Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an electronic waste?
Electronic waste is a term for electronic products that have become unwanted, non-working or obsolete, and have essentially reached the end of their useful life. Simple way to put it is by saying all products that has a power plug or can be operated by inserting batteries.
2. What happens to my e-waste when I drop it off to Upcycle?
All E-waste that comes in to Upcycle warehouse gets sorted by our well trained staff. Once sorted, materials that can be locally recycled will be sent off to our local partners, and ones that cannot be recycled in New Zealand will be exported under the export permit to our proved offshore partners.
3. Why is there a disposal cost in some of the e-waste?
In some of the e-waste, we can recover valuable resources. By recovering these valuable materials, we can create profits. In some e-waste, there are hazardous materials which needs special treatments in order to keep the process of recycling environmentally friendly. These special treatments does cost therefore, the users are getting charged to cover for its recycling costs.
4. What is the environmental impact if electronics are not disposed of correctly?
E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams. Toxic substances within some e-waste can have an adverse impact on human health and the environment if not disposed of properly by leaching into soil. If toxic substances leach into our soil or make their way into the groundwater, then surrounding environment, animals and even human are exposed to the toxin. Also, improper disposal of e-waste does not allow for recovery and reuse of valuable materials.
5. What are the hazardous substances contained in electronics?
• Lead can cause brain damage, nervous system damage, blood disorder, kidney damage and can damage fetal development.
• Beryllium can lead to breathing difficulties, coughing and chest pains
• Mercury can cause central nervous system damage and kidney damage
• Cadmium is a known carcinogen and it can cause kidney damage.
• Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) can have impact on growth and sexual development.
• Dioxins and Furans can cause skin disorder, liver problems, and impairment of the immune system.
6. Can I take my e-waste to any e-waste recycler?
There are many e-waste recycling companies in Auckland. However, some operate only to get their hands on particular e-waste that contains valuable (profitable) items only such as computer PC and laptops. To operate as a e-waste recycler, you need to have a waste facility license as well as a waste collectors license. Making sure that the company has all the licenses required to operate as a recycler prior to visiting them will support companies like Upcycle to continue providing honest services.
7. What are the advantages of e-waste recycling?
Recycling of e-waste can recover valuable materials. Materials extracted through recycling can be re-used as raw materials reducing the mining of natural resources. Recycling e-waste can also reduce waste and pollution. It allows us to have a better future.