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Equipment Disposal

On average, over 95% of the materials collected on eDay are being diverted from landfills.

All equipment dropped off at an eDay site was transported to Computer Recycling Limited in Auckland.

Computer monitors are being tested and those in good condition are being made available for re-use in overseas markets. The remaining monitors and all other eDay e-waste are being shipped to DBI Tech Ltd in South Korea for recycling. Downstream processing is provided by Yongnamsuji (plastics), Samjingup (waste glass, cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, wire) and LG Niggojeryun (printed circuit boards). The equipment is disassembled so that the component materials, including precious metals such as gold, can be separated out and re-used in the manufacture of new products.

All equipment is being exported under a Basel Permit secured by SMT Limited, the New Zealand partner for DBI Tech Ltd in South Korea.

International legislation titled the Basel Convention, which both New Zealand and South Korea are signatories to, ensures that the e-waste exported for processing is sent to a facility with appropriate environmentally sound management and processes. The Ministry of Economic Development, together with Customs, ensures that only e-waste with a Basel permit is exported.

The DBI Tech plant in South Korea has ISO 14001 accreditation. ISO accreditation is only given to companies whose processes meet high international environmental standards.

Once the e-waste arrives at the recycling plant in South Korea, all non-working monitors are manually disassembled and the following materials recovered for re-use:

  • copper wire and polymer coating

  • circuit boards and valuable metals such as copper, lead and zinc

  • unleaded glass

  • plastics

  • steel and other metals.

Circuit boards containing lead and precious metals are sent to LG Niggojeryun for environmentally acceptable processing. Glass from CRT tubes contains lead. The glass will be sent for processing by Samjingup. Plastics from CRT housings will be recycled by Yongnamsuji into new products.

All computers and computer peripherals, including printers, scanners, keyboards, mice and cables, are recycled using automated machinery to extract component metals for re-use.

For eDay 2008, Vodafone New Zealand agreed to assist with the reuse and recycling of mobile phones dropped off at the eDay sites. Vodafone has an established relationship with Enable Community5 to provide re-usable mobiles to entrepreneurs in developing countries. All other mobiles are being sent to recycling facilities where component materials are extracted for re-use. For example:

  • mobile phone chargers can be recycled to recover copper

  • handsets and accessories can be recycled to recover the plastics

  • circuit boards inside handsets can be recycled to recover precious metals such as gold, silver and other materials like copper, lead and zinc

  • rechargeable batteries are recycled for their nickel, iron, cadmium, lead and cobalt.