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Taking a responsible approach to disposing of ‘old tech stuff’

After seeing an advert in last month’s INTERFACE, Lynette Parish decided Matamata College should host an eDay container and help do its bit for e-waste recycling in the local community.

Why did you decide to host a container for eDay?

Two years ago, we had a trailer provided in the town but last year we had nothing. When I have rung the council about disposal of e-waste, they’ve told me the only option is landfill. Furthermore, a couple of years ago we had to return 100 ex-lease computers in one hit, and the students and staff worked hard to get them wrapped and put on pallets for the truck to take them away. I think it really hit home as to the disposal problem we would be starting to create as we have moved from leased to purchased hardware. I saw in your magazine the opportunity to register as a school site, contacted Laurence Zwimpfer at eDay, and have been supported by him to get the day organised. They’ve been great. We have support from staff for logistics and first aid, and our school’s student Tech Team has led the volunteering. It’s not the best time for senior students with exams a week away, but we’ll get enough volunteers.

How have staff and students responded?

What’s the interest been like from the local community?

I’ve had support from our two local computer retailers, Hurricane Computers and Imatec Solutions, so that we can provide refreshments and lunches (very important for student volunteers!), and our two local newspapers have supported us as well.

Has there been interest from other schools in the area?

We’re having the container arrive a day early so that schools in the district can use students and caretaking staff to bring over their e-waste. They’re very keen to take up this opportunity.

What’s your school’s policy and attitude towards recycling ICT equipment?

We start by storing every piece of hardware we replace, then offer it to students or we use old ICT equipment for teaching students an understanding of computer technology. We have no formal policy as it has not been feasible to recycle up until now. I suppose it is to reuse where possible and recycle where possible.

What have you done to recycle in the past?

We’ve only taken up the eDay opportunity two years ago.

How does it feel to be making a contribution and doing your bit like this?

I jumped at the chance. As chair of our school’s ICT Committee, we are forever recommending upgrades, and it’s great to be able to take a responsible approach to the disposal of our ‘old tech stuff’. Our district has no inorganic rubbish collection and sometimes in farming areas waste ends up in the back paddock. When I consider how much other recycling a normal household does, there seems to be a huge gap in terms of both electrical and electronic waste. Many people have asked me about the opportunity to dispose of old TV sets, which I think the Ministry for the Environment is looking at for next time.

Do you think you’ll do it again?

Why not!

Thank you.

LYNETTE PARISH IS ICT COMMITTEE CHAIR AT MATAMATA COLLEGE.

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Categories: Article, Issue 28

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