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 Chilling The Warm Fuzzies About The US/China Trade Deal

Hold the champagne, folks. This week’s China/US deal is more about a change in tone between the world’s two biggest economies – thank goodness they’re not slapping more tariffs on each other! - than a landmark change in substance. The high walls of US and Chinese tariffs built in recent years will largely remain intact, and few economists are predicting the deal will significantly boost the growth prospects for a slowing US economy. As the New York Times noted this morning, the likes of New Zealand will still face the trade barriers imposed by the Trump administration during the recent rounds of fighting. More>>

 

PGF Kaikōura $10.88M: Boost In Tourism & Business

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Whitebaiting: Govt Plans To Protect Announced

With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Resource For Schools On Climate Change

New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change... More>>

ALSO:

In Effect April: New Regulations For Local Medicinal Cannabis

Minister of Health Dr David Clark says new regulations will allow local cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products that will potentially help ease the pain of thousands of people. More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: New Year Honours: Sporting Greats Among Knights And Dames

Six new knights and dames, including Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua and economist Professor Dame Marilyn Waring, have been created in today's New Year's Honours List. The list of 180 recipients - 91 women and 89 men - leans heavily on awards for community service, arts and the media, health and sport.
More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like

Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels