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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About ewaste

A pile of old computers

Extent of the ewaste problem

Electronic waste (ewaste) and its toxic materials, including lead and mercury from old computers, is globally the fastest growing waste stream - posing a potential toxic hazard to the environment.

Recycling ewaste allows these elements to be disposed of safely – rather than letting them leach into the soils of our landfills which may lead to environmental or health problems.

Ewaste is filled with precious metals such as gold and copper and rare earth metals such as tantium which can be re-purposed or re-used. Landfilling ewaste does not allow for the recovery and reuse of these valuable materials which are becoming increasingly expensive, and in some cases difficult to obtain (for example, China is the only country refining some rare earth metals, and has recently banned exports to Japan).

The New Zealand Government estimates there are 80,000 tonnes of electronic and electrical waste disposed of into landfills in New Zealand per year, ¼ of which are televisions, computers and computer peripherals.


  • There are approximately 4 million TV sets in New Zealand in homes and hotels/motels.  We estimate that 2.2 million of these use cathode ray tube (CRT) screen technology.
  • Largely because of the changeover to digital television, most CRT televisions will become unuseable without purchasing a set-top box and the present option of ‘passing on’ or selling older television sets will soon be effectively unavailable. We believe many people will use the digital switch over as an opportunity to purchase a new, digital ready television rather than keep their old CRT set.
  • The digital changeover begins in 2012 and ends in 2013. We believe the majority of householders will be disposing of their CRTs in this time.


  • There are about 7.8 million desktop computers in New Zealand (3.0m in homes and 4.8m in business/government). With an average of 11kg each, this totals 86,000 tonnes.
  • It is impossible to accurately assess disposals of desktop boxes. 65,000 were dropped off at the four national eDays (2007-2010).  We believe this is only about 5% of the total number of desktops reaching end of life.  The remainder are either being stored, processed by a commercial or community recycler or being dumped in landfills.
  • Computer sales are growing strongly and there is a strong trend to laptop computers.
  • The estimated total stock of CRT monitors in homes is around 1.9 million. We believe the great majority – say 80% or 1.5 million units – are no longer being used and are poised for final disposal.  This represents 2,100 tonnes of lead.
  • In 2006 the stock of computer CRTs in businesses was estimated at 4.4 million. Our best guess is that up to 30% of the CRT stock will have been disposed of, leaving say three million commercial monitors containing over 4000 tonnes of lead.

In summary, the issues are...

  • Ewaste is toxic and can harm the environment and human health
  • Space for landfills is scarce
  • There is an opportunity to recover and re-use valuable materials, some of which are becoming increasingly scarce
  • The is an increasing amount of ewaste in the community
  • Consumers do not know what to do with their ewaste
The above information is an extract from a report by the eDay New Zealand Trust titled eWaste in New Zealand: 5 years on (June 2011). Read the report here.

Find out more about e-waste