New Zealanders have the opportunity over the next fortnight to responsibly dispose of their old TV for free at The Warehouse as part of the Government's Love New Zealand recycling programme, Environment Minister Nick Smith says.
"The Rugby World Cup, the impending switch from analogue to digital television and the competitive price of new TVs are creating a surge in unwanted TVs and an environmental problem in how they are disposed of. There are 2.2 million old cathode ray tube TVs containing 4000 tonnes of lead that we don't want going to landfills. It is estimated that more than 500,000 will be retired this year," Dr Smith said.
"Old TVs are a difficult recycling challenge. It is uneconomic without a charge or Government assistance yet they pose an environmental hazard. The Great TV Take Back scheme - a first for New Zealand - is about encouraging Kiwis to do the right thing. This programme will enable the recycling of 96% of the materials in a TV set.
"This is a genuine free recycling service with no requirement to buy a TV from The Warehouse or take back an old TV purchased from The Warehouse. The scheme is also promoting the broader Love NZ message of extending public recycling beyond kerbside glass, paper and plastic services."
The Love NZ recycling programme is about changing social attitudes to waste and has been stepped up this year to coincide with the Rugby World Cup with more than 2500 new public place recycling bins to reduce waste and reinforce internationally our clean, green brand. The Great TV Take Back runs from 21 September to 4 October 2011.
"This programme is being part funded by the Government through the Waste Minimisation Fund and funding depends on the number of TVs recycled. We have made a request for proposals to other electrical retailers to join with this Love NZ programme and provide opportunities for recycling electronic waste, particularly TVs. We hope The Warehouse partnership is just one of many from the electronic sector as the TV waste problem is huge and will require many such initiatives," Dr Smith said.
"My message to New Zealanders is to grasp this opportunity and take that old TV that is clogging up space in the garage down to The Warehouse so it can be responsibly recycled for free."