E-waste company risks defaulting on Government contract

Last updated 16:08 11/04/2014

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An e-waste company paid $4.4 million to rid New Zealand of its old televisions, is dangerously close to defaulting on its contract, Environment Minister Amy Adams says.

Auckland-based RCN is one of a number of providers in the Government's TV Takeback programme.

The companies were contracted by the Government to safely dispose of old televisions at a subsidised price after the country-wide move to digital television.

But RCN has told Adams it was likely to default on its contract.

The company had been paid about $4.4 million so far for its contractual work in the programme, Adams said.

But the Environment Ministry said that as part of the contract, a proportion of payments were always retained until the collected televisions were processed.

The ministry was holding on to that money.

"The Ministry for the Environment is currently investigating the implications of any default, but my priority is to ensure the televisions are dealt with appropriately, and I have asked for options in this regard," Adams said.

More than 220,000 televisions were collected for recycling during the programme. It was unclear how many televisions RCN still had to process, but it was thought to be a significant number.

Adams said other options were being looked at to process the remaining TVs but she said "more cost" would be involved.

The minister said all other providers were meeting their contractual obligations.

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