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eWaste - our industry's dirty secret

Used wisely, new tech can really streamline a business and create better outcomes for the environment but, without proper planning, our love for technology can produce really nasty waste products. And New Zealand doesn’t have a great rep for recycling them. Not only are we discarding our tech in huge numbers, most of it is going straight to the landfill.  

 The global figure for eWaste recycling is around 20 percent of the total produced; in Australia it’s about 7.5 percent. Sadly, New Zealand is on record as recycling zero percent of its eWaste due to our absent legislation in this area. But there’s some good news: eWaste recycling has recently had a funding boost from the government’s Waste Minimisation Fund.  

 Reducing and recycling eWaste is of enormous benefit to everyone. For a start, discarded eWaste can contain potentially toxic materials – the kind we don’t want accumulating in our soil – as well as valuable, reusable precious metals. So it’s worth pausing before deciding something is useless and ready for the rubbish bin. 

 The best way to tackle a problem like eWaste is to adopt the first principle of recycling: reduce. This might seem strange advice from a technology company, but the reality is wherever there’s an opportunity to avoid unnecessary new hardware you’re saving a dollar and eventually sparing the environment. We can assist businesses in developing strategies to use cloud-based solutions as well as future-proofing when choosing electronics.  

When equipment does need to be replaced, we look at key factors such as repairability and EPEAT rating as well as performance and reliability. 

 Lastly, it’s much easier to reuse and recycle when your business has this mentality built into the company culture. Communicate recycling tips via an intranet or email newsletter, display a prominent battery-collection bucket, and repair and reuse laptops and mobiles before purchasing new.  To encourage this we ensure that eWaste collection is provided to all of our customers. 

 So, before you load up your bin or a trailer for the dump, take a moment to consider that all of the following items can be recycled: televisions, printers, AV equipment, radios, stereos, computer parts and accessories, phones, whiteware, appliances, batteries, cables and wires. Collections are run throughout New Zealand, just visit eWaste,  Abilities Group, Computer Recycling, Electronic Recycling or UpCycle.  

 MyTechies customers can simply log a request online.

Mike Carroll