There are at least two great reasons for not putting old phones, computers, printers, fans, televisions, vacuum cleaners, kitchen appliances and a whole bunch of other electrical and electronic items in with your general rubbish.
The first is that the toxic materials within these devices can contain elements extremely harmful to the environment including lead, phosphorus, mercury, cadmium, and brominated flame retardant (BFR) plastics. It is very important to keep these materials out of our landfill to ensure there is no risk of the toxic properties leaching into the soil or groundwater.
The second is that some of the materials they contain are valuable resources that can be used again, such as copper, steel, aluminium and gold. Reusing them fits with our mission to be as sustainable as possible.
e-waste is one of the fasted growing categories of hazardous waste across the world, as rapid technology changes make items obsolete at an ever faster rate.
If your electronic item is still in good working order, consider supporting the local community by donating it to a charity or second-hand shop.
If it does need to be disposed of, the easiest option is to take it to the Hawke’s Bay Environment Centre. The not-for-profit organisation does charge a small fee for accepting items, which goes towards the cost of the process.
The centre defines the e-waste it can take as anything that can store data and/or has an attached cord (except whiteware and oil column heaters). It also takes all kinds of batteries and coffee pods. The full list of what it can (and can’t) take is available on the Hawke's Bay Environment Centre website.
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