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Refurbishing business computers for schools and the community

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Product stewardship CANZ comments on Ministry For The Environment paper, 2005

In July 2005, the Ministry for the Environment published a paper on a national 'product stewardship' environment, in which industry sectors would take responsibility for manufactured products from their arrival in the marketplace until their eventual waste disposal. The Ministry sought submissions on their paper and CANZ made a submission, which can be downloaded here. (PDF file, 305K).

Waste computer products especially cathode ray tubes (in computer monitors) which contain about 20% lead by weight are one of the greatest threats to our environment. Computer recycling delays final disposal of computing equipment into the e-waste stream and buys time while better e-waste strategies are developed. And of course recycling helps reduce the 'digital divide' in society, which is what CANZ is all about.

Difficulties and costs of end-of-life disposal of equipment are reducing the profitability of our recycling companies and this is one reason why CANZ made a submission on the product stewardship paper.

Below is a summary of our recommendations:

1. Government should recognise the computer industry as a priority sector for addressing waste;

2. Government should fund $100,000 for a cost-benefit study of establishing a computer rendering plant in New Zealand;

3. Government should set aside up to $1m to contribute towards the cost of establishing a rendering plant;

4. Government should move to legislate for the establishment of a computer Industry Stewardship Organisation (ISO);

5. Government should legislate for a $50 levy on all new computer equipment imported into New Zealand;

6. Government should acknowledge the potential role that the CANZ Trust could play as the computer sector ISO.


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