Tuesday, 28 January, 2014 - 11:02
37,684 televisions have been collected for recycling in the upper North Island in the first three months of the TV TakeBack programme, the Ministry for the Environment says.
The cost to recycle unwanted televisions in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty has been subsidised by the Government since 23 October 2013. For a limited time, residents can take advantage of a subsidised fee of up to $5 for the drop off of unwanted TVs.
TV TakeBack is an initiative that involves the Government partnering with a range of recyclers and retailers to provide a nationwide network of subsidised options for diverting televisions from landfill.
"Safe recycling reduces the risk of contamination, minimises waste going to landfills and means tonnes of waste can be recycled and re-used in other products," said Mike Mendonça, Director of Operations at the Ministry for the Environment.
"However, the Government subsidy to recycle unwanted TVs will end soon. Once a region’s TV collection quota is met, New Zealanders will be required to pay more to dispose of their sets responsibly, and fewer collection points will be available once the programme ends.
"Residents in Opotiki, Whakatane, Gisborne, Kawerau, Rotorua and Tauranga should also get in quick as Smiths City is closing its TV TakeBack collection sites in these locations on January 31," he said.
"Some New Zealanders may want to get rid of an unwanted TV from their bach, caravan or crib now that television in NZ has gone digital. We’re urging anyone with an unwanted TV to visit www.tvtakeback.govt.nz to find out the best option."
Televisions contain hazardous materials that can be harmful if released into soil or waterways, as well as valuable components such as copper and steel that can be recycled locally, or sent overseas to specialist facilities.
Metals such as steel can be melted down and used in new items for the construction or agricultural industries. Precious metals can be recovered in specialist facilities overseas for use in new electronic items. Glass can be remanufactured overseas into new televisions or monitors, used for sand blasting or in industrial processes.
TV TakeBack is being funded via the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund. Money for the Fund comes from a waste levy charged on waste disposed of at landfills.
TV TakeBack is also investing in recycling infrastructure and raising public awareness about the benefits of recycling TVs. With increased investment, e-waste recyclers now have the capacity and capability to deal with increased volumes.
The number of televisions collected and percentage of allocated quota that has been used in the upper North Island regions is:
Region - Televisions collected - Quota used
Auckland - 15,527 - 23%
Bay of Plenty - 8,160 - 61%
Northland - 6,214 - 59%
Waikato - 7,783 - 37%
Total - 37,684 - 33%