Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


For a rising tide of WEEE, The End of Life is near

End of Life is near for five million says NZ Eco trust

ASCI to ashes, DOS to Dust

Diverting WEEE from waste (waste electronic and electrical equipment)

What on earth will be the effect of your favourite operating system as it is finally consigned to the eco afterlife? It’s a question that might come from the recent sci-fi movie “Her”, however in reality it is a question that today’s users of IT equipment should be asking themselves as they prepare to farewell their ageing gadgets. Until now, New Zealand has not had a locally-based, trusted certification to help consumers and businesses decide who should dispose of their IT equipment, taking full account of its earthly legacy. Now, in the face of rising WEEE (waste electronic and electrical equipment), the country’s eco-label, Environmental Choice, is coming to the rescue.

The NZ Ecolabelling Trust is asking equipment users to virtually make a will for their PC, cellphone, television, or other electronic device before it shuffles off its transformer coil, by choosing a responsible e-undertaker. Candidate companies will be able to undergo assessment of their practices, including the complete disposal chain, and if passed they can display the Environmental Choice certification showing that IT in their care is recycled or retired in peace. The chillingly named “End of Life” standard (ICT) for Environmental Choice is open for submission until mid April, after which time a scheme will be set in stone to bring closure to those who want certainty about the environmental life-after-death of their I.T. equipment.

The Ministry for the Environment says e-waste (WEEE) is the fastest growing type of city waste in the world, but it’s also a resource from which to recover valuable resources. Desktop and notebook computers alone in New Zealand accounted for five million sales between 1994 and 2007, and many of these will be on their last legs.

The general manger of the government-owned eco-label, Robin Taylor, says the death of a device is a serious business. “Arsenic, asbestos, chlorine, cobalt, lead and mercury are just a few of the damaging substances that may be in electronic waste. It is not just computers but discarded smoke detectors, phones, toasters, clocks, EFTPOS machines, routers and web cameras, and even the humble mouse. The leaching of these materials into the environment is absolutely toxic to planet and people. We are talking cancer, spleen, liver and heart damage. Without controlled disposal and verified chain of custody during removal, recycling or destruction, this mounting e-waste has the potential to be a major human health hazard and to burden or poison the environment at some point.”

Environmental Choice has worked to form a draft standard which should be achievable for IT disposers and recyclers, and be effective in defining an environmentally better bereavement for gadgets past their use-by date. This has been posted publically on the Environmental Choice website, and the opportunity to comment on it expires on 14 April. Suggested changes will then be examined by an independent panel of scientific experts before the new standard is sealed up. Then New Zealand will have an answer to that age-old question - at least in terms of I.T. - about that final journey and the end of life-cycle.

(Ends. 5 March 2014.)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:


Images & Video: Four Alternative Flags For Referendum

Flag Consideration Panel chair, Professor John Burrows, said the Panel’s decision had been guided first and foremost by the results of its engagement programme across a range of communities where thousands of Kiwis shared what was special about New Zealand, as well as the Panel’s own selection criteria. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: New Figures Show Speculators Rampant

New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

False Official Information Response: English's Apology Accepted

Finance Minister Bill English is being thanked for his apology to New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters... Mr English says his staff and the Treasury have searched again, and they found the document that they denied having. More>>

ALSO:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news