14 October: International E-Waste Day – What Do We Do With Our E-Waste?

The 14 October is International E-Waste Day. This day is to raise awareness about the importance of recycling your electrical items safely and appropriately.

International E-Waste Day is organised by WEEE Forum, an international association of non-profit and sector-mandated e-waste collection schemes. WEEE Forum brings together e-waste stakeholders across the world to promote the correct treatment of electrical waste and electronic equipment to enable reuse and recycling.

According to the UN, in 2021 each person on the planet will produce on average 7.6 kg of e-waste, meaning that a massive 57.4 million tonnes will be generated worldwide.

Over the last year, there has been greater reliance on electronic and digital solutions. People rely on electronic products to keep them connected with work colleagues’ family and friends. This has led to greater consumption of e-products. It is even more important to make sure that people are aware of the options they have when discarding their e-waste.

How Does Zephyr Dispose of E-Waste?

At Zephyr, our Technology Services team take care of e-waste nearly every day.

The team encourage customers to recycle any type of e-waste rather than let it end up in the tip. E-Waste is collected from client sites, returned to the Zephyr office, and accumulated until they have a sufficient amount of e-waste for a free pickup. A Department of Defence (DOD) wipe of any data on devices is then performed.

Did you know that even if you delete files or format a hard drive the data is still accessible?

To ensure that the device is properly wiped a DOD wipe needs to occur. This will ensure there is permanent destruction of data from the storage device, leaving no traces behind, before the device is returned, reallocated, resold, or disposed of for recycling.

When Zephyr have collected a sufficient amount of e-waste from our customers and the DOD wipe has been performed, we contact the team at Recycling for Charity in Upper Hutt, Wellington and they come into the office about once a month and collect our e-waste and recycle it for us.

Recycling for Charity collects IT equipment that would normally find its way to the landfill and gives the device a new life by either refurbishing, using for parts or recycling it. A percentage of the sales is donated to charities. Refurbished computers are also donated to families in need within the community. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved which makes a difference for charities, the community and the environment.

We are proud to recycle our e-waste with Recycling for Charity as a percentage of the profits made from the on-sale of refurbished items go to one of the following charities: Wellington Children’s Hospital, Mary Potter Hospice, SPCA Wellington, Rimutaka Incline Railway, Wellington Free Ambulance, The Salvation Army, Helping You Help Animals and Life Flight Trust.

Where Else Can You Recycle E-Waste in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, there are many places where you can recycle your e-waste properly.

Currently, Noel Leeming is trialling a free e-waste recycling programme at 16 of its stores across the country until 31 December 2021. This trial is facilitated through the not-for-profit organisation called TechCollect NZ. During this trial, you can drop off e-waste to the following Noel Leaming stores: Whangarei Supa, St Lukes Mega Centre, Wairau Park, Manukau Supa Centre, Te Rapa, Tauranga, Rotorua, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt, Nelson, Moorhouse, Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill.

If you have an old cell phone collecting dust you can drop it off at over 400 locations where RE:Mobile will collect your phone regardless of the condition. They will take the phones away and clean them of data and either refurbish and on-sell the device or dismantle it and recycle it for parts.

RE:Mobile also works alongside their charity partner Sustainable Coastlines. Since 2016 the scheme has donated over $172,000 which has helped Sustainable Coastlines plant over 14,600 trees and plants along waterways around New Zealand.

If you are wanting to find out where your nearest TechCollect NZ or RE:Mobile collection point is visit: https://techcollect.nz/drop-off-locations/ or https://remobile.org.nz/drop-off-locator/

Posted on: October 13, 2021Courtnie Heissenbuttel