The life of e-waste
If the world’s e-waste produced each year was put into containers on a train, it would stretch around the planet.
Many electronics companies are focusing on phasing out hazardous substances from their products, providing post-consumer e-waste collection for recycling and addressing the energy embedded in the gadgets’ manufacturing and supply chains. Many countries have also imposed ‘product stewardship’ regulations requiring those involved in the life cycle of specific products, including e-waste, to manage and minimise the risks throughout that cycle. Here, the Government is keen to see more industries step up and voluntarily develop their own product stewardship solutions, encouraged and in some cases required by the Waste Minimisation Act. • Think twice before buying , do you really need it, or
do you just want it? • Repair and upgrade where possible • Re-use the item before recycling it – many mobile phone companies offer a buy-back service for the growing re-use market overseas. Freecycle? DonateNZ? Sell on TradeMe? • Look for durable products that can be upgraded by
replacing components instead of the entire unit • Stewardship – many electronics brands operate free
take-back and recycling services for their equipment • Choose products that use less energy – look for the
Energy Star rating system • Choose products that have a low impact – look for
the Environmental Choice label or a similar • Recycle – check with your local council as disposal and recycling options can vary. Use a reputable recycler – ask about processes – do they have permits to export to smelters overseas?