Old PC's Gone for Free - Save the Landfill

Sep 19, 2007

Wanaka and Queenstown residents can dispose of their old PCs, computer peripherals and mobile phones at the region's first free eDay on September 29.

The 'drive-through events', which are baeing organised on behalf of the Queenstown Lakes District Council by Wanaka Wastebusters, will be held at Wanaka and Queenstown on
Saturday, September 29.

"Residents can clear out their garages and cupboards of computer equipment and old mobile phones, which will be recycled or disposed of for free," Queenstown Lakes District Council solid waste manager Stefan Borowy said.

The initiative gave local residents the chance to dispose of their electronic waste (e-waste) quickly in an environmentally-friendly way, and aimed to raise awareness about the dangers of e-waste dumped in landfills.

"Our aim is to reduce the amount of e-waste dumped in our landfills each day," Mr Borowy said.

The local events were part of a national eDay being held next weekend in 13 venues across the country.

National organiser, Laurence 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.

Mr Zwimpfer said more than 250,000 obsolete computers are being stored in New Zealand homes. A recent survey by the Computer Access New Zealand Trust (CANZ) estimated over 10 million electronic devices were being used in New Zealand, with nearly one million being added each year.

"With that many computers becoming redundant, and the options to dispose of them very limited, it is important that equipment is recycled or reused wherever possible," he said.
A computer recycling day held in Wellington last year resulted in 54 tonnes of home computer equipment being collected.

"That amount of e-waste collected from one region was phenomenal, considering it was a cars-only event and we didn?t target corporate organisations or government departments." Mr Zwimpfer said.

Acting Minister for the Environment, Hon David Parker, said landfilling of e-waste was a danger to the environment.

"Landfilling e-waste is a danger to our environment and does not allow for the recovery and reuse of material. eDay is an excellent example of how we can divert e-waste from landfill, preventing harm to our precious environment. I urge New Zealand households to help clean up our e-waste by participating in eDay," he said.

Only computers, computer peripherals, gaming consoles and mobile phones can be disposed of in the eDay collection. Other electronic equipment including televisions will not be accepted.

CANZ advises people to wipe all data from hard drives as well as removable media such as floppy disks and PC cards before handing them over for collection.

The event is supported nationally by CANZ, The Ministry for the Environment, 2020 Communications Trust, Divers, Remarkit and TES-AMM.

The events are being held at Wanaka Wastebusters (Ballantyne Rd) and Queenstown Placemakers (1 Glenda Drive, Frankton industrial estate) from 9am to 3pm on Saturday 29 September 2007 and are open to cars only. Businesses and schools are advised to visit www.eday.org.nz for alternate disposal options and more information about e-waste.


For further information about eDay 2007 please contact:

Simon Williams (Wanaka) 027 201 4484 or Sophie Ward (Queenstown)
021 0239 5498 or phone Wastebusters: (03) 443 2863

For further information about waste management and recycling in the Queenstown Lakes District, please contact:

Stefan Borowy, Solid Waste Manager Tel: (03) 441 0499 stefanb@qldc.govt.nz

For further information about the national eDay, please contact:

Lara Meredith 021 911-221 or Jason Henry 021 674-367

By: Tamah