October 2, 2008

People Urged to Keep Old Computers Away From Landfills

By CRAN, Vicky

People in Christchurch can get rid of their old computers and mobile phones this weekend - and do their bit for the environment.

E-day will take place in 32 different centres around the country on Saturday.

The organisers hope to keep 1000 tonnes of potentially toxic waste out of landfills and raise awareness of the hazards of dumping electronic equipment. The scheme was launched in 2006 in Wellington where 54 tonnes of e-waste were collected in a day.

In 2007 the number of collection centres increased and 415 tonnes were collected, including 26,000 computers.

The Christchurch e-day is being run by Computer Access New Zealand Trust (Canz).

Chairman Laurence Zwimpfer expected 200 tonnes of waste in Christchurch - more than 6000 computers and 1000 mobile phones.

"The trouble with computers is that people don't know what to do with them," he said.

"We need to raise public awareness that the landfill is not an option."

He also believes industries need to take more responsibility.

E-waste is sorted and transported to recycling plants here and overseas. Ninety-five per cent of the materials in a computer can be re-used.

Computer monitors in a reasonable condition (about half of those recovered) will be reconditioned for use in Auckland and the remaining parts will be sent to South Korea for recycling.

Zwimpfer said New Zealand does not yet have the facilities to cheaply recycle computer components .

E-waste is the fastest growing waste in the world and is more toxic than the average household waste.

The main collection site in Christchurch will be at the Papanui Club, 310 Sawyers Arms Road from 9am to 3pm. Smaller collection sites will operate at Aranui High School and the Van Asch Deaf Education Centre in Sumner.

Televisions, radios, stereos and video recorders will not be accepted.

Volunteers are needed to help on the day. Visit the website www.eday.org.nz.

(c) 2008 Press, The; Christchurch, New Zealand. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.