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24 February 2021 | Sustainability

E-waste recycling now available

Noel Leeming is trialling a free e-waste recycling programme at 16 of its stores. The trial is in partnership with TechCollect NZ, a local not-for-profit organisation committed to supporting the development of a regulated product stewardship scheme for electrical and electronic products in Aotearoa. The service will run through to 31 December 2021.

“E-waste” can be described simply as any device with a plug or battery and according to a report published by the World Economic Forum in 2019, e-waste is now the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. The average Kiwi generates more than 21kgs of e-waste each year.

TechCollect NZ are big believers in the benefits of product stewardship. Through combined government and member funding, they are coordinating the co-design of regulated scheme options with New Zealand Government, industry and community stakeholders for how an e-product stewardship system should be structured and managed in New Zealand. In June 2021, recommendations for the best options will be made to the New Zealand Government, informed by targeted research, stakeholder engagement and lessons gathered through the programme expansion process. Noel Leeming is the exclusive retail partner for the expanded TechCollect NZ programme.

David Benattar, Chief Sustainability Officer at The Warehouse Group, expects that those using the trial will have confidence that their used electronics will be recycled after they are safely disposed of at a nearby store.

"Any Information and Communications Technology (ICT) equipment that is no longer wanted, or has reached the end of its useful life, can be recycled through this service. Customers can recycle household and small business ELECTRONIC waste responsibly and conveniently, and we're hopeful that the programme will divert a considerable amount of SUCH waste from New Zealand landfills", says Benattar.

Through the partnership with TechCollect NZ, Noel Leeming is committed to a stringent health, safety, and environmental standard, that supports a sustainable environment and circular economy. The service aims to process as much material in New Zealand as possible; however, some components recovered will get processed overseas.

Products accepted through this scheme include computers, laptops and tablets, computer monitors both CRT and flat screen, desktop printers, copiers, scanners and multifunction printers, computer peripherals, cameras and video cameras. Excluded products include televisions, white goods, consumer electronics, loose batteries, toner and ink cartridges.

Mobile phones continue to be recycled through the Noel Leeming partnership programme with Re:Mobile; a cellular phone recycling scheme, available at stores nationwide.

Customers are asked to clear their personal data from their devices before dropping them off in store for recycling.

Stores participating in the recycling trial include 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.

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