Urban Miners reduce fees

Volunteers at a recent processing day in Leamington. Photo: Michael Jeans.

Waipā e-waste recyclers Urban Miners has reduced its fees on taking several high-volume items including flat panel TVs, LCD computer monitors, modems, switches and routers, and microwave ovens.

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 and Cambridge Community Board, we are pleased to be able to take a first step in this direction and reduce our fees on four high-volume e-waste items by 20 to 50 per cent.”

That means a flat panel TV which was $25 to drop off is now $20, a microwave oven and LCD computer monitor which were $13 and is now $10

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.

The not-for-profit operation was founded nearly two years ago by Waipā Rotarians David Blewden and Hanlon to reduce the amount of e-waste going into landfills.

“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.

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.

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