After only 2 years of operating, volunteer-run Urban Miners has successfully diverted over 37,800 kg of Waipā’s e‑waste from landfill, roughly equivalent to the weight of a Boeing 737.

One of the main goals of Urban Miners is to divert meaningful quantities of e-waste from landfill through recycling, recovery, reuse, and repair.

These latest numbers reveal the considerable impact that the not-for-profit organisation is having on cutting e-waste in the Waipā District.

Over the same period, the organisation also salvaged a further 1,000 kg of functioning electronic appliances and devices for a second lease of life through either reuse or repair.

Spokesperson Mark Hanlon said “We are very pleased with this result! Diverting e-waste from landfills is Urban Miner’s fundamental reason for being. What has been exciting has been the way the various Waipā communities have actively supported our vision.”

“Hundreds of people are bringing their e-waste to our regular e-waste collection events, and our many volunteers typically contribute over 300 hours each month to collecting, sorting, processing, and packing e-waste for in-depth recycling. It is this collective effort that has produced this impressive result.”

Although the concept of Urban Miners started more than 4 years ago, the operation has been up and running for just over 2 years with monthly e-waste collection events in both Cambridge and Te Awamutu. Usually around 40 to 80 vehicles turn up at each collection event with e-waste for recycling.

Urban Miners also processes and dismantles e-waste into basic components at their depot in Leamington. Increased dismantling of e-waste has allowed significant reductions in the fees charged to the public (many now less than 50% of charges two years ago) and has helped reduce cost as a barrier to accessing their recycling services.

Urban Miners ran 27 community e-waste collection events in 2021 and 2022. A further 18 collections are scheduled for 2023.