Rubbish & recycling  |  3 Feb 2021

Some Christchurch residents are mistakenly disposing of electronic devices in their yellow bins instead of dropping off unwanted laptops, computers, monitors and cell phones at the City Council’s EcoDrop Recycling Centres or e-waste specialists.

Christchurch City Council Resource Recovery Manager Ross Trotter says that, generally, recycling has improved across the city, with the rinsing of more bottles and containers and the removal of lids, which go in the red bin.

“However, we are continuing to see electronic waste and electronic appliances in these yellow bins rather than being left at our EcoDrop centres or with e-waste specialists,” he says.

“As you enjoy your new phone and electronic appliances, it’s important to get rid of the old ones the right way but e-waste and household electrical items are not on the yellow bin list.”

However, he says that there are plenty of other disposal options in Christchurch.

“Well-used mobiles or laptops – along with a multitude of redundant gaming devices – and TVs need not end up in the rubbish,” Mr Trotter says.

“You can support a circular – and clean – economy when it comes to electronic waste and any effort to reduce waste, reuse, recycle or even reboot is invaluable.

“There are several ways to dispose of unwanted items or even give old electronics a new life.

“Many of the components or materials used in electronic devices can be recycled while unwanted items can also be rehomed. Being more aware of the recycling options close to your home and taking the time to ensure responsible disposal can contribute to an e-waste solution.

“Just remember to delete your personal data from any electronic device and remove SIM cards from cell phones before disposal,” he says.

People can head to the local EcoDrop Recycling Centre or participating retail stores to dispose of batteries, including those used in laptops, cell phones and power tools at no cost.

The EcoDrop Recycling Centres accept a wide range of household items in working and non-working condition for reuse and for free, with acceptance on inspection.

Items include stereos, vacuum cleaners, power tools and printer toner cartridges. Most metal items are also accepted – free of charge – as scrap metal.

Old phones – whatever their condition – can also be recycled via Re: Mobile, with collection spots scattered across the city.

Kilmarnock in Wigram also takes e-waste for dismantling and recycling. The charity accepts computers, and computer-related equipment, along with phones, printers and televisions and more. There is a fee, depending on the items. By bringing old electronics to Kilmarnock, people can help provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Another Wigram-based charity, the Molten Media Community Trust, accepts a range of electronic goods to refurbish and sell or to dismantle and dispose of unwanted components.