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Electronic wasteTe para tāhiko

As phones, televisions, toasters and microwaves get cheaper, we’re replacing them at a faster rate. Putting these items in landfill wastes valuable resources. We can all play our part to reduce the environmental impact of our electronics.

On this page, find out where to take your old electrical items to dispose of them responsibly.

Is it powered? Then don’t put it in the bin . . .

What is electronic waste?

Electronic waste or “e-waste” means broken or unwanted electrical items. This includes anything that has a plug, cord or electronic components. Common items are old TVs, computers, mobile phones and home appliances.

Anything that plugs in or has batteries shouldn’t go in your kerbside rubbish bin. For example, vacuum cleaners, toasters, smoke detectors, blenders and hair dryers are all e-waste and should be taken to the Henderson Road Recycling Depot rather than placed in your bin.

Where can I take my old electrical items?

Council-operated e-waste service:
Electronic/electrical items for recycling can be taken to Henderson Road Transfer Station. See costs below. 

Our e-waste recycling is for items that are broken and not usable anymore. It is not a repair service. For items that still work, someone else can use them! Take these to an opshop that accepts electrical items, or offer it online.

Is it fixable?

  • Check with a local repairer.
  • Ask a ’repair café’ group if it’s possible to fix the item. Sustainable Napier is our closest one. 

For anything not listed here, ask our team via reducewaste@hdc.govt.nz or phone 06 871 5000. We may be able to accept it as scrap metal for free at our Henderson Road Recycling Depot.

Item Price per unit
TVs and monitors  
CRT TV $34.50
Rear projection TV $46.00
Flat panel TV $26.50
CRT computer monitor $18.00
LCD computer monitor  $15.00
PCs  
Desktop and servers $8.00
Laptops /tablets  $8.00
Modems, switches, routers, computer speakers  $1.50
UPS $1.50
Laptop battery (per kg) $9.50
Printers  
Small printers/scanners/fax machines/MFDs (to 5kg) $8.00
Large printers/scanners/fax machines/MFDs (over 5kg) $23.00
Photocopiers small to medium (to 10kg) $29.00
Photocopiers large (over 10kg) $65.00
Photocopier toner and printer ink (per kg)  $8.00
Household appliances  
Small appliances/drills/alarm clocks/telephones/cameras $5.00
Heaters /fans $6.00
Vacuums $8.00
Dehumidifiers $16.00
Microwaves $8.00
Consumer electronics  
DVD & VCR players $3.50
Stereo systems & gaming consoles $8.00
Stereo speakers (per set) $6.00
Projectors $14.00
Other  
Keyboards and docking stations $3.50
Mice  Free
Cellphones Free
GPS units and digital cameras $3.50
All other items charged / miscellaneous per kg $18.00

Why should I recycle my electronics?

When you recycle your electronic items, you’re helping reduce further extraction and mining from the planet. You’re also helping prevent pollution, stopping hazardous materials from getting into the natural environment.

Together we can protect our land and waste nothing. Make landfill your last choice!

E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream across the world, as technology rapidly changes items quickly become obsolete.

Electrical items put in landfill are a waste of valuable resources because many of their parts could be recycled or reused. If these items go into the rubbish, it’s a missed opportunity to reuse the different components and materials. 

Electronic waste contains toxic materials which are hazardous to human health and to the natural environment. These include lead, phosphorus, mercury, cadmium and brominated flame retardant (BFR) plastics. While they will be contained within our local landfill, it’s just not the best use of the resources.  The items will be damaged and buried with all of the other rubbish disposed of here in Hawke’s Bay. It’s important to keep these materials out of our natural environment to make sure there is no risk of toxins leaching into the soil or groundwater - please dispose of them thoughtfully.

E-waste is also a health and safety hazard. There have been many documented cases of damaged batteries causing rubbish fires in rubbish collection trucks and landfills.

Components made from things like copper, steel, aluminium and gold can be recycled into new products. When we put these items in landfill, we lose these valuable finite resources and have to extract more from the planet.

The average New Zealander produces more than 20 kilograms of e-waste every year - one of the highest per capita amounts on the planet. Of the 80,000 or so tonnes of e-waste we produce each year, estimates suggest we recycle less than two percent of that - a mere 1600 tonnes. (Radio New Zealand, 2022)

The best way to reduce the impact of your e-waste is to keep using your electronics for as long as you can instead of replacing them. Reusing them is better than recycling, as it is higher up the waste hierarchy, being as sustainable as possible. Reusing things over and over again is better than recycling because it uses less energy, water and transport.

We need to pay the people who process the items for recycling. These people take apart the items and sort the different parts by material type. The manual processing is done in New Zealand, so we must charge prices that cover the New Zealand wage.

Recycle a Device (RAD)

Got a laptop or tablet that is usable or fixable? Donate it to Recycle a Device (RAD). Recycle a Device connects those in need with digital devices.

RAD is a community initiative that reduces electronic waste by receiving donations of unwanted laptops and tablets and teaching community members to diagnose and refurbish these devices. The refurbished laptops and tablets are then gifted to rangatahi for school, work or to learn new skills.

Instead of e-recycling your laptop, computer, or tablet, consider donating your IT to be re-used by the team at RAD and help bridge the digital divide.

How? Contact team@recycleadevice.nz and let them know what you have to donate. Give as much information as possible, including age of device, brand and an outline of any damage/issue. They will then organise a courier to pick up your donation from the address of your choice at no cost.

Everything included in the above table. Items not listed are charged at the “miscellaneous” or “small appliances” rate, depending on their size. E.g. hair dryer, hair straighteners, toasters, lamps, electric toothbrushes, small kitchen appliances, breadmaker, popcorn maker, air fryer, etc.

With the rise of technology, we’re seeing more fire risk, particularly from rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. These are used for anything rechargeable, such as laptops, smartphones and power tools.

Rechargeable batteries must be recycled as e-waste. Please do not dispose of these in your rubbish bin. Household batteries are also a fire risk.

When you throw your batteries into your bin, there’s a chance they’ll get damaged when they are tipped into our trucks and compacted with other rubbish. Here, they can come into contact with moisture from all the other rubbish and this can cause them to catch fire, and even cause an explosion. The same thing can happen with car parts or gas canisters from barbeques.

Recycling and rubbish truck fires have been on the rise in recent years so we really need your help to keep you, your bin, and our trucks and drivers safe. Keep your batteries out of your bin.

Take old AA, AAA or 9V batteries to battery recycling bins located at Hastings District Council Customer Services entrance on Lyndon Road, Henderson Road Transfer Station and the Flaxmere and Havelock North Libraries.

Even better, think about trying rechargeable batteries. You’ll find them at places like hardware and electronics stores, and even some supermarkets.

Reduce
To reduce the need to purchase new items:
• use your items for as long as possible
• ask yourself if you really need that gadget before you buy it
• for electronics, buy a case and keep your device clean. Don’t overcharge it
• buy second hand electrical items online or in-store to extend the life of existing products
• if buying new, choose quality products that last. You'll often save money over the item’s lifetime
• choose brands with longer warranties and that offer replacement parts for their products.

Reuse
To get the most from your e-waste:
• donate, sell or swap any working electronics. This extends the life of the product
• repair damaged or broken goods if possible, rather than replacing them
• take your e-waste to a local repair cafe to give it a second life.

Around 80,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated every year (Junk Run, 2022) but only an estimated two per cent of that waste is recycled, with the rest ending up in landfills across the country. The insides of electronics are full of toxic materials. A CRT TV or monitor may contain up to 3kg of lead. (Source:

Product stewardship is when the manufacturer takes responsibility for considering the full life cycle of something when they make it, so that the product can be used for as long as possible and recycled at the end of its current function. Hastings District Council supports the Ministry for the Environment initiative to create a product stewardship process for electronic waste, with results expected in 2023.

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