Technology heavyweights Dell and Trade Me have put their support behind this weekend’s national eDay event, aimed at cleaning up New Zealand’s electronic waste.
The community drive-through initiative enables residents in 12 locations from Auckland to Invercargill to clear out their garages and cupboards of computer equipment and old mobile phones, to be recycled or disposed of for free.
Dell and Trade Me announced their support today, joining a diverse group of businesses, local bodies and community organisations backing the event. eDay 2007 is supported nationally by Computer Access New Zealand (CANZ), The Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Education, 2020 Communications Trust, Divers, Remarkit and TES-AMM.
National organiser, Laurence Zwimpfer, said eDay is giving people the chance to dispose of their electronic waste (e-waste) quickly in an environmentally-friendly way, and is aimed at raising 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,” he said.
Mr 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.
He said more than 250,000 obsolete computers are being stored in New Zealand homes. A recent survey by the 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,” Mr Zwimpfer said.
A Dell pilot 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,” he 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 being held in Invercargill, Wanaka, Alexandra, Queenstown, Wellington, Wanganui, Rotorua, Whakatane, Tauranga and Hamilton from 9am to 3pm on Saturday (29 September).
eDay will be held on Auckland’s North Shore and Manukau City from 10am to 2pm on Sunday (30 September).
eDay 2007 is a drive-through event and is 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.
Following last year’s pilot eDay, Dell now offers free recycling of its own PCs for consumers and free recycling of any brand with a Dell purchase in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.