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eDay diverts 873 tonnes of computer waste


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DATE: 4 OCTOBER 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


eDay diverts 873 tonnes of computer waste from landfills

With 90 more tonnes expected tomorrow.

Kiwis cleared their homes of approximately 873 tonnes of old computer equipment and mobile phones today in New Zealand's second national eDay.

More than 15,000 carloads of electronic waste (e-waste) was dropped off at 32 centres today - a big increase on the 415 tonnes collected at the first national eDay in 2007 where 12 centres across New Zealand took part.

The event, organised by the Computer Access New Zealand Trust (CANZ), saw more than 77,000 computer items including monitors, CPUs and printers diverted from landfills.

“The response around the country was fantastic; the total collected today filled close to 100 containers,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, National eDay Coordinator. A further 90 tonnes of e-waste are expected to be collected at the Hamilton event tomorrow.

Mr Zwimpfer said e-waste and its toxic materials, including lead and mercury from old computers, is globally the fastest growing type of waste, and much of this is ending up in landfills. A recent survey conducted by CANZ for the Ministry for the Environment estimated over 16 million electronic devices (computers and TVs) were being used in New Zealand, with nearly one million being added each year, over half of which are computers.

“Our aim for the day was to provide New Zealand households with a safe, sustainable way of disposing of their e-waste while at the same time educating them about the damage that e-waste in landfills can do to our environment. We have had a lot of positive feedback from people who were happy to see their old computer equipment being safely recycled,” Mr Zwimpfer said.

Equipment collected on eDay was sorted at each drop-off site before being transported to Auckland where monitors are being tested for possible re-use and other equipment is being sent to South Korea for recycling.

“All equipment collected through eDay will be recycled by accredited recyclers who have advised us that over 95% of the materials in a computer can be recovered and re-used. Precious materials such as copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver can all be recovered from e-waste and turned into new products instead of being dumped in landfills,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

eDay supporter, Environment Minister Trevor Mallard, joined the Wellington collection today, delivering old computer equipment to the Westpac Stadium Car Park site and helping to unload e-waste from vehicles. Russel Norman, co-leader of the Green Party, was also on-hand to help out at the Wellington site.

“I was really impressed with the organisation and number of volunteers. It was great to see so many people happy to have an opportunity to recycle items that would otherwise be very hard to dispose of,” Trevor Mallard said.

This year, with the support of Trade Me and New Zealand Computer Society members, collectable computers identified today are being auctioned on a special Trade Me Charity Auction site with all proceeds contributing to the costs of recycling e-waste collected on eDay. For more details, visit www.eday.org.nz and select the link from the homepage.

The free drive-through event was held in Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Whakatane, Rotorua, Opotiki, Gisborne, Wairoa, Napier, Waipukurau, New Plymouth, Stratford, Hawera, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Masterton, Paraparaumu, Wellington, Nelson, Takaka, Blenheim, Amberley, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Alexandra, Wanaka and Invercargill from 9am to 3pm today. eDay will be held tomorrow (Sunday 5 October) from 9am to 3pm in Hamilton.

eDay 2008 is supported nationally by the Ministry for the Environment, 2020 Communications Trust, KiwiRail, Pub Charity, Computer Recycling Limited, the NZ Lotteries Commission, Dell, Toshiba, Trade Me, Datacom, Toll Tranzlink, the Laptop Company and the Ministry of Education which funds the Computer Access NZ Trust. Hewlett-Packard, Equico and the Ministry of Education are also supporting a special e-waste programme for schools.

“We’d like to thank our many supporters, including the hundreds of volunteers who turned out today, to help make eDay 2008 a real success. We encourage even more New Zealand households to get behind the event next year,” Mr Zwimpfer concluded.

Households, businesses and schools 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 2008 Results by area
Number of cars Number of items Total tonnage per area
Kaitaia 173 589 6
Kaikohe 50 570 6
Whangarei 351 2767 28
Auckland -Glen Innes 1033 5663 54
Tauranga 1207 5262 57
Whakatane 282 2543 29
Rotorua 645 2484 26
Opotiki 40 839 6
Gisborne 436 3564 42
Wairoa 51 1573 21
Napier 628 2940 32
Waipukurau 126 856 9
Hawera 154 657 7
New Plymouth 619 2473 28
Stratford 84 355 4
Wanganui 606 3383 21
Palmerston North 700 3981 43
Paraparaumu 924 3031 35
Masterton 501 2310 25
Wellington 2551 12234 122
Takaka 101 338 3
Nelson 910 4065 45
Blenheim 417 2163 22
Amberley 64 872 8
Christchurch 1225 6100 68
Queenstown 85 628 6
Wanaka 107 341 4
Alexandra 26 643 7
Dunedin 737 3428 40
Invercargill 367 2114 15
TOTAL 15,200 77,910 873


/ends

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