A national programme to encourage recycling of unwanted television sets and raise investment in New Zealand’s electronic recycling capacity has been launched in the South Island.
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,” Environment Minister Amy 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 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 coincides with New Zealand’s switch from analogue to digital television. It will later 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," Ms Adams said.
“The willingness of residents 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.”
A Government subsidy means the cost to the public to recycle a television will be no Residents in each region will be advised of recycling options via local promotional campaigns 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.