New Technology For E-waste Switched On – New Zealand Government

A new state-of-the-art machine that sorts and shreds electronic waste has officially started operation in Auckland today.

Environment Minister David Parker pressed start on Computer Recycling Ltd’s new BLUBOX machine, which was supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Waste Minimisation Fund.

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

“We estimate our e-waste recycling rate at less than two per cent. This is well behind other countries, and we need to catch up with those showing the way.”

Because e-waste contains valuable materials such as gold, silver, copper, platinum, palladium and brass as well as hazardous toxins, including mercury, being able to safely and efficiently recover and recycle e-waste has economic, as well as human and environmental health, benefits.

BLUBOX shreds and optically sorts hard to recycle electronic waste in an enclosed negative pressure system, which can recover up to 90 per cent of e-waste components.

Hard to recycle electronic waste includes flat panel displays, laptops, televisions, mobile phones and light bulbs. The majority of e-waste is lamps and flat screen items.

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

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

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

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

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