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Recycling Day only underlines need for regulation

18 September 2006

Recycling Day only underlines need regulatory back-stop

Dell's efforts to recover used computer equipment were laudable, but the scale of the computer waste problem signalled the need for the kind of regulatory back-stop contained in his Waste Minimisation Bill, Green Party Spokesperson on Waste Nandor Tanczos says.

Nandor was commenting on the results of Dell's efforts to sponsor New Zealand's first Computer Recycling Day, held in conjunction with both the Ministry of the Environment, and the Computer Access New Zealand Trust.

"Dell's initiative was great, but the results were only a drop in the ocean. Some 54 tons of used computer equipment were collected, and diverted from the nation's landfills. On reliable estimates though, some six million tons of computer equipment are in use, and if we assume a normal six year cycle of turnover, about a million tons of computer waste are being created each year.

"Voluntary measures such as this Recycling Day effort just cannot address the scale of the problem. That is why my Waste Minimisation Bill provides for those firms generating waste to be required to have a meaningful producer responsibility plan for their products, from design through to the product's end of life, and disposal.

"With respect to computer waste, the challenge is for other companies besides Dell to show what they are doing to meet their responsibilities for the problem they are helping to create, " Nandor says.


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