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OfficeMax takes on tech waste

The pilot programme aims to divert thousands of kilograms of e-waste from landfill by offering drop-off recycle points at OfficeMax’s 16 retail locations throughout New Zealand.

OfficeMax’s Sustainability Manager Julie Roberts says the company is taking charge by offering the recycling of electronic and electrical goods for the first time to combat the mountain of e-waste generated by our growing tech obsession.

“Extensive work has been undertaken to develop this recycling programme and help reduce the country’s electronic waste burden,” says Ms Roberts.

“As consumer habits become more fickle and the turnover of electronic consumables is faster, we’ve seen an increase in the amount of hard waste that hasn’t been recycled or recycled correctly.

“We’ve worked very hard with ANZRP and its supporters to bring its successful TechCollect programme to New Zealand,” she said.

The initiative comes amid recent revelations that New Zealanders are among the world’s worst e-waste offenders, producing an estimated 20kg per person each year, according to the International Telecommunications Union.

TechCollect is an extension of the company’s existing recycling offer for used toner and printer cartridges.

ANZRP CEO Warren Overton says it’s estimated that up to 50,000 kilograms of e-waste could potentially be recycled that would otherwise end up in landfill.

“TechCollect was developed to capture end-of-life electronics and commit them to a downstream recycling process and, given the ongoing growth in e-waste, will go a long way to achieving a circular economy,” he said

“It’s great to see some of the world’s leading technology brands including Dell, Microsoft, Toshiba, Canon, Epson and HP supporting the pilot programme and funding the collection and recycling of e-waste.”

Customers can bring unwanted equipment including printers, computers, tablets and computer peripherals (old keyboards, mice, hard drives, cables, power supplies), cameras and video cameras into OfficeMax stores.

OfficeMax is reminding customers to ensure all sensitive data is removed from devices prior to dropping off.

Croxley Recycling – New Zealand’s only Environmental Choice licensed e-waste recycler – will collect and process the e-waste from the OfficeMax stores ensuring regulatory requirements, are met.

Croxley currently processes more than 200 tonnes of recyclable material each year, including non-biodegradable plastics and is the only recycler to offer a secure pathway to repurpose electrical waste products. Metal and circuit boards are separated for recycling, while plastic is sent to local manufacturers to be used in items and materials such as electric fence insulators.

For more information on TechCollect, please visit officemax.co.nz/techcollect.

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