Warehouse Stationery has teamed up with e-waste recycling firm TechCollect NZ to offer e-waste recycling dropoffs for Kiwis, but it's only at six stores across the country.
Warehouse Stationery stores in East Tamaki, Manukau, Hamilton, Petone, Paraparaumu (Coastlands) and South City (Christchurch) now accept e-waste such as computers, laptops, notebooks, tablets, palmtops, CRT monitors and projectors, LCD, flat panel monitors, printers, scanners, multi-functional devices, cameras, video cameras and computer peripherals, including power supplies and adaptors.
But if you're thinking of dropping off non-IT electronics, TVs, loose batteries, toner, ink cartridges or mobile phones, you'd best look elsewhere - presumably because of logistics or safety.
While this new e-waste recycling partnership is a step in the right direction towards managing New Zealand's contributing to a massively growing e-waste problem, the lack of accessible locations will mean that many consumers can't use the service.
Warehouse Stationery, part of The Warehouse Group that also owns Noel Leeming, rolled out a similar programme at just 16 Noel Leeming stores last year. The programme stopped 52 tonnes of e-waste from ending up in landfills. Imagine how much could be done if Noel Leeming's entire network of more than 70 stores - and Warehouse Stationery's network of more than 60 stores stepped up as well?
The Warehouse Group's chief sustainability officer, David Benattar, declares that the company wants to lead the way in e-waste recycling and ‘making it simpler to do the right thing' - but, it seems, consumers can only do the ‘right' thing if they live in the ‘right' places.
Small initiatives do make a difference, though - as evidenced by the 52 tonnes of diverted e-waste, so perhaps it's a case of doing more trial runs to iron out the logistics, safety, and ultimately, the 'business' of recycling schemes, rather than brushing off such small trials as feeble attempts at greenwashing.
Benattar says, “We all have old or unwanted electronic equipment in the cupboard that we don't know what to do with. Kiwis want to recycle but they often don't know where to take their items, especially electronics. The programme expansion to Warehouse Stationery not only improves consumer access to an effective recycling solution for a significant waste stream but will also provide valuable insights to inform an ongoing regulated e-waste product stewardship system in New Zealand.
TechCollect NZ, the organisation partnering with The Warehouse Group, is positive about this feat. TechCollect senior police manager Michael Dudley believes that it's possible to tackle the challenge of responsible e-waste management.
“The addition of 6 Warehouse Stationery stores to our national network means that Kiwis have even greater access to free recycling options for their unwanted and end-of-life ICT equipment.
“With the support of The Warehouse Group, we will rescue valuable materials from landfill, help to create more jobs in NZ's resource recovery sector, make the economy more resilient and achieve impressive environmental outcomes along the way.
People should make sure they erase all personal data from their devices before dropping them off in store for recycling.
Read more about NZ and global efforts to curb e-waste below.
International E-Waste Day: Recycle your gadgets, save the earth
Quiz reveals awareness of the growing e-waste problem worldwide
EXCLUSIVE: The right to repair - why NZ must rethink the e-waste problem
E-waste becoming a massive issue for businesses, so what can be done?
TechCollect NZ receives $320,000 from Govt to reduce e-waste
Time to take responsibility: E-waste - a global crisis