New e-waste technology turned on

A new state-of-the-art e-waste sorting and shredding machine officially went into operation in Auckland today.

Environment Secretary David Parker launched Computer Recycling Ltd’s new BLUBOX machine, which was supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Waste Minimization Fund.

“The BLUBOX machine is a step forward for New Zealand in the transition to a circular economy,” said David Parker.

“We estimate our e-waste recycling rate to be less than two percent. This is far behind other countries and we need to catch up with those who are leading the way.”

Because e-waste contains valuable materials such as gold, silver, copper, platinum, palladium, and brass, as well as hazardous toxins including mercury, the safe and efficient recovery and recycling of e-waste has economic, human, environmental, and health benefits.

BLUBOX shreds and sorts e-waste that is visually difficult to recycle in a closed vacuum system that can recover up to 90 percent of the e-waste components.

E-waste that is difficult to recycle includes flat screens, laptops, televisions, cell phones and light bulbs. The majority of e-waste consists of lamps and flat screens.

This technology will expand Computer Recycling’s e-waste processing capacity from an average of 1,300 tons per year to 2,000 tons per year. As more e-waste becomes available, the equipment’s processing capacity can be increased to 6,000 tons or more per year.

“This initiative is a good example of the comprehensive action the government is taking on waste,” said David Parker.

“In July 2020, we declared electrical and electronic products to be one of six ‘priority products’ for regulated product stewardship schemes under the Waste Minimization Act.

“An important part of our transition to a low-waste, circular economy is improving the infrastructure needed for recycling, which is often supported by the Waste Minimization Fund.”

David Parker joined Computer Recycling Ltd for the launch at their recycling and disposal center in Penrose, Auckland.

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