4 Aug 2014

Recycler stuck with storing old TVs

10:40 pm on 4 August 2014

A Hutt Valley recycling station is paying up to $1000 a month to store old televisions after the company contracted to recycle them collapsed.

The TV were dropped off at the station under the Government's Takeback scheme, during the switch from analogue to digital.

The company, RCN E-Waste, had a $4.4 million contract to recycle them, but has now folded.

Maurice Pickard, from EarthLink, said on Monday he is owed $30,000 from RCN and has had to hire fewer staff in order to keep the business going.

"I've still got to do the job, I've still got to dismantle the TVs because we gave our word to the public when they dropped them off that these TVs would be recycled."

Mr Pickard said he asked Environment Minister Amy Adams what happens next, but was told that she was too busy. He said he needs to know what is now happening with the scheme.

The minister told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Monday she expects the TVs to be picked up in the next month.

Ms Adams said the Serious Fraud Office is investigating RCN and the Government is working through a tender process to get the televisions recycled and she has met with a group representing recycling stations to discuss the problem.