Denise Roche

Pre-pay for recycling: it’s the way forward

by Denise Roche

Today the Government is crowing about their TV Takeback scheme. While I am grateful that TVs are being diverted from landfill, this solution is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.  The programme collected 23,000 televisions in the Hawke’s Bay and the West Coast, which cost the taxpayer over half a million dollars. This is more than $20 per TV.

Why should the taxpayer have to pay for this? The Government could, under current legislation, implement a permanent solution for e-waste, which would not require a taxpayer handout.

In fact, just today councils in Wellington are calling on the Government to implement a scheme whereby the producers of electronic goods pre-pay for the recycling of their products. I believe this mandatory pre-pay e-waste scheme is the way to go.

Our current system where people voluntarily pay for recycling at the time of disposal isn’t working: only about 20% of our e-waste is recycled. But a mandatory pre-pay scheme would dramatically increase this rate.

If we had more recycling of products worldwide, then we have to build fewer mines, and the world would be a cleaner, greener place. E-waste products contain gold, silver and rare earth metals.  Let’s mine our used electronic waste rather than our treasured places.

It’s time for the Government to set up and implement a permanent solution for TV waste and other e-waste. Pre-pay is the way forward.

Published in Environment & Resource Management by Denise Roche on Wed, May 8th, 2013   

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