encourage households, schools and businesses to give their support to eDay 2010 on 6 November and responsibly dispose of their unwanted or broken electronic equipment. Every computer, cellphone or monitor that doesn't go to landfill reduces pollution and the need for further mineral extraction."


  • Nick Smith
  • Environment