Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Study of computer industry on the environment

UN report highlights the effect of the computer industry on the environment.

A report recently released by the UN highlights the effect of the computer industry on the environment. It shows that the manufacturing of an average computer consumes ten times the weight of the finished product in fuel and materials. The disposal of computers presents yet another problem. Computers, along with other electronics items contain a range of toxic materials. No data is available on the amount of computers and appliances discarded to landfill. The lack of an electronics recycling sector in New Zealand indicates that only a very small percentage of appliances sold in New Zealand are recycled. Retail sales figures show a 58% increase in the number of appliances sold over the last decade.

Alan Liefting, an electronics technician, has been investigating the recycling of computers and other discarded appliances (also know as e-waste).

"The New Zealand environment is suffering as a result of lax waste management legislation." says Mr Liefting. "There is no requirement for landfill operators to remove e-waste from the waste stream. This e-waste will leach a toxic cocktail of chemicals into landfills for years to come. Is it fair to lumber future generations with a problem which is not of their making?"

"New Zealand lags behind the EU and the US when it comes to e-waste recycling. Any legislation to make e-waste recycling economically viable is still some time off. The targets set by the Ministry for the Environment in its Waste Strategy for special wastes, which include e-waste, have not been met."

Mr Liefting has discovered that it not commercially viable to recycle discarded appliances. It has also been shown that appliances, especially computers, have a shorter useful lifetime due to rapid technological improvements, difficulty in carrying out repairs and low initial cost. Only a small amount of the material contained in these appliances can be economically recovered. Some of the scrapped appliances are sent overseas to markets with cheaper labour where further processing is carried out.

The best model for applicance recycling is a product take-back scheme such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) where the manufacturer or importer is responsible for the recycling of the product. Many European countries have operated EPR schemes for some time.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Onetai Station: Overseas Investment Office Puts Ceol & Muir On Notice

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has issued a formal warning to Ceol & Muir and its owners, Argentinian brothers Rafael and Federico Grozovsky, for failing to provide complete and accurate information when they applied to buy Onetai Station in 2013. More>>


Tomorrow, The UN: Feds President Takes Reins At World Farming Body

Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston has been appointed acting president of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) at a meeting in Geneva overnight. More>>


I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news