New Zealand Surveillance of Retailers Exposes Recycling Fraud

Trackers were affixed to expensive electronics to test retailer claims of recycling. A simple “fault” was created to see if anyone would take the five minutes needed to repair and resell a perfectly good device, but unfortunately they were sent to landfill instead.

“We now live in a world where nearly new appliances, and all the embedded resources contained in them and used to produce them can be thrown straight into a hole in the ground at the first sign of fault.” Smith said New Zealand was the only country in the OECD without a national e-waste scheme and its e-waste per capita rates was one of the highest in the world.

One would think the severe land constraints of islands would move the market naturally to make them leaders in landfill avoidance.

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