5 Nov 2010

Government takes over E-Day recycling

10:53 pm on 5 November 2010

The Government has taken over the recycling of electronic waste from a national collection day because of problems with disposal last year.

This year's 'E-Day' is being held in 40 centres on Saturday.

Last year's collection received almost 1000 tonnes of broken computers and monitors, but several hundred tonnes was at risk of going to landfill when the scheme's main recycling company was caught improperly trying to ship the hazardous waste overseas.

The chair of the 2020 Communications Trust, Earl Mardle, says the trust will collect the waste but the Ministry for the Environment will run the contract to have the material collected recycled.

The Government-backed collection system for electronic waste could mean households are charged $20 to get rid of an old computer.

The company setting up the system, RCN, says it will cost up to $20 to drop off a television, $16 per monitor and another $7 for a desk top computer.

There will be 20 pick-up centres and three processing centres.

Environment Minister Nick Smith says he is pushing hard for most electronic waste to be recycled in New Zealand.