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

 

98% of household electronic waste may end up in landfills

As much as 98% of New Zealand’s household electrical and electronic waste – or “e-waste" – may end up in landfills, according to recent research which used the Whangarei District as a case study.

New Zealand produces an estimated 98,000 tonnes of e-waste each year, and the amount is growing up to three times faster than any other type of waste. Despite this, e-waste is still managed through voluntary schemes in New Zealand, and a recent study into the e-waste management behaviours of households in Whangarei found that, in the current system, the cost, and a lack of knowledge, could contribute to only 1.8% of e-waste being recycled through municipal services in the district.

The study recommended that e-waste is labelled as a priority product under available government policy, due to its growing volume and its potential to cause significant environmental harm. Prioritising e-waste would mean that the waste stream would need to be managed under a national mandatory product stewardship scheme.

The European Union prioritised e-waste in 1991, and their product stewardship schemes include extending producer responsibilities meaning producers are required to take more responsibility for each stage of their product’s lifecycle, from creation to disposal. A further example of product stewardship includes providing services to collect e-waste for recycling. The 2017 Global E-waste Monitor, which provides a global overview of the e-waste problem, found that in 2016 Northern Europe achieved an official e-waste collection rate of 49%, whereas New Zealand had an official collection rate of 0%.

“There are significant benefits from the reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery of e-waste, including reduced environmental and human health impacts at both the product creation stage, such as those caused by precious metal mining, and at the end of the product’s life, by way of hazardous substance leakage into the environment”, said Vicktoria Blake, author of the Whangarei-based study. “Mandating the extension of producer responsibilities, making them responsible for managing the end-of-life stage of their electrical and electronic products, would work to ensure the appropriate management of e-waste, and could even enable wider reaching economic opportunities.”

The New Zealand Government has the ability to apply similar regulation to that embraced by the EU under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, however SLR Consulting Ltd.’s 2015 report found that there was insufficient data available to meet the requirements to label e-waste a priority, which would reduce the amount of e-waste that is ending up in landfills, as shown in Northern Europe’s success. The Whangarei-based study was designed to assist with providing the data this report stated was required.

“Unless we consider prioritising e-waste for product stewardship, the risks of detrimental effects caused by e-waste will continue to rise, and New Zealand could become a literal dumping ground for inferior and end-of-life electronic goods”, Ms Blake said.

The Whangarei case study was only a snapshot of the e-waste scape in New Zealand, however, it paints a sobering picture of the growing amount of hazardous waste entering our landfills.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Bid

Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic nomination is taking on an air of inevitability, and that likelihood has been met with elation by some people, and feelings of dread in others. Is the Vermont senator the party’s best hope of motivating and leading an inspirational movement to defeat Donald Trump in November, or would he be the easiest opponent of them all for Trump to stigmatise, isolate and defeat? Is Bernie Sanders a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform America, or a once- in-a -generation calamity who is likely to entrench in power the worst President in American history? No pressure, people. More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


 

NZ Government: 18,400 Children Lifted Out Of Poverty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, ... More>>

ALSO:

Vaping: Government To Regulate Products

No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure ... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>

ALSO:

UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels