Leading Edge was the first company in New Zealand to recycle mobile phones. Our recycle programme also includes chargers, modems and fixed line phones and associated accessories. Our recycling programme is available to all customers via a Spark store or dealer, or working alongside their business or corporate account manager. Spark retail stores and partner outlets will accept all phones and accessories either for refurbishment or recycling in accordance with International regulations.
Our intent is to observe a 100% landfill-free Recycling Policy. This will ensure that old mobile phones and other consumer generated e-waste do not end up in landfills, potentially causing environmental damage.
While our existing recycling initiative only covers mobile phones, chargers, modems and fixed line phones and associated accessories, we aim to ultimately encompass all our electronic waste.
In 2008 we received our export license from the Ministry for Economic Development (MED) to ship electronic waste to our recycling partner, Allied Electronic Recovery Worldwide (AER) in California for refurbishment or recycling. As part of this intergovernmental process (as required under the "OECD Decision") MED had to obtain approval from the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States.
In previous years we collected an estimated 55,000 kg of e-waste for reuse or recycling for shipment to AER for refurbishment or recycling. This waste included mobile phones and chargers, modems and cordless phones.
We partnered with Starship Hospital to provide them with old mobile phones as part of its fundraising programme (these phones are sent to Folmah who pay Starship a dividend for the phones). Folmah is an Irish company that arranges for the old phones to be refurbished for use in developing countries or demanufactured and recycled. As part of our partnership with Starship Hospital we have committed to collect 50,000 old phones for them.
The sustainable management of electronic waste also extends to old computer hardware and packaging. We also recycle and reuse as much of our old hardware components as possible (e.g. street cabinets).
Spark continues to participate and engage with Ministry for the Environment (MFE) on proposed legislation and programmes for managing e-waste (in particular the implementation of the Stewardship part of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008).
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