Electronic Waste (E-Waste) or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is defined as obsolete, broken or end of life electrical or electronic devices. Examples include computers, computer screens, fax machines, TVs etc. It is one of the fastest growing categories of hazardous waste in the world. The situation is exacerbated by rapid technology change, low initial cost, and planned obsolescence.
RCN e-Cycle – Recycling your Electronics
RCN e-Cycle is a environmental project established as a partnership between the RCN group (http://www.rcn.co.nz) and the Community Recycling Network (http://communityrecyclers.org.nz/) with funding from the Ministry for the Environment to help tackle the escalating problem of e-waste.
RCN e-Cycle is building on the work and public knowledge that eDay NZ has generated, however this project is designed to be self-sustaining, generate community level jobs, and promote onshore processing in New Zealand.
RCN has currently has 48 sites operating around New Zealand, with more coming on board every month.
To find an RCN e-Cycle site near you, please visit http://www.e-cycle.co.nz
Some e-waste facts
- 80,000 tonnes + of e-waste is disposed of in New Zealand per annum
- In New Zealand most redundant electronic equipment is still going to landfill.
- E-waste is still classified as a non priority hazardous product in New Zealand, therefore there is no restriction on materials been sent to landfill.
- One CRT computer monitor alone contains up to 3kg of lead.
- There are an estimated 10 million cathode ray tube monitors (CRTs) currently in use or stored, awaiting a disposal option in New Zealand.
- There are some infrequent free e-waste collection days targeted at consumers/end users. The sustainability of these events is questionable due to high logistical cost.
- Up to 60 elements from the periodic table can be found in complex electronics.
Why is e-waste considered hazardous?
E-waste in the majority of countries is still deposited in landfills or dumped. The danger of this is that toxic chemicals in electronics products can leach into the land and contaminate water streams over time or are released into the atmosphere, impacting nearby communities and the environment. In many European countries, regulations have been introduced to prevent e-waste being dumped in landfills due to its hazardous content. Incineration is also practised, which releases heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury into the air. Mercury released into the atmosphere can bioaccumulate in the food chain, particularly in fish – the major route of exposure for the general public. If the products contain PVC plastic, highly toxic dioxins and furans are also released.
E-waste is also still being shipped by developed countries to developing countries, often illegally or without government permits. Unprotected workers, often children, are employed by amateur operators to extract valuable materials and other components are just dumped in the environment.
Some components found in e-waste include:
- Lead – CRT Tubes & Solder.
- Arsenic – Older CRT Tubes.
- Selenium – PCBs & Power Supplies.
- Polybrominated biphenyls – Added to plastics as a flame retardant.
- Antimony trioxide – Added as flame retardant.
- Cadmium – PCBs & Semi-conductors.
- Chromium – Corrosion protection in steel.
- Cobalt – Added to steel for structure.
- Mercury – In switches & housing.
The RCN E-WASTE solution
RCN provides a local recycling solution for CRT monitors and TVS at our Auckland plant. We can also shred and compact hardware at our plant, to protect data integrity. In addition we provide a turnkey solution for managing the collection, warehousing, export under New Zealand government permits and audit trail of all other e-waste components.
We work with internationally accredited recyclers (ISO14001 accredited) to ensure the process and controls are operated and managed at the highest environmental levels.
We provide solutions to businesses, schools, government organisations and end users. We also offer destruction certificates with serial number tracking if requested.
We do charge nominal fees for collection and managing the process as we have expenses to cover including, machinery, labour, administration, freight and related logistics activities. It is a one stop solution, which provides peace of mind.
What we recycle:
- Desktops and notebooks
- CRT Monitors, LCD screens and TVs
- Photocopiers and fax machines
- Mobile phones
- Consumer electronics
- Other electronic appliances upon request
- RCN has 3 main return centres in New Zealand , namely Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch
- Visual inspection whilst performing data destruction of equipment is available in our Auckland centre
- RCN has the following destruction equipment for recycling available in Auckland
- Disk destruction unit
- Equipment shredder
- Machine crusher
- NZ’s only CRT dismantling unit
- Portable disk destruction unit available
Most importantly, all product which is dismantled locally i.e., plastics, metals, glass, copper etc. is distributed to local New Zealand companies for recycling. If no recycling solution is available locally, components are shipped to international recyclers.
What makes us different?
We are the e-waste professionals. We provide a convenient, environmentally and socially responsible solution, supported by industry knowledge and expertise. We offer a national solution to all New Zealand stakeholders and provide a user friendly web enabled solution, complemented by account managers to guide you through the process. Some of our additional differentiators include:
- Market leaders in e-waste in New Zealand
- Responsible and environmentally friendly recycling process
- Turn key management of all ‘end of life’ IT equipment
- Unique CRT and TV disassembly plant in Auckland
- Data destruction and shredding of components
- Utilise New Zealand product recyclers where possible
- Collection and national consolidation solutions
- Divert 100% of product from landfill
- Conform to international movement of waste regulations
Do the right thing and recycle responsibly with RCN