E-waste – electronic waste and batteries.
E-waste is electronic waste, anything with a plug or a battery. As with all waste, can we first reduce the amount of e-waste we create by not upgrading cell phones until necessary, buying quality items that will last longer, borrowing a drill when we need it, buying quality second-hand and refurbished items and repairing when possible.
One of the problems with e-waste is it needs specialised recycling options and with not all manufacturers and retailers taking their products back, the community is left with items we would like to recycle but not many options of where to take them.
E-waste cannot go in your council kerbside recycling bin, the batteries can get crushed and create fires in the trucks and at the recycling sorting plants. The Government has announced that e-waste (including batteries) is one of the priority product stewardship schemes. Once operational this means the cost to responsibly recycle the product will be built into the purchase cost and there will be a supply chain to take all electronic products back. Until this scheme starts we encourage you to seek out responsible recyclers.
Here are some options:
If you are keen to repair a device, Repair Co-op Cambridge operates once a month in Cambridge. Run by volunteers, you can bring your item in and help them investigate if it can be repaired and give it the best shot at getting repaired.
Rotary Cambridge has launched a project called Urban Miners, to collect, recycle and where possible, reuse household and business e-waste in the Waipa district. Click here for a price list. Urban Miners run regular collection events, please “like” and follow the Urban Miners Facebook page to find out about upcoming events. Not able to collect whiteware.
RE: MOBILE is New Zealand’s only mobile phone recycling scheme which is accredited by the Ministry for the Environment. For every phone recycled with RE: MOBILE, money is donated to Sustainable Coastlines. So far, about $152,000 has been raised to enable over 14,000 trees and plants to be planted along waterways.
98% of a lead-acid battery (car or truck batteries) can be reclaimed through recycling. The lead, plastic and acid components are re-processed and manufactured into an array of other products including guide posts, cabling and detergents.
Several places are happy to take these for free including the Waste Management Transfer Station in Daphne Street (Te Awamutu) and Century Battery stockists. Click here or call 0800 93 93 93 to find your nearest Battery Recycling Centre.
Hearing aid batteries:
Many audiology companies collect hearing aid batteries – but no other kinds – for recycling. You can drop these off for free at the following:
- Bay Audiology, for locations in Te Awamutu and Cambridge click here
- Triton Hearing, for locations in Te Awamutu and Cambridge click here
Batteries cannot be placed in rubbish or recycling services, they have caused several dangerous truck fires recently.
Interwaste is the only company in New Zealand offering a zero-to-landfill 100% recycling service for all forms of mercury lamps. Fluorescent lamps contain mercury, a highly toxic waste, which, if disposed of irresponsibly can pollute waterways and damage the environment. For more info and pricing please click here.
Resene collects all Resene branded paint back for free under their PaintWise programme. A small charge applies to non-Resene branded product to help offset the costs of the PaintWise programme.
Other household hazardous wastes:
If you have other material that is not listed here, try calling the company that produced it and ask what options are available for safe disposal. For household hazardous wastes, try specialists like ChemCollect or ChemWaste and get a specific collection arranged for what you have.