Types of Waste
TV Take Back Programme
New Zealand Television is Going Digital! So What About My Old TV?
Starting 30 September 2012, New Zealand is transitioning to digital television. Once your region has made the switch, your old TV will no longer work. See this link to find out when your area is going digital.
So what does this mean for your old analogue TV? According to Minister of the Environment Nick Smith, an estimated 400,000 old tellies could be dumped as a result of the switch. You have a few options, some more environmentally and socially conscious than others.
First, you do not need to buy a new TV! Even New Zealand’s oldest telly has gone digital. If your current TV is functioning properly, why get rid of it? Almost all analogue TVs can become digital by purchasing a digital set-top box such as a Freeview|HD decoder or a TiVo box. Most sell for around $150. For more information on converting your analogue TV see this link.
If you do choose to purchase a new LCD or plasma TV, please dispose of your old TV responsibly! The worst thing you could do is throw your TV in the waste bin or in organic collection. Analogue TVs contain a variety of toxic substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants. One old TV cathode ray tube (CRT) contains up to 4kg of lead, which can potentially leach into groundwater and eventually into our drinking water.
So how can you avoid contributing to this problem? One option is to pass on your functioning analogue TV to friends or family to be reused. If this is not a possible, you should take your old TV to a specialist e-waste recycler.
In anticipation of the digital switch, the Ministry of the Environment (MfE) has initiated the TV Take Back Programme to “boost TV recycling services, educate and incentivise people to recycle, and lay the foundation for a more permanent product stewardship solution for televisions.” It is unclear exactly what form the programme will take, but it is anticipated to start in July 2012 and run for two years. Funding for the programme will come from the Waste Minimisation Fund. For more information on the TV Take Back scheme, visit this link.
If you are looking to dispose of your unwanted analogue TV before the government programme gets underway, you have a few options. The RCN Group (RCN) has partnered with Community Recycling Network (CRN) and with the support of the MfE has established a 24+ drop-off locations for TVs and other electronic waste (find your closest center here). There is a small fee to cover the costs of recycling (see the price list here), but it is well worth the peace of mind of responsible disposal.
Updated March 2012