Waipā e-waste recyclers Urban Miners has made further substantial and wide-ranging reductions in the fees it charges the public for recycling e waste. This includes several high-volume items such as laptops, computers, flat-panel TVs, small household appliances and microwave ovens. Some items now just cost $2, and many more are only $5.

Spokesperson Mark Hanlon said when Urban Miners was first conceived, a key objective was that it would operate as a not-for-profit social enterprise and any surplus would be put back into the community by way of reduced charges.

“Thanks to the massive effort of our volunteer team and support from the Waipā District Council Waste Minimisation Fund, Cambridge Community Board, and Te Awamutu Community Board, we are pleased to be able to take another big step in this direction and reduce our fees on several high-volume e-waste items by 50 per cent or more.”

That means computers and laptops which were $5 or $6 drop to $2, a flat-panel TV which was $20 is now $10, and microwave ovens which were $10 are now $5.

Some items now just cost $2, and many more are only $5.

“We are also planning to hold the fees on all other items at their current levels, even though the processing charges for some have actually increased. At a time of high inflation, we hope that this is positive news for people looking to recycle their e-waste and use our services,” said Hanlon.

Run by Cambridge Rotary Club in conjunction with their Te Awamutu counterparts, Urban Miners recycles or diverts for reuse, a range of e-waste items collected monthly by volunteers in Cambridge and Te Awamutu.

In their first year of operating, Urban Miners collected and diverted 15 tonnes of e-waste from landfill. The goal for the next 12 months is to double that figure.

Urban Miners is backed by a large team of volunteers who run monthly collection days and dismantle and process the e-waste collected. Dismantling reduces the volume of e-waste sent to third-party processors and the associated costs for this service, as well as maximising returns on any reusable materials and commodities, such as circuit boards, contained in e-waste items.