‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ came true recently when several pallets of e-waste destined for landfill took a uniquely positive journey.

It started when a supplier of animal equipment was forced to scrap four pallets of imported egg incubators because they did not meet company quality control requirements.

The company was keen to find an environmentally friendly way of handling the equipment rather than sending it to landfill.

Waipā e-waste recyclers Urban Miners were asked to help and were able to recycle the electronics – about 15% of the incubators. The rest, which was mainly hard plastic, looked to be unrecyclable.

The recycling journey appeared to have come to a dead end.

That is until Interlock, a local trust that provides opportunities for people with disabilities, heard about the equipment.

They saw an opportunity and knew they could put the remaining parts to good use.

At Interlock, the incubator outer plastic casings have been repurposed as containers for tools. Smaller casings are being used as equipment trays. This quick-sort system makes it easier for everyone at Interlock to find the equipment they need at their craft days.

Interlock have reconstructed other casings into a battery recycling station, as the one in town is often inaccessible to people with disabilities. Other casings are earmarked for seedling trays in the spring.

Interlock Trustee Aaron Ure commented “We are so thankful for the opportunity to share such a great resource and it makes set up and pack down much easier for us each week!”

Urban Miners provides an environmentally focused e-waste recycling service for Waipā which aims to divert meaningful quantities of e-waste from landfill.

Looking for ways to repurpose e-waste is an increasingly important part of the Urban Miners operation and, when successful, can have unexpected benefits for many in the community.

Urban Miners are proud to have diverted this e-waste from landfill for such a positive outcome!