TV recycling levy could cost consumers
A new bill could see makers of televisions hit with a recycling levy, but it's likely that cost could be passed on to consumers.
Green Party MP Denise Roche has launched a member's bill which she says will create a permanent solution for TV waste, at no cost to the taxpayer.
However, it could see a small hike in prices for televisions, with the possibility of manufacturers passing the costs on to consumers.
Roche said despite a public campaign to recycle TVs alongside the "Going Digital" drive, too many televisions were still ending up in the landfill.
"My bill will create a year-round, robust TV recycling scheme, which will ensure that no TVs end up as waste in landfill. And it won't cost the taxpayer," said Roche.
Under the Waste Minimisation (Television Product Stewardship) Amendment Bill, producers of TVs would pay a fee for every TV they import or manufacture, which would cover the recycling costs.
"During New Zealand's switch to digital, the Government-subsidised TV Takeback is reducing the number of televisions being sent to landfill, but it is not an ongoing solution for television disposal," she said.
The government subsidy amounts to about $20 to $25 per television.
"Right now TV importers and manufactures are passing the burden of recycling their products on to taxpayers and recycling companies, but my bill closes the loop and puts the responsibility of the end of life of televisions back on them.
"If producers of televisions have to pay for the recycling of their products it gives them an incentive to import or manufacture televisions that are easier and cheaper to recycle."
Roche said there would be nothing to stop companies passing the cost of that levy onto consumers.
"And in all likelihood they probably will. We would like to see them absorbing the cost of recycling, but if you're purchasing a $600 plus TV, it's unlikely an extra $20 will make too much difference."
Roche said she hoped that over time, the cost of levy would come down as a more consistent stream of televisions to be recycled would result in greater cost benefits.
She said the funds generated by the legislation would go to creating a recycling scheme for TVs and, after a couple of years, sending a television to a landfill would be prohibited.
- © Fairfax NZ News