Presenter: Paul Bruce, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Presentation title:  E-waste stewardship – a community consensus

The Wellington Waste Forum, including seven local government authorities and business representatives from the greater Wellington region, reached consensus earlier this year in calling on central government to declare electronic waste a priority product and set a timetable for the development of product stewardship regulations.  A remit  based on this consensus is now progressing to the July LGNZ Conference.  The Conference is expected to unanimously adopt the remit.  With a united voice from the local government sector, central government must take action to address this escalating problem.  The eDay collections of computer equipment from 2006 to 2010 helped to raise awareness of the problem and the current government-supported TV Takeback programme is helping to divert old TV sets from landfills. But this will soon be over and then what?  New Zealand urgently needs ongoing sustainable solutions from the start of 2014.  When the government subsidies end, consumers will face the full cost of recycling electronic waste and there is already strong evidence that schemes relying on consumers paying at the time of disposal will simply not work. There is widespread consensus that product stewardship is the solution with the costs of recycling being included in the price of new products.  The legislative framework for product stewardship has been in place for five years now and no voluntary schemes for electronic waste have emerged in this time. We believe that none will until central government intervenes and gives producers and importers confidence that there will be a level playing field for all suppliers.  How much longer do we need to wait before our environment leaders accept there is clear market failure and set a timetable for action?      Laurence and Paul will present the outcomes of the LGNZ Conference and provide a roadmap for local authorities trying to find permanent solutions for this growing and challenging waste stream.

Event: WasteMINZ Conference 2013

Date: Tuesday 22 October 2013