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e-Waste Eddie helps schools kick the e-waste habit

MEDIA RELEASE

4 June 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


“e-Waste Eddie” helps schools kick the e-waste habit

As part of World Environment Day week, e-Waste Eddie the puppet and the eDay collection truck will be visiting selected Wellington schools to raise awareness of the hazardous nature of electronic waste (e-waste) when dumped in landfills.

e-Waste Eddie, puppeteer Tony Collis and the eDay collection truck are visiting schools during World Environment Day week to educate schools and children about the dangers of e-waste in landfills and the importance of IT energy conservation while at the same time providing a method for schools to recycle their old computer equipment.

National organiser, Laurence Zwimpfer from the Computer Access NZ Trust (CANZ), says the puppet show is a new addition to the eDay programme, New Zealand’s only community-driven national e-waste recycling event which launched last year.

“World Environment Day week is perfect timing for us to launch School eDay and we thank the Ministry for the Environment for its support in getting it off the ground. We are hoping to get additional corporate funding to enable us to reach schools in other areas,” he continued.

A recent survey by 2020 Communications Trust titled ICT in Schools Report 2007 found that the most common method for disposing schools’ computers once they are no longer of use is taking them to landfills.

“This prompted us to develop School eDay to provide a convenient mechanism for schools to recycle computer equipment and mobile phones in an environmentally sustainable manner while educating at the same time, making it clear that disposal in landfills is not a sustainable option,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

Every school in Wellington city will also be provided with downloadable schools’ kits that contain activities for students to learn about sustainable e-waste disposal and IT energy conservation.

Mr Zwimpfer said e-waste and its toxic materials, including lead and mercury from old computers, is globally the fastest growing type of waste being sent to landfill - posing a potential toxic hazard for people, animals and the environment.

“Our aim with eDay is to educate New Zealanders of the dangers of dumping electronic waste in landfill and this starts with our youth,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

School eDay is part of the national eDay programme which last year diverted 415 tonnes of e-waste from landfills, from Invercargill to the North Shore of Auckland. This year, eDay for the general public will take place in October.

School eDay is an initiative of CANZ and supported by World Environment Day, 2020 Communications Trust and Remarkit Solutions.

Schools are advised to visit www.eday.org.nz for more information about e-waste.

ENDS

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