WELLINGTON, May 28 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage on Monday announced funding to increase electronic waste recycling and avoid it ending up in landfills.
Mint Innovation, an Auckland based company which uses chemistry and microbiology processes to recover valuable metals from electronic waste such as mobile phones and computers, is conducting a technical feasibility study for deployment of the technology in New Zealand using an 80,000-NZ dollar (55,599-U.S. dollar) grant from the government's Waste Minimization Fund, Sage said.
"Often old electronic goods end up in landfills. This is a huge waste of finite resources such as lithium and copper, and is also a major environmental hazard," she said, adding that heavy metals and toxic chemicals can leach from landfills into soil and waterways, harming aquatic life and posing a threat to human health.
The government's Waste Minimization Fund was established in 2009 and is funded by a levy of 10 NZ dollars (6.9 U.S. dollars) per ton charged on waste going into landfills.
"As a nation we need to accelerate our transition to a circular economy, where the products we make and use are designed to be reused, recycled or composted, so that waste is designed out of the system," Sage said.