Urban Miners celebrated their third year of operation at their annual Christmas barbeque over the weekend.

Chairman Mark Hanlon commented “Another spectacular year! Our number one mission is to collect and divert e-waste from landfill, and during the last financial year we collected 20 tonnes of e-waste. That is something that we are very proud of!’

Urban Miners had their first public e-waste collection back in December 2020 in Cambridge. In that time, they have collected a net 53 tonnes of e-waste.

“If you can’t envisage what 53 tonnes looks like, it’s about the weight of a Boeing 737 jet. It’s a significant amount of e-waste!’ added Mark.

Other notable achievements for Urban Miners in 2023 include:

  • Recycling fees for e-waste have been lowered significantly. Many high-volume items are now less than 50% what they were in 2020 which is helping to build e-waste collections.
  • Attendance at Urban Miners e-waste collections is increasing steadily. The e-waste message is really starting to permeate into our community.
  • New free battery collection stand started at Cambridge Mitre 10 which is funded by the Cambridge Community Board. This complements the service in Te Awamutu Pak N Save where the Te Awamutu Community Board funds the processing of those batteries.
  • Urban Miners is supporting Cambridge Community House by providing both free and very cheap cellphones and laptops for them to use as part of their services to the community.
  • New programme at Cambridge Primary School teaching the pupils, in conjunction with EnviroSchools, about e-waste and the importance of retaining, gathering and recycling it.
  • Several presentations around the community both inside and outside Waipa talking about Urban Miners and recycling.
  • Spectacular night at the Waipa Business Awards, where Urban Miners won the Environmental Award and was a finalist in another section.
  • Urban Miners was also a finalist at the NZ Sustainable Business Awards.

Mark added “Urban Miners were gifted the truck from the Waipa District Council that is not only a great asset but also it was really heart-warming recognition for what we do. During this last year, we have spent quite a lot of time having it refurbished and upgraded to meet our needs. Once again the community stepped up, with C & R Developments taking care of all the costs associated with the upgrade including putting a cage on the back of the truck and other improvements.”

“I think our work is important. I think that it provides a signal to the community that we can’t just endlessly take our planet for granted and dig up resources and use them and dispose of them.”

“Our business is absolutely nothing without our volunteers. Everybody in our organization is a volunteer. We are immensely grateful for what you do. I hope that you get as much of a thrill out of what we do as I do. Thank you and I hope you have a great Christmas and look forward to 2024 and spending a bit more time with us.”