E-waste in NZ, CANZ report, July 2006 - Web version.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Abstract:The average New Zealand household has two or more television sets and more than one computer, representing a total of over seven million electronic devices.1 Their eventual disposal represents a potential toxic threat to our environment. Combine this with computers outside homes, and the e-waste challenge increases to 16 million devices, including 10 million cathode ray tubes (CRTs). In 2005, 830,000 new televisions and computers were sold. Many of the newer TV and computer products are less toxic to the environment, but few are benign and all will need to be disposed of when they too reach end-of-life. This is a challenge and a threat that New Zealand cannot ignore. Most of the 10 million TVs and computers use a cathode ray tube (CRT) as the display device, and in this component alone there are numerous toxic materials, including lead, barium, beryllium, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, selenium, mercury and arsenic to name a few. Furthermore, the plastics used in equipment casings typically contain brominated flame retardants. All of these substances are dangerous for human beings and animals, if they are released into the atmosphere by burning or allowed to leach into the soil or waterways. Like other developed countries, New Zealand's track record in minimising waste is not good. Though we have improved waste management in some sectors, the overall volume of waste that we generate continues to grow. This includes e-waste. New Zealand has not yet focused on solutions for e-waste, in contrast to the situation in some sectors, including paper, glass, paint, oil, car batteries and tyres, where efforts are being made to manage the safe disposal of waste products. This report aims to kick-start an industry-led response to the e-waste problem.

URL: http://www.canz.org.nz/E-waste%20in%20NZ,%20CANZ%20report,%20July%202006%20-%20Web%20version.pdf

Source: New Zealand Government

Resource Type: Article/report

Date of Publication: Not Available