Urban Miners emerged from a strong field last night to win the Waste Minimisation Environmental Award at the 2023 Waipā Networks Business Awards.

It was an important win for the enterprise which started two years ago to address the growing problem of e-waste in the Waipā district with the aim of diverting e-waste from landfill through recycling, recovery, reuse, and repair.

The success of Urban Miners is starting to become apparent with approximately 38,000kg of e-waste diverted from landfill since 2020, roughly equivalent to the weight of a Boeing 737. Urban Miners have also redirected a further 1,000 kg of refurbished laptops, computers and phones and functional appliances for reuse.

Raising awareness within the community about the importance of dealing with e-waste in an environmentally responsible manner is an ongoing challenge. This award highlights the importance of this issue and flags Urban Miners as a responsible e-waste recycling option available to the Waipā community.

Spokesperson Mark Hanlon said “Urban Miners is very proud to receive this significant award and to be recognised for our contribution to waste minimisation in the Waipā district. We are indebted to the local community who bring their e-waste to us for recycling and who continue to spread the word about what we do. Our operation relies entirely on local volunteers who are the powerhouse behind our success. We are nothing without our volunteers!’

Urban Miners also received a Highly Commended in the Community Contribution Award section, an award that touches close to the heart of the organisation which is run entirely by volunteers. It was started by Rotary Cambridge, and works in conjunction with Rotary Te Awamutu, Cambridge Community Board, Te Awamutu Community Board, and the Waipā District Council with funding support from the Waipā Waste Minimisation Fund.

Urban Miners was also a finalist in the Small Business Category and the Digital Strategy and E-commerce Award.

Wāipa Networks Business Awards 2023 with Urban Miners (from left to right) Geoff Bentley, David Blewden, Greg Liddy, Mark Hanlon, Mike Keightly and Alan van Niekerk.