Posted by jeff on Feb 01, 2011


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A Lesson In E-Waste Management

E-Cycling 101 – Thursdays, 3.30pm-4.30pm

Sam Chilton - StarEver wondered what do to with that old computer, broken printer or dead cellphone? Did you know that much of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery?

Dunedin man Sam Chilton has first-hand experience at “repurposing” e-waste and is tapping a rich vein of information about the subject in his Otago Access Radio programme E-Cycling 101, which airs on Thursdays at 3.30pm.

Mr Chilton is a past employee of Dunedin-based company Cargill Enterprises Ltd, the trading arm of Disabled Citizens Otago which employs around 70 people with disabilities across a range of business units, including an e-waste recycling division.

The strong interest in recycling that Mr Chilton observed in members of the public and school groups led him to develop the idea for the radio show.

It was their curiosity and interest that prompted me to want to talk about this issue,” he said.

I wanted to present a positive angle, because the negatives in terms of pollution and poisons in our landfills are fairly obvious. I don’t sugar-coat things but I do present the fact that there are obvious alternatives to simply throwing unwanted devices away.”

The recovery of gold, silver and other precious metals, and the opportunity to extend the useful life of electronic devices, were among the many reasons to see e-waste management as a “real issue”, he said.

Apart from being a moral consideration, it is also a sound economic choice to buy a rebuilt computer that would otherwise be thrown away.”

Cargill Enterprises general manager Derek King was Mr Chilton’s first studio guest on the weekly show. Others had included Lawrence Shannon, of Dunedin-based IT business ProSouth, and Dunedin City Council waste strategy officer Catherine Irvine.

Mr Chilton hoped to add a national and international perspective to the series, and to hear further from young people with an interest in managing e-waste.

I want to include the perspective of our future leaders, the establishment of tomorrow, because they’re learning how to shape the world and in two decades’ time they’ll be our policy-makers.”

E-Cycling 101 airs on Thursdays at 3.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from and iTunes.

Photo: Waste not: Sam Chilton, host of Otago Access Radio show E-Cyling 101.



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