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Tackling the mountain of waste going to New Zealand's landfills is the focus of a new programme announced by the Green Party recently. The government is requiring companies to take more responsibility for the harmful waste they produce, and expanding landfill levy to more sites.
"Little action over the past decade has seen volumes of waste going to landfill increase, and New Zealand has been left woefully unprepared for the impact of international events, like China's decision to close its borders to the world's low-quality recyclables, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said.
Companies such as the Divers Group are playing their part in ensuring that electronic waste or E-waste around the country are disposed with minimal environmental impact. Used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or disposal are also considered E-waste. Divers Group follow international and local regulations for safe disposal of electronic waste and use accredited E-waste recyclers. Instead of dumping retired IT hardware to landfill, most cases they offer a cost neutral disposal service.
Divers can provide a free appraisal on the equipment to be disposed with potential of a financial return. Before the recycling process Divers can arrange secure wiping of data from hard drives. Their clients include banks, insurance companies, international airline, power company, etc.
Sage made the announcement at the Greens' annual general meeting in Palmerston North recently. The work, led by the Ministry for the Environment, will look at whether to implement more voluntary and mandatory product stewardship schemes for products such as tyres, e-waste starting with lithium batteries, agrichemicals and synthetic greenhouse gases.
There are only 15 voluntary product stewardship schemes at present, for products like glass and agrichemical containers. "I want to include some mandatory product stewardship schemes in that mix, starting with tyres. New Zealand creates 4.6 million end-of-life tyres each year. Right now, an estimated 70 per cent of them are either stockpiled, sent to landfill, or illegally dumped," Sage said.
Waste minimisation is a key policy area for the Greens. Recently Sage and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the Government's intention to phase out single-use plastic bags within a year. The waste industry has said a crisis is looming if action is not taken to deal with the recycling piling up in New Zealand as a result.
"We're at a tipping point – the point where we need to stop so much going to the tip," Sage said in her speech on the announcement at the AGM. "New Zealanders send an average of 734kg of waste each to landfill each year. That figure has been increasing. It's partly due to economic growth and our increasing population, but also to our consumption based, throwaway culture."
Divers specialise in the logistics of delivery, deployment, relocation and retirement of IT systems. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone +64 9 255 0196 or visit https://www.divers.co.nz/