E-waste and hazardous waste

It’s great there are now so many things that are recyclable, but your kerbside recycling bins aren’t the right place for everything. There are number of things that are actually really dangerous when they end up in your recycling bins, like lithium batteries, medical waste and supplies, chemicals etc. Batteries can cause fires in the recycling trucks and at the sorting centre. Everything is hand sorted by staff at the sorting centre and they shouldn’t be handling anything that could put them in danger.


There are a number of things we can do to reduce the amount of e-waste we create:

  • Don’t upgrade your mobile device until absolutely necessary
  • Buy quality items that will last longer
  • Borrow a drill rather than buying one new
  • Buy quality second-hand and refurbished items and
  • Repair any broken appliances and tools when possible

E-waste needs specialised recycling options and not all manufacturers and retailers take their products back to dispose of them correctly. When this happens, the community is left with items we would like to recycle but may not be able to.

The good news is, this is changing! Mandatory product stewardship is coming for e-waste, which means the manufacturer and retailer will play their part in recycling the product at end of product life.

Until this scheme starts, we encourage you to seek out responsible recyclers. Here are some options:

  • If you can repair the item rather than throwing it away, the Repair Co-op Cambridge runs once a month. You can bring your item in and help the volunteers investigate if it can be repaired and give it the best shot at getting another lease of life.
  • Rotary Cambridge has launched a project called Urban Miners to collect, recycle, and where possible, reuse household and business e-waste in the Waipā District. Urban Miners run regular collection events - please "like" and follow the Urban Miners Facebook page to find out about upcoming events. Please note: they are not able to collect whiteware.
  • For local options in Te Awamutu or Cambridge for mercury light bulbs, car batteries, paint, asbestos, ammunition, cell phones, medicines please download a flyer below.

Find our local options for household hazardous waste in Cambridge

Find our local options for household hazardous waste in Te Awamutu

Other household hazardous waste

If you have other material that is not listed here, try calling the company that produced it and ask what options are available for safe disposal.

For household hazardous wastes, try specialists like ChemCollect or Waste Management and get a specific collection arranged for what you have. We fund an annual collection of household hazardous waste at the end of the year in either Te Awamutu or Cambridge. 

At our last event in Cambridge, we collected a huge amount of household hazardous waste and ensured that it was safely disposed of.

Get notified about our next event