E-waste is growing at an astonishing rate, mainly due to the introduction of new technologies. This is concerning as the waste items frequently contain an amount of toxic components. Computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices can contain toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. The plastic casing and wiring of computer equipment can also contain hazardous materials, such as brominated flame retardants (a neuro-toxin). If this waste is not recycled and sent to a landfill there is a risk that hazardous substances will pollute our environment by leaching from landfills into surrounding land and waterways. (Read article here.)
Every New Zealander creates an average of 19 kilograms of e-waste a year. That's a whopping 89 million kg per annum! Read the linked article on the dangers of e-waste and take steps to reduce yours.
The term e-waste includes: monitor, keyboard, base unit, mouse, printer, scanner, fax, cables, television.
Did you know that 95 percent of a computer can be recycled?! This article describes why we in New Zealand need to do better.
Please recycle conscientiously.
Computers can be expensive items to purchase. Where practical choose a good quality and energy-efficient model. Consider how easily it can be upgraded (for future hardware and software updates). Alternatively you could purchase a pre-loved computer or lease the equipment.
Rather than replacing a broken computer, first see if it can be repaired. Check out Computer Services Agents listed in the Yellow Pages.
On-sell your preloved computer items.
If in good condition, donate to a good cause.
Please recycle as much of your e-waste as possible! Here are some options:
Computer equipment and accessories can be recycled at Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre. (Fees apply for some items.)
Carl of River City eWaste 027 657 9073 takes computers and comprehensively dismantles them to rebuild new ones or repurpose parts, e.g. disk platters to coasters, dvd drive door magnets to magnetic shoelaces, bearings for drive shafts.
Grump Old Men Enterprises (GOMES) takes some e-waste for recycling. Ph Jim on 027 444 7474.