Electronic waste in New Zealand

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An electronic waste stockpile in Christchurch (2004).

Electronic waste in New Zealand is an environmental issue being addressed by community and government initiatives.


In 2006 there was an estimated 3.4 million televisions, 3.3 million mobile phones, 1.9 million computers and monitors, and 600,000 laptops.[1] In the same year a survey showed that two thirds of respondents were willing to pay for safe disposal of electronic waste such as televisions and computers. The remainder were unwilling to pay anything or were unsure. The survey also showed that 85% were willing to take items to a neighbourhood collection point.[2]


Electronic waste being collected during eDay in Dunedin, 2008

eDay was a nationwide collection programme for electronic waste which ran from 2006 to 2010. A total of 54 tonnes was collected in the first year of operation and by 2009 this had risen to 946 tonnes. The event did not run in 2011 or any subsequent year, because the government ceased to provide funding.[3]


New Zealand signed the Basel Convention in 1989 and ratified it in 1994.[4] The Basel Convention is an international treaty to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries. Electronic waste can be of a type defined under the convention.

It was not until 2006 that the first application was made for export of hazardous waste under the Basel Convention.[5]

Government initiatives[edit]

In 2010 the government put $750,000 towards the eDay event which is to be held in 40 different locations.[needs update] Another $400,000 was allocated towards setting up collection depots and recycling centres around New Zealand.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Electrical and Electronic Equipment Survey January 2006: A Quantitative Report. ME765. Ministry for the Environment. June 2006. ISBN 0-478-30100-6.
  2. ^ Electrical and Electronic Equipment Disposal Survey April 2006: A Quantitative Report. ME764. Ministry for the Environment. April 2006. ISBN 0-478-25999-9.
  3. ^ http://www.eday.org.nz/template/media_questions__answers.pdf
  4. ^ "Importing or Exporting Waste in New Zealand (Basel Convention): Requirements" (PDF). Ministry of Economic Development. November 2004. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  5. ^ Beston, Anne (12 August 2006). "'Toxic time bombs' ticking away". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  6. ^ Beehive (6 October 2010). "Govt steps up e-waste recycling". NZ Government. Retrieved 10 October 2010.

External links[edit]

  • Pullar-Strecker, Tom (29 March 2004). "Ministry promises action on e-waste". Dominion Post.
  • "Electronic waste is a growing issue". Nelson Mail. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.