eDay Collection Stats

2007 – 2010

Number of cars through eDay sites: 57,700

Estimated number of items collected: 272,900

Estimated total tonnage: 3,220

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Media

Cleaning up New Zealand's e-waste

eDay is a community initiative designed to raise awareness of the hazardous nature of e-waste, and to give households the opportunity to dispose of unused computers and mobile phones in an environmentally sound way.

If you have any media enquiries about eDay, please email Lara Charles at lara@eday.org.nz

eWaste Manifesto

eWaste Manifesto

12 September 2017

Download as PDF

About this Manifesto

This Manifesto has been developed by the eDay Trust, a not-for-profit charity established in 2010 to pursue a long-term product stewardship solution for electronic waste (eWaste) in New Zealand. There is widespread support from local communities, territorial authorities, recyclers and industry for sustainable options that ensure eWaste is responsibly recycled and diverted from landfills. We are calling on all political parties to support a sustainable plan for addressing New Zealand’s growing mountain of eWaste.

What is the eWaste Problem?

Electronic waste was first highlighted as a growing problem for New Zealand in 2006 in a report prepared for the Ministry for the Environment by Computer Access New Zealand, the predecessor to the eDay Trust (Source 1). At that time it was estimated that there were 16 million computers and TV sets that would be reaching end of life within five years and a further 1 million new digital devices were being sold each year. Concerns were highlighted about the negative environmental and health impacts on uncontained ewaste materials such as plastics, lead, barium, beryllium, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, selenium, mercury and arsenic.
The solution recommended in this report was to follow in the footsteps of other countries and develop a product stewardship scheme for ewaste. This would ensure producers and importers of electronic equipment took responsibility for ‘taking back’ and recycling equipment when it reached end-of-life. In effect, a small levy would be added to the price of all electronic equipment and this would be held by an industry-managed organisation to fund the costs of responsible recycling.
Since 2006, there have been a number of short-term schemes including eDay, RCN e-Cycle and TV Takeback, to try and address the growing mountain of ewaste, but after 10 years New Zealand still does not have a sustainable solution.
The Ministry for the Environment estimates the total size of the ‘ewaste problem’ at between 72,000 and 85,500 tonnes of electronic waste each year, with TVs, computers and computer equipment accounting for about one quarter of this. Every New Zealander is currently producing 19kg of ewaste, which is similar to Australia, the USA and Canada. But by 2030 it is projected we will all be producing 27kg per person (Source 2).
The world is also facing a future crisis in the availability of the scarce materials used to manufacture electronic equipment – materials such as gold, silver, copper, nickel, lithium, cobalt, tantalum, gallium, indium and neodymium (Source 3). It is much less expensive to extract these materials from ewaste, for reuse, than mine for new materials.

Our Goals

1. All suppliers of electronic equipment (producers and importers) contribute to an industry-led product stewardship scheme no later than 30 June 2020.
2. Consumers are able to easily dispose of end-of-life electronic equipment at no cost.
3. All electronic equipment is banned from landfills.

Goal 1: eWaste product stewardship

Product stewardship relies on partnerships between governments and industry. In New Zealand, Government provided the legislative framework in 2008, by enacting the Waste Minimisation Act. This provided a framework for product stewardship across all waste streams including ewaste. By 2008 industry working groups from the computer and electronics sectors had developed two draft product stewardship schemes – one for TVs and the other for IT equipment (computers, printers etc.). The missing link in 2008 was a commitment from Government to develop regulations to ensure compliance by all industry players and maintain a level playing field in a highly competitive marketplace. The Government’s preference has been for voluntary industry-led product stewardship schemes. However the electronics industry has made it clear for the last decade that no progress would be made without an element of compulsion from Government in the form of regulations.
Government has supported the preparation of numerous surveys and reports since 2006 but has appeared reluctant to act on the findings of these reports. (Source 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11)
In 2016, Consumer NZ reached a similar conclusion, “We think a broad mandatory scheme is needed to deal with a waste issue that’s only going to grow. Why is it so difficult to determine the scope of a regulatory e-waste scheme? Other countries are successfully using mandatory schemes to stem the flow of e-waste. (Source 12)

What can Government do?

The Waste Minimisation Act 2008 has provisions for both voluntary and compulsory product stewardship. While some industries have responded with voluntary schemes, no universal scheme for consumer ewaste has been implemented in the last decade (Source 13). In the event that voluntary schemes are not established, the Act includes a provision for the Minister to intervene and declare a product a “priority product”, which then triggers a process that would result in a compulsory product stewardship scheme. In 2015, there was overwhelming support from stakeholder groups for ewaste to be declared as a priority product, with 85% of 216 written submissions supporting this (Source 14). Despite calls from local authorities and Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) for the Minister to take this action (Source 15) successive Ministers have refused to do this. A report prepared by the eDay Trust also provided an economic argument for government intervention (Source 16).
We call on government to acknowledge that current approaches are simply not working and that the ewaste problem will only get bigger. The Minister for the Environment must, under the terms of the WMA:2008, declare ewaste as a ‘priority product’ and set a timetable for a national mandatory ewaste product stewardship programme.

Goal 2: eWaste disposal at no cost to consumer

Consumers must be able to dispose of ewaste easily and at no cost. This will create the right incentives for consumers to separate ewaste from other waste and ensure that hazardous materials are not buried in our landfills. The strong public support for the nationwide eDay collection events held from 2006 to 2010 demonstrated that consumers are willing to make the effort and dispose of ewaste responsibly provided they can do this easily and at no direct cost (Source 17). Efforts to charge for ewaste at the time of disposal have failed – both from the perspective of consumers and recyclers. New research has revealed that only 9% consumers supported collection schemes that involve charges at the time of disposal (Source 18). Consumer research has consistently revealed a consumer preference for the costs of recycling to be included in the price of new products.(Source 19,20)

What can Government do?

Product stewardship schemes provide a mechanism for generating the funding necessary for sustainable ewaste recycling schemes. During the last decade, Government has spent around $20 million on short-term ewaste schemes, but none of these has resulted in an ongoing sustainable solution. To the contrary, two have resulted in acrimonious legal action, one of which forced the government’s recycling partner into liquidation (Source 21).
We suggest that after 10 years there is more than sufficient evidence that a project-based approach for addressing the ewaste problem does little more than raise awareness of the problem. And one thing is certain – this problem is not going away. Our rate of consumption of electronic goods is accelerating with increasingly short equipment lifecycles; consumers are well aware that is it becoming less expensive to purchase a new printer than buy the consumables for an existing printer and certainly most never even consider repairing a broken device.
New Zealand urgently needs a robust national ewaste product stewardship framework, based upon the principle of ‘producer responsibility’. International best practice encourages a balanced collaborative model which draws upon management expertise of industry, alongside appropriate engagement of consumers, local communities and government. The key action required by Government is to develop product stewardship regulations which ensure achievement of social expectations and environmental standards (Source 22), with monitoring and compliance funded as part of the product stewardship scheme(s) design.

Goal 3: eWaste banned from landfills

Some local authorities have become so frustrated with the lack of progress in developing a permanent solution for recycling ewaste that they have discussed legislating a ban on electronic waste in landfills. Even for landfills with ewaste collection facilities as part of their recycling centres it is a challenge to encourage consumers to pay $20 to recycle their TV or computer monitor when they can take the same item to the landfill and pay no more that $1-2 over the weighbridge.

However, despite the potential harm from dumping hazardous materials in landfills, the risk of fly tipping presents a much greater risk than managed landfills. Without convenient drop-off facilities, there is a high risk that consumers will vent their frustration by simply dumping their old electronic equipment wherever they can find an unmanaged piece of land or waterway. So this is question of making sure the ‘horse is before the cart’, i.e. free and convenient take-back facilities are widely available – that will be the time to start to impose landfill bans. The Telecommunications Carrier Forum (TCF) has led the way with an accredited product stewardship scheme for mobile phones (RE:mobile). In their latest report they proudly claim to have 311 public drop-off points that in FY 2016 collected 105,317 phones, diverting 12.5 tonnes of potentially harmful substances from landfills (Source 23). In FY 2017 similar numbers of phones were collected – 101,613 (Source 24). Every 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone retail store provide collection facilities; postal options are available for those in regions where these stores do not have a presence.

The challenge for other ewaste such as TVs and computers is much greater. Collection sites are relatively rare and even in centres where there is a collection facility or an ewaste recycler, the general public does not know where they are located. Posting old TVs and computer equipment is not even an option. In 2010, the Government funded computer recycler RCN and the Community Recycling Network (CRN) to establish a national network of ewaste collection centres (e-Cycle). Thirty five centres were established in partnership with local authorities and community recyclers. Consumers were required to pay to drop off ewaste with prices ranging from $5 for a desktop computer to $20 for a TV. But the economic model proved wrong. Local partners were required to meet the cost of freight to Auckland to RCN’s recycling facility and this resulted in some community facilities going out of business. The pressure of the TV Takeback programme proved too much for RCN, even with a $20 government subsidy for every TV returned for recycling. In 2014, RCN was put into liquidation, stranding partners around the country who had collected equipment in good faith.
As with previous under-funded ewaste projects, the Government had to step in and fund the recycling of the 90,000 ‘stranded’ TVs.


This experience in attempting to develop an ewaste collection model based on ‘user-pays’ at the time of disposal, even with a government subsidy, has been an embarrassing failure. The value of an industry-managed product stewardship scheme is that the levies on suppliers can be continuously adjusted to reflect actual costs of recycling including the cost of collection and transport, rather than rely on a fixed government subsidy.

What can Government do?

Government (central and local) must resist any calls to ban ewaste from landfills until effective collection and recycling systems are in place. But when these systems are in place, we expect a nationwide landfill ban on ewaste to be implemented.
We suggest it is in the New Zealand’s national interest to recognise that ewaste is a ‘priority product’ and for the government to utilise the provisions of the WMA:2008 to progress a mandatory NZ ewaste product stewardship scheme as quickly as possible. Following international precedent and best practice in this regard, will help prevent a potential future environmental disaster, enhance New Zealand’s international reputation and also relieve government of the costs and dysfunction associated with publicly funded ewaste recycling.

Sources

1 CANZ, e-Waste in New Zealand: Taking responsibility for end-of-life computers and TVs, July 2006
2 SLR, E-waste Product Stewardship Framework for New Zealand, June 2015
3 Consumer NZ, E-waste, 14 January 2016
4 UMR Research, Electrical and Electronic Equipment Disposal Survey, April 2006
5 CANZ (2006), op.cit.
6 Ministry for the Environment (MfE), Priority waste streams for product stewardship intervention, April 2015
7 Zwimpfer Communications, e-Waste Survey for eDay 2008, November 2008
8 eDay Trust, eWaste in New Zealand: Five Years On, June 2011
9 NZIER, Willingness to pay for six end-of-life products, 24 October 2013
10 eDay Trust, eDay 2010 Report, December 2010
11 SLR (2015) op.cit.
12 Consumer NZ (2016), op.cit.
13 The only exceptions are for mobile phones and manufacturer-specific business products. Mobile phones differ from other electronic products in that recyclers can not only cover their costs but also make a profit; they cannot do this for most other electronic equipment. Sharp and Fuji Xerox also have accredited schemes for business products (photocopiers and printers).
14 MfE (2016), op.cit.
15 In July 2013, there was unanimous support from local authorities for a remit presented by the Wellington Waste Forum to the Local Government NZ annual conference. This remit called on the Minister to declare ewaste a priority product and set a timetable for the development or regulations.
16 eDay Trust (2011) op.cit. The economic analysis concluded that voluntary approaches to solving the ewaste problem will not work because of the structural (large number of firms) and behavioural (fierce price competition) market characteristics of e-product retail markets.
17 50% of the nearly 20,000 people who dropped off ewaste as part of eDay 2010 cited “doing the right thing for the environment” as the main reason they made the effort; another 30% cited “ease of disposal” or “being free” as the main reasons. The remaining 20% were motivated by the need to clear out their storage space.
18 UMR Omnibus survey, commissioned by the Wellington Waste Forum in May 2016
19 UMR Research (2006), op.cit. This 2006 survey discovered that 65% of respondents were willing to pay for the safe disposal of their televisions and computers, with the majority preferring to pay at the time of purchase.
20 UMR (2016) op.cit. This consumer survey revealed that 63% of consumers are willing to pay an extra $30 at the time of purchase to cover the cost of recycling at end-of-life.
21 In 2010 the Ministry of Economic Development prosecuted CRTNZ (the recycler selected for eDay 2009) for attempting to export ewaste without a valid permit under the Basel Convention. In 2014, RCN (one of the recyclers selected for the TV Takeback programme) went into liquidation, leaving behind 90,000 unprocessed TVs.
22 The joint Australia-New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 5377:2013 Collection, storage, transport and treatment of electrical and electronic equipment
23 TCF, RE:mobile Product Stewardship Scheme Annual Report FY16, This report covers activity for the period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.
24 TCF, RE:Mobile Collection Results to 31 March 2017, http://www.tcf.org.nz/consumers/mobile/mobile-phone-recycling/collection-results/
   

Government needs stronger plan for ewaste

12th September 2017

 

The eDay Trust released its eWaste Manifesto today, calling on all political parties to support a strong and sustainable plan for addressing New Zealand’s increasing amount of toxic electronic waste (ewaste) in landfills.

Every New Zealander currently generates 19kg of ewaste each year; this is projected to grow to 27kg per person by the year 2030. However there is still no legislated scheme to manage this waste. 85,000 tonnes of ewaste are disposed of into landfills in New Zealand every year.

The development of an industry-led product stewardship scheme with regulatory support from Government is the single most important recommendation in the Manifesto.

The eDay Trust has advocated for this product stewardship scheme to be put in place since 2010– a scheme that means that the cost of recycling is built into the price of new products so New Zealanders can recycle responsibly at no extra cost when the equipment reaches end of life.

“This is effective in many OECD countries but New Zealand is lagging behind,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chair of the eDay NZ Trust. “What we need is a permanent and sustainable solution, and this now needs some urgent action by Government,” he continued.

The Government has supported a number of short-term ewaste collection and recycling initiatives.  These have included the annual eDay computer collection events from 2006 to 2010, the RCN e-Cycle scheme from 2010 to 2014 and the TV Takeback programme from 2012-2014.  Together, these activities over 10 years have diverted around 800,000 electronic devices from landfills at a cost to the Government of around $20 million (or $25 per device). But during the same 10 years an estimated 10 million new computers and TVs were sold in New Zealand.

“None of these initiatives have resulted in a long-term sustainable solution.  The volumes of new electronic equipment are expanding at 10 times the rate of the current Government’s recycling efforts,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

Research carried out by UMR Research, NZIER and the Wellington Waste Forum over the last 10 years has consistently shown consumer support for a scheme where the cost of recycling is built into the purchase price of new equipment.

“So, given this consumer preference and the high cost to government of supporting short-term recycling initiatives, we can’t understand why Government does not want to work with industry to solve this problem once and for all,” said Mr Zwimpfer.  “All Government has to do is to declare ewaste a priority product under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 and set a timetable for compulsory product stewardship. We look forward to a new government giving this issue the priority it deserves to create a long-term sustainable solution for all ewaste,” he concluded.

-ends-

 

About The eDay New Zealand Trust

The eDay New Zealand Trust was established in 2010 to take over the work of Computer Access New Zealand, a special project of the 20/20 Trust.  eDay’s primary focus at the time was to manage the annual ewaste collection events for computer equipment.  In 2010, 18,274 cars dropped off 869 tonnes of computer waste at over 60 locations throughout New Zealand and the Cook Islands.  Despite the evident success of the collection events, the Government withdrew its support in 2011, citing a preference for “everyday” collection facilities rather than a one-day annual event.  The eDay Trust remains committed to a long-term product stewardship solution.

 

For further information contact:

Laurence Zwimpfer

laurence@eday.org.nz

Ph: 027 430 6737

 

   

Report sparks new fears over increasing amounts of toxic e-waste in NZ landfills

25th August 2015

 

A new Government report on e-waste fails to provide the roadmap for a sustainable e-waste recycling solution, disappointing councils and communities and sparking fresh concerns over the increasing amounts of e-waste ending up in landfills.

 

The eDay Trust, organisers of the popular eDay computer recycling events, are joining councils and community groups across NZ in urging the Minister for the Environment, Dr Nick Smith, to disregard the report and proceed with a scheme for managing e-waste – the fastest growing waste stream in New Zealand and the world.

 

“There have been many reports previous to this one that concluded that an effective way forward is for a legislated product stewardship scheme for e-waste. This is effective in many OECD countries but New Zealand is lagging behind,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chair of the eDay NZ Trust.

 

“Government has been supportive of numerous initiatives to try and stem the tide of e-waste entering landfills. However while these initiatives have raised awareness of the issue, none of them have resulted in a long-term sustainable solution,” Mr Zwimpfer continued.

 

The eDay Trust advocates for a product stewardship scheme to be put in place – a scheme that means that the cost of recycling is built into the price of new products so New Zealanders can recycle responsibly at no extra cost when the equipment reaches end of life.

 

The development of an industry-led product stewardship scheme with regulatory support from Government was the single most important recommendation in the 179-page report on ewaste that was released by the eDay Trust in July 2011.

 

“Like other stakeholders, we have engaged in product stewardship workshops over many years and contributed to a variety of reports,” Mr Zwimpfer said. “In our view, this latest report from the Ministry fails to adequately represent the views that were expressed so strongly at the stakeholder workshops.  The call for the Government to declare e-waste a priority product under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 and progress a compulsory product stewardship regime was unanimous.”

 

“Our greatest concern is that this new report will set New Zealand back a further ten years. Our credibility as a ‘clean green’ country and an environmentally aware community is now on the line with electronic producers and recyclers; we cannot expect further engagement from them without a clear commitment that Government will play its part. “

 

“80,000 tonnes of e- waste is disposed of into landfills in New Zealand every year. Landfilling does not allow for recovery and reuse of valuable materials such as copper and gold. There's also a risk that hazardous substances dumped inappropriately will pollute our environment by leaching into surrounding land and waterways. For every year that we wait for the Minister to proceed on this product stewardship scheme, the problem gets worse,” he concluded.

For more information and to download the latest MfE e-waste report, visit http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/waste/e-waste-product-stewardship-framework-new-zealand

 

To read the eDay report outlining a product stewardship roadmap, visit www.eday.org.nz

 

-Ends-

 

For further information please contact Laurence Zwimpfer, 027 430 6737, zwimpfer@xtra.co.nz

or Lara Charles, 021 911 221, lara@eday.org.nz

   

No eDay in 2011 – time for a permanent ewaste solution is now, says eDay

28 October 2011

eDay organisers today announced that there will be no national eDay electronic waste collection in 2011. Despite strong interest from local communities and support from eDay partners, eDay cannot proceed without substantial central government support. 

After supporting eDay for four years, the government turned down eDay’s application to the Waste Minimisation Fund earlier this year.  “The Government is looking at more long-term solutions, and we totally support that approach,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chair of the eDay New Zealand Trust. “There is a huge recycling and logistics cost to running eDay and as a not-for-profit trust we simply can’t run an event costing over $1m without Government support.”

The eDay New Zealand Trust says eDay was only ever intended as an interim solution for raising community awareness about the importance of recycling electronic waste and to buy some time while permanent ewaste recycling solutions were put in place.

“It is disappointing that so little progress has been made in establishing permanent schemes,” said Mr Zwimpfer.  “We feel that eDay can still play an important role as the reality is that many communities still have no convenient recycling facilities and those that do, charge a recycling fee.”

The eDay Trust is encouraging New Zealand communities to continue to store their ewaste or, if they are willing to pay up to $20, dispose of it at an e-Cycle recycling facility – an initiative supported by the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund.

“e-Cycle is a positive step but as long as there is a recycling charge, we don’t believe this will solve our ewaste challenge,” said Mr Zwimpfer. “Research shows that people will simply not pay $20 to drop off their old CRT computer monitor or TV when they can dump them in a landfill for almost nothing.”

“Our ewaste report released earlier this year makes it clear that any scheme that relies on users paying this level of charge on disposal will not succeed.  There also needs to be a service for smaller communities,” he continued. 

The eDay Trust is focussing on advocating for a product stewardship scheme to be put in place now – a scheme that means that the cost of recycling is built into the price of new products so New Zealanders can recycle responsibly at no extra cost when the equipment reaches end of life. 

The development of an industry-led product stewardship scheme with regulatory support from Government was the single most important recommendation in the 179-page report on ewaste that was released by the eDay Trust in July this year.

After many years advocating for this approach, the Trust welcomed the recent announcement by the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Dr Nick Smith, that the government is planning to pursue a product stewardship scheme, similar to Australia, for managing ewaste, but questions why the Government says the scheme is still three years away.

“We applaud the Minister for moving in this direction but ask him to explain why it needs to take 3 years.  The Australians developed legislation and regulations within 18 months. New Zealand already has the legislative framework and we have the Australian regulations to draw on to speed up the process,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

“We accept it will take time but three years is too late for the analogue TV switch-off, which starts in 2012 and is to be completed by the end of 2013. ewaste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world so the time to permanently solve this crisis in New Zealand is now, not in three years time,” he continued.

The eDay Trust will continue to work with local communities and recyclers on ewaste solutions, especially in areas where there are no recycling options available, to help plug the gap until product stewardship schemes are fully operational. 

-Ends-



   

ewaste - will users pay?

10 August 2011


Funding for ewaste recycling welcomed but will users pay?

The eDay New Zealand Trust has welcomed the announcement today by the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Dr Nick Smith, that the government is going to provide more than $1million over the next two years to promote ewaste recycling, but has raised questions about whether New Zealanders will pay as much as $20 per item to have their ewaste properly recycled.

"We are pleased that the Minister is giving priority to this issue. With the imminent switch to digital television from September 2012, urgent action is needed to address our growing ewaste mountain," said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chair of the eDay New Zealand Trust.

"However we have real concerns that any scheme that relies on users having to pay to recycle their old computers and televisions will simply not work," he continued. "There is already evidence from a number of the early e-Cycle drop-off centres that the majority of people will simply not pay $20 to recycle their old TV when they can dump it in the landfill for almost nothing."

Even in areas where Councils are choosing to subsidise the drop-off charges, some local authorities are having second thoughts when they receive the invoice for transport and recycling costs.

"The establishment of 15 more permanent drop-off centres is a good step forward, but they are likely to become expensive white elephants if communities refuse to pay the charges," said Mr Zwimpfer.

"We presented a report to the Minister last month that sets out a clear pathway to resolve this problem - by pursuing a product stewardship approach with suppliers footing the recycling bill as new equipment is imported. Australia has chosen to go down this path and New Zealand needs to follow suit."

Product stewardship schemes mean that the cost of recycling is effectively built into the price of new productsso consumers can recycle responsibly at no extra cost when the equipment reaches end of life.

"We are pleased to hear the Minister express an interest in following the Australian model, but the government needs to move more quickly and give the IT and TV industries a clear commitment to support an industry managed product stewardship scheme with the necessary regulations to ensure all suppliers and importers contribute equitably to the costs of a national recycling scheme," Mr Zwimpfer said.

"We are disappointed that the Minister has given up on the one-day eDay collection model. This continues to be strongly supported by local authorities and the community, especially in areas where there are no e-Cycle collection depots. We think that high profile events such as eDay still have an important role to play until properly funded product stewardship schemes are fully operational," Mr Zwimpfer concluded.

The eDay NZ Trust report released last month, titled Ewaste in New Zealand: five years on, calls on industry and Government to work together and permanently solve the increasing ewaste problem through a national co-regulatory product stewardship based recycling scheme.

The report can be downloaded from here.

   

New Zealand faces an ewaste crisis

12 July 2011

The eDay New Zealand Trust has released a report highlighting the spiralling electronic waste (ewaste) problem in New Zealand. The report estimates that 2.2 million televisions and 1.5 million home computers, each containing toxic cathode ray tubes, will be dumped in the next few years.

"Our desire for the latest gadget has resulted in this huge environmental crisis in New Zealand and the world. Computer sales are on the increase and we are facing a disposal deluge of CRT TVs with the imminent switch to digital television in September 2012," said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chair of the eDay New Zealand Trust.

   

Resources

Reports

eWaste Manifesto - 2017

Download as PDF

Ewaste in New Zealand: five years on, The eDay New Zealand Trust, June 2011

ewaste_in_nz_2011_final2.pdf

media_questions__answers.pdf

e-Waste in New Zealand: taking responsibility for end-of-life computers and TVs, CANZ Trust, July 2006

e-waste_in_nz_report_final_050706_medium_res.pdf

   

ewaste Questions & Answers

Q&As: New Zealand faces an ewaste crisis, says new report


1. Why is ewaste a problem?
Electronic waste (ewaste) and its toxic ingredients is globally the fastest growing waste stream. Landfilling does not allow for recovery and reuse of valuable materials such as copper and gold. There's also a risk that hazardous substances dumped inappropriately will pollute our environment by leaching into surrounding land and waterways.


2. How were your figures of 2.2 million CRT televisions and 1.5 million unused home computer monitors calculated?
Our figure of 2.2 million for the number of older style cathode ray tube (CRT) television sets was based on figures in a January 2011 report by the Government's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Their figures were based on analysis by Nielsen Research. We cross-checked the figure against information from other sources, including GfK retail research.
Estimates for the number of unused CRT computer screens in homes and businesses have been extrapolated from figures published in the 2006 eWaste in New Zealand report. Those figures were largely based on research carried out for MfE by UMR Research. Changes since then are based on broad understanding of CRT imports, disposals and replacement of still-functioning CRT screens with flat LCD screens. Sales figures for CRTs and flat screens came from IDC Market Research.


3. Can you explain the disparity between your figures and the Government's ewaste estimates for television disposals?
We suspect the government might be using our driver survey from eDay 2010 to calculate their estimate of 400,000 analogue televisions. Our driver survey of 10,000 drivers indicated that 25% households were storing an old television, waiting for disposal. As at 30 June 2011, there are an estimated 1.65M households in New Zealand; the eDay survey suggests around 400,000 of these have at least one TV set waiting for disposal. But this ignores the households with a second or third unit, even if the main unit is already digital. It also ignores the estimated 30% of households (500,000) that currently only have an analogue set. Our figures are based on the known number of CRT televisions imported into New Zealand and our assumption is that most of these will be disposed of during the next three years.


4. The government has funded e-Cycle as an initiative to address the problem? Why do you still believe a product stewardship scheme is needed?
The e-Cycle is a good initiative in starting to set up a network of ‘everyday' collection facilities (albeit only 20 to date), but as long as consumers are required to pay (up to $20 per item) to dispose of their ewaste, we do not believe this will have any significant impact on diverting ewaste from landfills. With current landfill charges typically between $100 and $120 per tonne, a trailer load of monitors or televisions could be dumped in the landfill for the price of responsibly recycling just one monitor. A product stewardship scheme will remove this disparity by shifting the cost of recycling to the consumer at the time of purchase. Free disposal will encourage consumers to use the e-Cycle drop off points.

5. The Government believes CRT TV owners will purchase a set top box instead of disposing of their old TV. What do you say to that?
The Government though its Going Digital programme is trying to persuade New Zealanders that they do not need to dispose of their old analogue TV when the analogue TV signal is turned off from 2012. The Government is advising consumers to purchase a digital decoder and UHF aerial, if they don't already have one. The cost of a decoder is between $150 and $200 and if a technician needs to visit to install the equipment, this could easily double the cost of conversion. For not much more ($300-$400), consumers are able to purchase a new 19-22" Freeview-enabled high definition flat screen TV. We have even discovered 32" flat screen TVs for as low as $350 during special promotions. We do not see why anyone will want to hold onto their old analogue TV when faced with these facts. There is strong evidence from Australia that a similar effort by government to persuade consumers to keep their old TVs has failed and even though in some states, free decoders are being offered to households, analogue sets are still being disposed of by the container load.


6. Why do you believe that voluntary regulation won't work?
The Waste Minimisation Act was introduced in 2008. Three years later, while voluntary product stewardship schemes have been developed in some sectors, none has emerged for the television or the IT sectors. Furthermore, we can find no evidence of successful voluntary schemes for ewaste anywhere in the world. The government in Australia has recognised this and is targeting television and computer equipment as the first products to be regulated under their new product stewardship legislation (enacted in June 2011). A voluntary scheme does not deal with problem of free-riders or parallel importers who may obtain competitive advantage by not contributing to a product stewardship scheme. Without some degree of regulation, there is too much opportunity for parallel importers and unbranded suppliers to undercut the major brand suppliers, who at the international level are all making a strong commitment to ensure that their products are responsibly recycled.


7. Is there an economic benefit to product stewardship for electronic products?
A 2009 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, commissioned by the Australian government, concluded that there is a net economic benefit to the community from product stewardship for ewaste. This was instrumental in the Australian government commitment to proceed with legislation and regulations with priority being given to television and computer products. The eDay Trust also commissioned an independent study by the Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) and the results are recorded in our report. NZIER concluded there is a clear market failure and the problem of free-riders would prevent the development of voluntary schemes. They supported the co-regulatory approach being pursued in Australia.


8. Why do you think the Australian product stewardship scheme will work?

There is a strong bi-partisan commitment from government - all parties, including the Greens and independents supported the product stewardship legislation - and strong support from industry - both the television and computer sectors. With such a strong commitment from both government and industry, the scheme is much more likely to succeed than New Zealand's piecemeal and isolated initiatives to date.


9. What has been the value of eDay? Hasn't this just given the industry an excuse not to proceed with a product stewardship scheme?
eDay was developed in 2006 to raise public awareness of the benefits of recycling computers and computer-related equipment. It was hoped that product stewardship schemes would be in place with ‘everyday' drop-off points within three years. eDay has continued for five years in the absence of any other options. While eDay collections have approached 1000 tonnes of ewaste, this only represents around 5% of the estimate volume of computer and TV waste being generated every year.

10. Will there be an eDay in 2011? We don't know. We believe there should be one, but our application to the Waste Minimisation Fund was turned down this year. While we get substantial support from business and local communities, we do rely on a significant level of funding from central government and without this support it is really difficult to run a national eDay. We have set aside 12 November as a possible date, but as in previous years, we cannot commit to this until we are confident we have sufficient funding to cover all the costs.


11. How do other countries control ewaste disposal?
A large number of countries have developed laws requiring the recycling of e-waste through a product stewardship approach.  27 of the 34 OECD countries now have e-waste regulation. Australia's new law will make that 28.  Much of Asia has implemented e-waste regulation, including South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan.


12. What is co-regulation?
This terminology has been introduced in Australia to provide a product stewardship option that is neither voluntary or compulsory, but relies on a partnership between industries and government. Essentially, the product stewardship schemes are industry-managed, but rely on some regulatory support for capturing import data and for ensuring compliance by all suppliers/importers (the free-rider problem).


13. Why do you think that co-regulation is the best approach?
It is clear that voluntary schemes are not working, as it is now nearly three years since the Waste Minimisation Act was enacted, yet no voluntary schemes have emerged for computers and TVs. There is also strong evidence from other countries that voluntary schemes do not work in the consumer electronics sector. At the other end of the scale, compulsory schemes such as the WEEE Directive in Europe, can lead to high administrative costs for governments and understandably the New Zealand Government does not wish to impose unnecessary costs on business. Minister Nick Smith has argued that business would be much better at running a product stewardship scheme than government and we agree with this. The co-regulatory approach requires a commitment from both government and industry to jointly contribute to a successful scheme, with each party focusing on what they do best.

14. What are free-riders?
A free-rider is an organisation that doesn't comply with or contribute to a product stewardship scheme, but benefits from it.

15. What is the government's current stance on ewaste?The government recognises this is an issue and would prefer that industry sorts it out itself. However, it has demonstrated a willingness to support ewaste initiatives through the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF), including eDay and RCN e-Cycle in 2010. We understand that a number of other proposals are currently being considered as part of the second round of the WMF.


16. What is product stewardship?
Wikipedia defines product stewardship as a concept whereby environmental protection centres around the product itself, and everyone involved in the lifespan of the product is called upon to take up responsibility to reduce its environmental impact. For manufacturers, this includes planning for, and if necessary, paying for the recycling or disposal of the product at the end of its useful life. This may be achieved, in part, by redesigning products to use fewer harmful substances, to be more durable, reuseable and recyclable, and to make products from recycled materials. For retailers and consumers, this means taking an active role in ensuring the proper disposal or recycling of an end-of-life product.

   

Smart Trash reinvents computer waste recycling

15 April 2010


The concept of Smart Trash as an innovative way to encourage a cradle-to-grave approach to handling electronic products was presented this morning at an event hosted by the Embassy of the United States of America in Wellington.

Two presenters, one from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington DC and the other from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia joined the Wellington event by videoconference to discuss a new approach to tackling the global e-waste problem.

Angie Leith from EPA provided the background to the development of RFID (radio frequency identification) tags as a possible technology for tracking electronic products at end of life as well as for the distribution of new products to retailers. "We started looking at RFID technologies in 2002 to help us understand if there would be any possible negative effects on the environment from the components in the tag itself. Due to lack of analysis on specific components of RFID, no conclusion was reached. In the USA in 2009, only 15% of the electronic equipment entering the waste stream was recycled and our goal is to achieve recycling rates much closer to the national average for other materials (33%), or even higher," she said.

"25 states in America now have legislation covering e-waste, with many banning electronic waste in landfills. We are considering technology innovations such as RFID to help us advance better e-waste solutions on a nationwide basis," Ms Leith said. But she did point out that RFIDs would rely on computer companies attaching RFID tags to their products at the point of manufacture. "While we may encourage such an approach, there is no existing or expected legislation on it at this stage," she concluded.

Dr Valerie Thomas from Georgia Tech has been researching the concept of Smart Trash for a number of years and believes that the time is right for electronic products to take ‘self responsibility'. "Product stewardship encourages suppliers to take responsibility for their own products at end of life, but I believe we can go even further and get the products to take more responsibility for themselves," she said. "The secret is to attach the Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode or RFID tag to the product itself, as opposed to the packaging which is typically discarded as soon as the product is installed." She cited a successful application with mobile phones in Europe where the data in the barcode recorded full details of the materials used in manufacture, reducing costs when the phones are sent for recycling.

Dr Thomas pointed out the costs of applying RFID tags at the point of manufacture have dropped to as low as US 5 cents, so there is no cost barrier to widespread implementation, even on low value items. "Once implemented, lots of new options become available for efficiently managing the re-use, refurbishment or recycling of the products," she said. "But most importantly, it will make the disposal of electronic trash easy for the end consumer and even open up the possibility of a cash return. With cash incentives and user-friendliness, consumers are much more likely to start disposing of their electronic waste in a responsible and environment-friendly manner."

"Efficient and convenient collection and disposal systems are critical for successful e-waste recycling, but it is important that the mechanisms are also in place to transport the recovered materials into new manufacturing processes," said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chair of the eDay New Zealand Trust, and MC for the Smart Trash discussion. "This presents a special challenge for New Zealand, because of our geographic isolation from the main manufacturing nations in Asia and Europe. We still have to pay to get extracted materials to these markets. We find the Smart Trash approach very interesting and will certainly encourage manufacturers to start tagging their products, but we believe there will still be a net cost to achieve sustainable e-waste recycling in New Zealand. We will continue to press for product stewardship schemes to be put in place in New Zealand with supporting government regulations to ensure all suppliers participate equitably in covering these costs," he said.

The eDay New Zealand Trust was formed in 2010 to focus on the development of sustainable solutions for the recycling of electronic waste in New Zealand and the Pacific. It took over running the annual eDay, free e-waste recycling event in New Zealand, which in 2010 saw nearly 20,000 cars dropping off over 80,000 items of electronic waste, filling over 160 20' shipping containers.

The Public Affairs Section of the Embassy of the United States of America arranges videoconference presentations from time to time on matters of public interest.

vc-at-us-embassy

Above: Angie Leith from the US Environmental Protection Agency (left) and Dr Valerie Thomas from Georgia Tech Atlanta beam in from Washington DC to an interested audience at the US Embassy in Wellington

Photo credit: Ola Thorsen/US Embassy


Further information:

eDay NZ Trust: Laurence Zwimpfer Ph +64 27 430 6737 zwimpfer@xtra.co.nz
US Embassy: Christine Vivian PH +64 4 462 6112 vivianc@state.gov
US Environmental Protection Agency: Angie Leith leith.angie@epa.gov
Georgia Tech: Valerie Thomas valerie.thomas@isye.gatech.edu

   

Pacific Ministers endorse eDay as regional approach to e-waste management

14 April 2011

The inaugural meeting of Ministers of Energy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Transport, held in Noumea, New Caledonia last week endorsed a regional approach based on New Zealand's eDay model to tackle the increasing amount of electronic waste (e-waste) in Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs).

e-waste and its toxic materials, including lead and mercury from old computers, is globally the fastest growing type of waste. The Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) have agreed to a collaborative approach to e-waste management in the region and will together take the lead in addressing this issue.

The highly successful Cook Islands eDay, held in December 2010, with support from the eDay New Zealand Trust, was presented to Ministers as an effective model for small Pacific Island communities. Following eDay's success, other countries including Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have already started to organize their own e-waste collection days.

"We are running out of room in the office corridors and we have thrown e-waste into the dumps in the past," said Opetaia Simati, Director of ICT for the government of Tuvalu. "We are working in collaboration with our Waste Management Project to acquire a container and use it to store e-waste until which time proper processes, legal issues and documentation have been fulfilled, and then request donors to fund the shipment off the islands to NZ or Australia."

The Cook Islands eDay project was able to secure in-country and regional sponsors as well as volunteers to cover most of the costs for collecting and packing e-waste into shipping containers, but did not have the funds nor the experience to organize the international transport of e-waste, which is classified as hazardous waste, and controlled by the Waigani Convention. The eDay NZ Trust provided this support for the Cook Islands as part of the eDay 2010 programme and is now seeking similar support for Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and other interested Pacific Island countries.

"The in-country costs for running eDay represent around one-third of the total costs," said Laurence Zwimpfer, chair of the eDay NZ Trust. "The Cook Islands eDay team was very successful in securing sponsorship to cover most of the local costs but significant levels of funding, up to NZ$2,000 per tonne of e-waste, were required to cover the other costs, such as shipping and recycling."

"When product stewardship schemes are in place, these costs will be covered by the equipment suppliers, but in the meantime PICTs will need to rely on aid support, as they simply don't have the resources," said Mr Zwimpfer. "It also seems appropriate for countries like Australia and New Zealand to step up and provide this assistance as our two countries supplied much of the electronic equipment to the PICTs in the first place. So we should now help them out by taking care of their e-waste before it starts damaging their environments."

The eDay New Zealand Trust was formed in 2010 to focus on the development of sustainable solutions for the recycling of electronic waste. It took over running the annual eDay, free e-waste recycling event in New Zealand, which in 2010 saw nearly 20,000 cars dropping off over 80,000 items of electronic waste, filling over 160 20' shipping containers.

As a long term solution, the eDay Trust believes that computer and TV equipment suppliers should establish product stewardship schemes to take responsibility for the safe recycling of electronic waste and governments must regulate to ensure all suppliers participate equitably.

"We believe legislation and regulations are needed to begin to see a real, positive reduction in the amount of e-waste going to our landfills in New Zealand and the Pacific," concluded Mr Zwimpfer.

End


Further information:

eDay NZ Trust: Laurence Zwimpfer Ph +64 27 430 6737 zwimpfer@xtra.co.nz
Tuvalu Government: Opetaia Simati Ph +688 20320 osimati@gov.tv

 

   

eDay supports Starship Mobile Phone Recycling Scheme

eDay supports Starship's Mobile Phone Recycling Christmas appeal

24 January 2011

The eDay New Zealand Trust congratulates Vodafone and Starship on their latest mobile phone recycling appeal and is encouraging New Zealanders to get behind the initiative.

The appeal is calling on people who received a new mobile phone for Christmas to donate their old phone to Starship Hospital. Proceeds from the recycled phones go towards Starship's Air Ambulance Service, which airlifts hundreds of children with life threatening medical illnesses and injuries to Starship every year.

"Vodafone's latest initiative not only helps children with life threatening illnesses but is also good for our environment", said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chairperson of the eDay New Zealand Trust and organiser of the very successful national eDay electronic waste collection events.

   

eDay launches in the Pacific today

8 December 2010

eDay, New Zealand's only free computer recycling event recently held on 6 November, will be launched in a Pacific Island country for the first time today.

Businesses and residents in the Cook Islands can dispose of their old PCs, computer peripherals and mobile phones for safe recycling at eDay, being held today at the Te Atukura grounds in Rarotonga.

Organised by a local team in Rarotonga including the Cook Islands National Environment Service, the Cook Islands Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning and local businesses, and supported from New Zealand by the eDay New Zealand Trust, eDay Cook Islands has been launched in response to concerns around the volume of e-waste accumulating in the Cook Islands.

Pua Hunter, the ICT Director for the Prime Minister's Office in Rarotonga, has been instrumental in coordinating local efforts. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the eDay programme. E-waste is a growing concern for us with no local options for recycling or safe disposal. We welcome the support being provided from New Zealand by the eDay Trust."

Mr Zwimpfer, Chair of the eDay New Zealand Trust, said e-waste and its toxic materials, including lead and mercury from old computers, is globally the fastest growing type of waste - posing a potential toxic hazard for people, animals and the environment.

A preliminary survey of computer waste in government agencies in Rarotonga indicated that up to 30 tonnes could be waiting for recycling. "We are making provision for up to five containers of e-waste to be collected as part of eDay Cook Islands and shipped back to New Zealand," said Mr Zwimpfer.

"With that many computers becoming redundant in the Cook Islands, and no option to dispose of them, we are very happy to launch eDay in the Pacific," Mr Zwimpfer said. "We suspect that most of the computers came from New Zealand in the first place, so the least we can do is help our Pacific neighbours dispose of this old equipment when it reaches end of life."

"We are treating eDay Cook Islands as a pilot and if this is successful we would like to see the programme extended to other Pacific Island countries in the future; we know that all our Pacific Island neighbours are facing the same challenge with their e-waste," he said.

The containers of e-waste collected in Rarotonga will be fumigated to meet New Zealand's strict agricultural guidelines and then shipped to New Zealand for recycling as part of the e-waste collected at New Zealand's eDay events. Reef Shipping has agreed to provide the containers and make space available on one of their ships during a scheduled visit to the Cook Islands. The recycling process for all the eDay 2010 e-waste, including that collected in the Cook Islands, is being managed under an agreement between the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment and a computer recycler, who is still to be appointed.

At New Zealand's fourth national eDay, held on Saturday 6 November 2010, 17,787 cars passed through 53 eDay sites around the country dropping off an estimated 77,000 items of computer and computer related equipment and mobile phones.

Since eDay's inception in 2007, approximately 58,000 cars have dropped off 274,000 items of computer and computer-related waste for safe recycling, diverting an estimated 3,200 tonnes of e-waste from landfills.

The eDay New Zealand Trust is an independent community trust set up specifically to promote the responsible recycling of electronic waste in New Zealand and the Pacific.


   

Record number dispose of computer waste at eDay 2010

Kiwis cleared their homes of an estimated 900 tonnes of old computer equipment and mobile phones today in New Zealand's fourth national eDay.

17,787 cars, the largest number since eDay's inception in 2007, passed through eDay sites around the country dropping off an estimated 77,000 items of computer and computer related equipment and mobile phones for safe recycling.

The free drive-through recycling event was held in 53 drop-off locations across the country today, up from 38 locations last year.

National organiser, Laurence Zwimpfer of the eDay New Zealand Trust, said the response around the country was phenomenal.

"The amount collected today filled over 110 shipping containers which is a phenomenal result. It demonstrates that there is clearly a lot of old computers out there being stored in cupboards and garages and New Zealanders want a solution to disposing of this gear in an environmentally friendly way," Mr Zwimpfer said.

   

Free computer recycling event kicks off this weekend

01/11/2010

New Zealanders can dispose of their old PCs, computer peripherals and mobile phones at eDay this Saturday.

eDay is being held at over 50 drop-off locations throughout New Zealand on Saturday 6th November and is expected to divert 1,000 tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) from landfills.

The community drive-through event is an opportunity for households, schools, community groups and small businesses to clear out their garages and cupboards of computer equipment and old mobile phones, to be recycled for free.

The Government estimates that there are 80,000 tonnes of electronic waste disposed of into landfills in New Zealand per year.  eDay national organiser, Laurence Zwimpfer of the eDay New Zealand Trust, said eDay is aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of dumping e-waste in landfills and the benefits of recycling computer equipment.

“With that many computers being sent to landfill, and the options to dispose of them very limited, it is important that equipment is recycled wherever possible. Landfilling e-waste is a danger to our environment due to its toxic nature and does not allow for the recovery and reuse of precious material such as gold,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

Since eDay’s inception in 2007, approximately 40,000 cars have dropped off 196,000 items of computer and computer-related waste for safe recycling, diverting 2,337 tonnes of e-waste from landfills.

Despite these results, as a long term solution, eDay New Zealand advocates for compulsory product stewardship and still says eDay is just an interim measure until this is in place.

“Until legislation is in place, eDay is helping to buy New Zealand a little more time without generating new problems in our landfills,” Mr Zwimpfer continued.

eDay is a community event organised by the eDay New Zealand Trust, and is supported by nearly 100 organisations throughout the country. eDay 2010 is funded through the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund. eDay 2010 is supported nationally by  the 2020 Communications Trust, KiwiRail, More FM, the Blue Star Group, Trade Me and industry partners, The Laptop Company and Invo.

This year eDay organisers are encouraging communities to work together to collect their neighbourhood e-waste. Collecting it in one place and taking one trip to the drop-off locations saves time and reduces vehicle emissions.

Material that can be disposed of at eDay 2010 includes all computer-related equipment, game consoles, fax machines and digital cameras. The Trust also accepts mobile phones although this year is encouraging people to donate them to Starship’s Mobile Phone Recycling Appeal. Other electronic equipment including televisions will not be accepted.

eDay New Zealand Trust 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.

The recycling of the computer equipment to be collected this year will be managed under an agreement between the Ministry for the Environment and an external recycler, who is still to be appointed.

For more details and to find your local drop-off point, visit www.eday.org.nz Volunteers wishing to help out at eDay are invited to sign-up online at the eDay website.


The eDay 2010 logo and photographs from the 2009 event are available for publication.

For these, further information about eDay or to arrange an interview with Laurence Zwimpfer please contact:

Lara Charles, eDay Communications Manager, lara@eday.org.nz, 021 911 221

   

NZ communities can again safely dispose of e-waste - eDay 2010 date announced

06.10.2010

The date for eDay 2010, New Zealand's free computer recycling event, was announced today by the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Dr Nick Smith. eDay will be held in more than 40 centres throughout New Zealand on Saturday 6 November 2010. Organisers are aiming to divert as much as 1,300 tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) from landfills, up from last year's record of 976 tonnes.

Now in its fifth year, eDay is the only nationwide community e-waste recycling event for households and small businesses to dispose of old computer equipment in an environmentally sound way, at no cost to the user. Over 83,000 items were collected last year.

This year eDay organisers are encouraging communities to work together to collect their neighbourhood e-waste. Collecting it in one place and taking one trip to the drop-off locations saves time and reduces vehicle emissions. It's also a great way to meet your community and make sure everyone can take part in eDay.

eDay has been run successfully since 2006 by Computer Access New Zealand (CANZ) with support from the 2020 Communications Trust and numerous national and local partners. For eDay 2010, the 2020 Trust has secured funding support from the Waste Minimisation Fund. This year, eDay will be run by the eDay New Zealand Trust, a new independent community trust set up by CANZ members specifically to promote the responsible recycling of electronic waste in New Zealand.

Product stewardship the best way forward

eDay New Zealand advocates for compulsory product stewardship and says eDay is just an interim measure until this is in place.

"We are delighted that the Minister has agreed to allocate provisional funding for a more sustainable long-term solution. We know that we need to ensure the scheme for recycling e-waste in New Zealand meets international best practice and plan to collaborate with Government and Industry to see this happen," said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chairperson of eDay New Zealand and national organiser of eDay 2010.

"The eDay events are a good stop-gap measure, but compulsory product stewardship needs to be put into place, to ensure that hazardous and scarce materials are not buried in our landfills, or exported to parts of the world where processing is unregulated and likely to result in harm to human and environmental health."

What can be disposed of?

Material that can be disposed of at eDay 2010 includes all computer-related equipment, game consoles, fax machines and digital cameras. The Trust also accepts mobile phones although this year is encouraging people to donate them to Starship's Mobile Phone Recycling Appeal.

"The Starship scheme is a good example of e-waste recycling that is benefiting the community, and we are very keen to support such initiatives," said Mr Zwimpfer.

"We had hoped to be able to include TV sets and home hi-fi equipment this year as 25% of the 16,000 people disposing of equipment at last year's eDay indicated they have an old TV waiting for disposal. But unfortunately we can't include them," said Mr Zwimpfer. "The channels for recycling this equipment are not sufficiently well developed so we encourage everyone to hold onto old TVs for just a bit longer."

Sponsors make eDay possible

In addition to funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund, national partners and supporters from previous years have confirmed their support, including KiwiRail, MORE FM, the Blue Star Group, Trade Me and industry partners, The Laptop Company and Invo.

"Electronic waste is now one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world so we thank the Minster and our other eDay partners for their support," said Mr Zwimpfer.

The 2020 Communications Trust and the Ministry for the Environment are working together to ensure the e-waste collected in 2010, and the last of the 2009 e-waste, continues to be handled safely and processed in an environmentally sound manner.

Event updates will be posted on the eDay website www.eday.org.nz as venue details are confirmed in each region. Volunteers wishing to help out at eDay in their area are invited to sign-up online at the eDay website.

   

Greater Wellington honours eDay in regional community awards

30.10.2009

In a unanimous decision from the judging panel Computer Access New Zealand (CANZ), organiser of the recent eDay computer recycling event, was awarded the Regional Supreme Award in the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards, held at a celebration dinner at Wellington Airport last night.

The dinner was attended by guest speaker Hon Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Development and Employment and Minister for Youth Affairs along with the Mayors and Councillors from five regional councils - Wellington City, Kapiti, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Hutt City.

The Awards recognise the achievements of community groups in Greater Wellington and throughout the country with categories covering environment, health, education, art and sport. Regional winners competing for the Regional Supreme Award last night included Kapiti's Coasters Musical Theatre, Porirua City's Volunteer Firefighters, Great Start from Hutt City and Prison Fellowship Wellington based in Upper Hutt.

CANZ was selected for eDay's effectiveness in diverting toxic waste from landfills, reusing valuable resources such as gold, reach within the community and for mobilising volunteer support.

"We are a non-profit trust that is passionate about finding alternatives to dumping e-waste in landfills, an issue facing all communities in New Zealand. We are extremely honoured to be the recipient of this award and have our passion recognised by the Greater Wellington community," said Laurence Zwimpfer, chairperson of CANZ and eDay organiser.

eDay, held on Saturday 12 September, is New Zealand's only community-driven national electronic waste recycling event. This year, 16,391 carloads of electronic waste (e-waste) were dropped off at 38 venues from Kaitaia to Invercargill with around 83,000 computer items diverted from being dumped in New Zealand's landfills - totalling 976 tonnes.

Wellington eDay, held at the Westpac Stadium, was again the largest eDay site with 1,998 cars dropping off 97 tonnes of e-waste. eDay began in Wellington in 2006. The Kapiti eDay site at Paraparaumu saw 595 cars drop off 2,484 items or 25 tonnes of equipment.

Over 1,500 volunteers and 100 funding partners, including central government, local authorities, local businesses, computer companies, recycling partners and transport operators, are involved in eDay across the country. Volunteers help to direct traffic, interview drivers about their awareness of e-waste issues and remove computer equipment from cars.

"eDay would not happen without the support of our fantastic partners and volunteers and this award is a tribute to them," Mr Zwimpfer said.

eDay gives people the chance to dispose of their old computer equipment and mobile phones in an environmentally-friendly way and is aimed at raising awareness about the benefits of recycling e-waste.

The Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards are run in partnership with The Community Trust of Wellington and five local councils. CANZ will join Regional Supreme Award Winners from across the country for the national finals in Nelson in March.

CANZ is a not-for-profit trust set up by the 2020 Communications Trust in 2000 with support from the Ministry of Education to promote the reuse and recycling of computer equipment.

   

Statement from Earl Mardle in response to MED e-waste investigation

Statement from Earl Mardle, Chairperson of the 2020 Communications Trust in response to the Ministry of Economic Development e-waste investigation. 27 October 2009

The 2020 Communications Trust, with the support of over 100 partners, organises the annual eDay free computer recycling event. The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) has recently asked for our input into an investigation into used electronic and e-waste exports, following a request for more information about what happens to eDay equipment.

We understand that the MED investigation relates to whether the eDay equipment being prepared for export by our recycling partner,CRTNZ, is correctly classified and documented – i.e. material that can be reused or material for recycling (e-waste).

We have welcomed this investigation as it is leading us one step closer to effective inspection and verification processes and we are working closely with MED. Our focus is to ensure eDay material is safely recycled or reused. We are a non-profit trust that is passionate about finding alternatives to dumping e-waste in landfills, an issue facing all communities in New Zealand.

It’s important to address the difference between “reuse” and “recycling” as this is an area of confusion being reported to date.

CRTNZ is committed to identifying equipment in good condition that can be made available for reuse and this is the first priority.  Equipment that is not suitable for reuse is referred to as e-waste and this is typically disassembled and then recycled, with over 95% of the materials used to manufacture computers being recovered for use in the manufacture of new products. 

We therefore believe the investigation is positive and will lead to improvements for all companies handling reuse equipment and actual electronic waste, and this will benefit us all.

The 2020 Communications Trust selected logistics and recycling partners for eDay following a formal and lengthy RFP (request for partners) process that drew interest from five different companies. A key requirement of the RFP was that partners must use accepted international practices for safely recycling and refurbishing computer equipment and of course conform with all New Zealand requirements for the export of any equipment. Our selection process also included a visit to South Korea, the intended destination for most of the eDay equipment, to meet with government officials and visit e-waste recycling facilities. We are confident with the robustness of this process.

If the investigation uncovers that any regulations have been broken in the handling of eDay materials by our recycling partner it would be a breach of contract, and a breach of trust.

At this stage, there is no evidence that we have seen to indicate that a breach of regulations has in fact happened and we will continue working closely with MED.

We are addressing this as fast as possible and have contracted an independent inspection company – SGS New Zealand Limited - to monitor and report on the contents of all containers of eDay equipment as they are packed. The inspections – at a cost of $450 per container - are at our expense, not the MED, as has been suggested in some reports.  These inspections enable these products to flow while the investigation continues.

We look forward to an early resolution of this investigation so the eDay equipment can soon be reused or recycled as any delays undermine the financial viability of eDay as an ongoing event and we are keen to do everything we can to prevent this development forcing us to close it down for financial reasons.

If the investigation concludes that CRTNZ has breached regulations, we will terminate our contract with them and find alternative recycling partners to safely handle the e-waste collected at eDay.

Either way, we have no fear of toxic waste issues arising from this. Whatever the outcome, there will be no toxic waste delivered to the environment by the eDay process.

   

Meridian Competition Winners

Meridian customers who brought their Meridian account details to a local eDay collection point went into the draw for one of 10 prizes to have their electricity paid for the month.

Below are the 10 lucky winners:

Names                                                                        |eDay Venue

Mr P & Mrs C Duggan

Christchurch
Mr W Jones Napier
Miss A Giorgetti & Mr C Andrew Hamilton
Mr M Coulthard Whangaparaoa
Ms C Leather Wellington
Mr A P Phipps Christchurch
Barrie Malloch Christchurch
Mr S Carpinter Christchurch
Cathryn Curry Christchurch
Miss RR Heatherington Christchurch

 

   

Kiwis recycle 976 tonnes of e-waste at eDay

Despite rain across much of the country, over 976 tonnes of old computer equipment and mobile phones were diverted from landfills across the country today in the third national eDay.

The free drive-through recycling event saw 16,000 carloads of electronic waste (e-waste) dropped off at 38 centres from Kaitaia to Invercargill today with at least another ten areas organising local community e-waste collections in the weeks leading up to eDay. This is an increase on the 946 tonnes collected at last year's event.

The annual event, organised by Computer Access New Zealand (CANZ), has seen strong growth since it began in 2007 with 12 centres and this year saw more than 83,000 computer items including monitors, CPUs and printers collected for recycling.

"There is a clear need for e-waste disposal services as again we see strong support for eDay this year. The total amount of e-waste collected today is enough to fill 55 shipping containers," said Laurence Zwimpfer, National eDay Coordinator.

Environment Minister Hon Nick Smith showed his support for eDay by helping in his hometown of Nelson. Olympians Peter Fox, Barbara Kendall and Tom Ashley also joined the North Shore collection today.

Mr Zwimpfer said e-waste contains many valuable and scarce materials that can be recovered and reused for new products instead of being dumped in landfills.

"As a nation we face a number of environmental challenges and e-waste is one of them. Our surveys have found that Kiwis are aware that dumping e-waste in landfills is not sustainable and eDay provides New Zealand households with an easy and free recycling option," Mr Zwimpfer said.

Equipment collected on eDay is being transported to Auckland and Dunedin where it will be sorted before being sent to accredited recycling companies in South Korea for recycling. "Our partners use accepted international processes to ensure the safety of workers and maximise recovery of materials. They are able to recover over 95% of the materials in a computer for reuse including precious materials such as copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver," Mr Zwimpfer said.

eDay 2009 is supported nationally by The Ministry for the Environment, the 2020 Communications Trust and the Ministry of Education which funds Computer Access NZ. 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.

Over 1,500 volunteers assisted in today's effort across the country removing e-waste from cars, directing traffic and interviewing drivers about their awareness of e-waste issues.

"eDay relies on the generosity of volunteers who donate their time to help across the country. We'd like to thank them again for their hard work and effort and also our many partners and supporters for making today's event a success."

"We look forward to a long term sustainable solution through the implementation of the Government's Waste Minimisation Act. However until comprehensive e-waste recycling schemes are fully operational and everyone knows how to dispose of unwanted computer equipment we expect eDay will need to be held for a few more years. We have already had interest from some communities who were unable to participate this year and are keen to sign up for 2010," Mr Zwimpfer concluded.

With the support of Trade Me, collectable computers identified today are being auctioned on a special Trade Me Charity Auction site with all proceeds contributing to the costs of eDay. For more details, visit www.eday.org.nz and select the link from the homepage.

Households and businesses are advised to visit www.eday.org.nz for more information about e-waste and detail on how to dispose of e-waste after eDay.

eDay 2009 Results by area


Number of cars

Total tonnage per area

Kaitaia

65

6

Kaikohe

60

8

Kerikeri

223

11

Whangarei

622

33

North Shore City

1,163

46

Auckland City

534

35

Manukau City

640

30

Waitakere City

403

18

Waiheke Island

117

4

Hamilton

860

71

Tauranga

1,050

56

Whakatane

170

10

Rotorua

535

25

Opotiki

54

3

Gisborne

412

25

Napier

573

29

Hawera

159

9

New Plymouth

775

40

Stratford

109

4

Wanganui

524

29

Palmerston North

402

24

Paraparaumu

595

28

Masterton

395

31

Wellington

1,998

97

Takaka

103

3

Nelson

709

37

Motueka

157

10

Murchison

17

2

Blenheim

463

19

Kaikoura

13

1

Greymouth

114

5

Amberley

21

10

Christchurch

1,037

69

Queenstown

162

7

Wanaka

131

12

Alexandra

73

16

Dunedin

621

36

Invercargill

375

24

TOTAL

16,432

976

   

eDay scoops Supreme Award in Wellington Airport Community Awards

Computer Access New Zealand (CANZ), organiser of the recent eDay computer recycling event, was honoured as the recipient of the Supreme Award in the Wellington Airport Community Awards, held at a ceremony in the Wellington Council Chambers last night.

The Awards recognise the achievements of community groups in Wellington with categories covering environment, health, education, art and sport. CANZ was selected from 41 nominees for eDay's effectiveness in diverting toxic waste from landfills and for mobilising volunteer support.

eDay, held last Saturday 12 September, is New Zealand's only community-driven national electronic waste recycling event. This year, 16,391 carloads of electronic waste (e-waste) was dropped off at 38 venues from Kaitaia to Invercargill with around 83,000 computer items diverted from being dumped in New Zealand's landfills - totalling 966 tonnes.

Wellington eDay, held at the Westpac Stadium, was again the largest eDay site with 1,998 cars dropping off 87 tonnes of e-waste. eDay began in Wellington in 2006.

Laurence Zwimpfer, chairperson of CANZ and eDay organiser, says the award is fantastic recognition of the effort invested by over 1,500 volunteers and 100 funding partners, including central government, local authorities, local businesses, computer companies, recycling partners and transport operators.

"The success of eDay for four years now proves that New Zealanders are looking for a sustainable way to dispose of e-waste. It is great to have this initiative acknowledged by the Wellington community where eDay started back in 2006," said Mr Zwimpfer.

Mr Zwimpfer says volunteers are key to operations on the day by helping to direct traffic, interview drivers about their awareness of e-waste issues and removing computer equipment from cars.

"The role that volunteers play is crucial to the success of the event; without them it simply wouldn't happen," said Mr Zwimpfer. "Wellington has consistently achieved the best turnout of volunteers with over 200 participating this year; in fact we had so many people offering to help that we were starting to think about how we could transport Wellingtonians to other centres."

eDay gives people the chance to dispose of their old computer equipment and mobile phones in an environmentally-friendly way and is aimed at raising awareness about the benefits of recycling e-waste.

The Wellington Airport Community Awards are run in partnership with The Community Trust of Wellington and five local councils.

CANZ, along with other category winners from Wellington City, will join winners from each of the Greater Wellington Region council areas for the regional awards at Wellington Airport in October.

CANZ is a not-for-profit trust set up by the 2020 Communications Trust in 2000 with support from the Ministry of Education to promote the reuse and recycling of computer equipment.

   

CANZ responds to MfE’s Waste Minimisation in New Zealand discussion paper.

21 May 2009

The Ministry for the Environment recently released the Waste Minimisation in New Zealand discussion paper for public consultation. The Computer Access New Zealand Trust (CANZ), organisers of eDay, responded with a submission on this paper. Key points of the submission outlined how e-waste, as the world’s fastest growing and highly toxic waste stream, must be identified as a priority product and regulations developed. CANZ’s view is that eDay can continue to play an important awareness-raising role in helping to address New Zealand’s e-waste problem, but it falls well short of a total solution - addressing less than 10% of the annual quantity of imported computer equipment.

Read more
   

Prestigious Hi-Tech Awards applaud eDay for diverting toxic waste from our landfills

05 May 2009

The 15th annual PricewaterhouseCoopers Hi-Tech Awards were presented to 11
recipients on Friday night in a special award ceremony at the Christchurch Convention Centre.

Computer Access New Zealand (CANZ), organiser of the national eDay programme, was honoured as the recipient of the award for Outstanding Industry Initiative.

eDay 2008, New Zealand's only community-driven national electronic waste recycling event, diverted 946 tonnes of computer waste from landfills. More than 16,600 carloads of electronic waste (e-waste) was dropped off at 33 venues in October last year with
more than 87,000 computer items including monitors, CPUs and printers diverted from being dumped in New Zealand's landfills.

Read more
   

Media

Unpacking e-waste from a car boot

Cleaning up New Zealand's e-waste

eDay is a community initiative designed to raise awareness of the hazardous nature of e-waste, and to give households the opportunity to dispose of unused computers and mobile phones in an environmentally sound way.

If you have any media enquiries about eDay, please contact Lara Charles via e-mail on larameredith@gmail.com

Media release archive