Environment Minister Amy Adams has today announced that a national programme to encourage the recycling of unwanted televisions and raise investment in New Zealand’s electronic recycling capacity will be launched in the South Island tomorrow.
The TV TakeBack programme aims to divert televisions from going to landfill in an initiative that involves the Government partnering with a range of recyclers, councils and retailers to provide a nationwide network of subsidised options.
“As we go digital, my challenge to New Zealanders is to play their part in caring for the environment,” Ms Adams says.
“Televisions contain materials such as lead and mercury that can be harmful if released into soil or waterways, so they should not be being dumped in landfills.
“If people are cleaning out the garage and want to get rid of an unwanted television, it is best to dispose of it responsibly.”
The recycling programme, which coincides with New Zealand’s switch from analogue to digital television, starts in the South Island tomorrow.
The programme will then be rolled out to the lower North Island and Auckland by July, and the rest of the North Island from September, to coincide with the digital switchover in each region.
During the first stage of the programme, more than 20,000 televisions were dropped off for recycling in Hawke’s Bay and the West Coast – the first two regions to go digital.
“Hawke’s Bay and the West Coast have set the standard for the rest of the country.
“The willingness of residents in these regions to recycle their televisions means hundreds of tonnes of waste will now be recycled and re-used in other products, rather than go to landfill.”
The programme also aims to improve recycling infrastructure, raise public awareness, and investigate options for the long-term management of electronic waste. Increasing recycling infrastructure will ensure recyclers have the capacity and capability to deal with increased volumes of televisions.
Through a Government subsidy, the cost to the public to recycle a television will be no more than $5.
Residents in each region will be advised of the various recycling options via local promotional campaigns and online.
Televisions dropped off for recycling will be taken to national recycling facilities to be taken apart. Components are recycled locally or sent to specialist facilities overseas.
The recycled material has a variety of uses. For example, glass from a television screen can be transformed into bunker sand for golf courses or used in roading aggregate.
The initiative is backed by the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund. The fund provides financial support to projects which increase resource efficiency and decrease the amount of waste going to landfill. Money for the fund comes from a waste levy charged on waste disposed of at landfills.
To date, the Government has allocated $43 million in funding for 82 projects through the fund.
For information about where televisions can be taken to be recycled go to: www.tvtakeback.govt.nz/where-can-i-recycle.
Updated on 23rd July 2015