Phone - Carole 021 401 951

Meetings are held at the Te Awa Lifecare Woolshed, 1866 Cambridge Road, Cambridge, from 10am for 10.30 until 12.00 noon

Friday December 9th, 2022 - Mark Hanlon and David Blewden - Urban Miners: Reclaiming electronic waste, and making the world more sustainable

The Speakers:

Mark Hanlon has spent over 50 years in manufacturing. including 25 years running his own engineering consulting business - specialising primarily in project management. Has also held several business governance roles.

David Blewden has spent 27 years as a business owner and company director of Lilies by Blewden Ltd and is a Past Director United Flower Auctions Ltd and a Past Chairman New Zealand Flower Growers Ass.

The Entity:

Rotary Cambridge Urban Miners is a not-for-profit social enterprise, run entirely by volunteers and committed to diverting as much e-waste as possible away from landfill. 

The brainchild of two members of Cambridge Rotary; two years were spent researching the waste industry in New Zealand and refining the eventual Urban Miners business model. 

During 2020 and working around Covid-19 disruptions several small scale e-waste collection events were held at local schools along with an in-school education program highlighting the need to treat the disposal of e-waste responsibly. 

The results confirmed the need for an ethical and responsible e-waste disposal service for Waipa and regular monthly e-waste collection events are now held in both Cambridge and Te Awamutu.

The dumping of e-waste represents a massive lost opportunity to society because of both the risks and opportunities it represents. 

Urban Miners is proud of the fact that over 90% of e-waste material received is diverted from landfill with only the hard plastic cases being dumped. Urban Miners has received significant start up funding and support from the Waipa District council and has received several awards including:

Waipa Emerging Business Award

Keep NZ Beautiful Environmental Award

Rotary District Environmental Award

Background Information

The New Zealand Government estimates that 89 million kgs of electronic waste is disposed of into landfill every year in Aotearoa.  Televisions, computers, and computer peripherals contribute over 20 million kg of this staggering total.  The balance is made up of the amazing array of electronic devices that have become synonymous with everyday life, along with the batteries that often power them. From electric toothbrushes and hair straighteners through to microwaves and heat pumps electronic devices eventually reach end of life and need to be disposed of.  Only a paltry 20% of e-waste is recycled in New Zealand.  A shameful statistic in a country that proclaims a clean green image. 

E-waste contains a wide variety of materials and metals. Many are toxic and potentially harmful to both human health and the environment. 40% of lead and 70% of heavy metals found in landfill are estimated to come from e-waste.  The diversion of e-waste away from landfill minimises the risks associated with these materials causing contamination issues in the future.

Many of the components and materials and itmes can be repaired, resold, or reused.  Those that can’t, can be dismantled and their components recycled for incorporation into future devices.  Increased recycling of e-waste greatly reduces the need to extract virgin materials from environmentally damaging mining operations.  The irony of, on the one hand dumping e-waste into a hole in the ground and then extracting the very same materials from another hole in the ground should not be lost on anyone.

As far as steel is concerned, recycling 1 tonne of steel saves 1,100kg of iron ore, 630kg of coal and 55kg of limestone.  Recycling also uses 75% less energy and 40% less water.

E-waste is processed by the Urban Miners volunteers in a variety of ways.  First any items that can be reused are diverted to the Cambridge Lions Club for sale at the Lions Shed.  Second, items such as computers, tablets and cell phones are assessed and where possible repaired and reconditioned for resale.

Items that cannot be reused or repaired are dismantled and their various components salvaged for recycling, either by the Urban Miners Team in Cambridge or by specialised third party organisations that have the necessary skills and expertise to dismantle and extract the valuable materials contained within.

To achieve this extremely high level of landfill diversion is not cheap and the cost often exceeds the value of the materials extracted.  As a result, small charges are levied on many items to cover the true costs of repairing, dismantling and recycling along with covering overheads such as rent, freight, advertising and insurance.

E-waste collection events are held between 9 – 11am in Te Awamutu on the 1st Sunday of the month in the car park of the ASB Te Awamutu Sports Club and in Cambridge on the 3rd Sunday of the month at Cambridge High School.

Friday February 10th, 2023 - Sandra and Barry Payne - Adventures on a Wing

BAZFLYERS (Barry & Sandra Payne)
Barry (76) and Sandra (72) have been married for 52 years. Their senior years have
been filled with aviation adventures. In 2019 they flew their single engine Piper
Comanche airplane round the world becoming New Zealand’s first
“Earthrounders” and the oldest combined age couple to have ever done so. 

Bazflyer1 - Barry began his aviation career in 1963 when he joined the Royal New
Zealand Air Force. After graduating with an aircraft technical qualification he
commenced pilot training in 1969, qualifying on both airplanes and helicopters. In
a parallel career Barry has received recognition as a successful entrepreneur with
diverse start up businesses to his credit.

Bazflyer2 - Sandra is a qualified educator and dedicated Mother and family person
who gained her private pilots licence to celebrate her 60th birthday. Being an
adventurer at heart she aims to inspire all those around her, family, friends and
especially her contemporaries, to live life to the full.

Friday March 10th, 2023 - Dr Sarah Gordon - From psychiatric patient to Associate Professor (and psychiatric patient)

Associate Professor Sarah Gordon PhD (Otago), MBHL, LLB, BSc

Sarah’s personal experience of mental illness shaped her university study with the areas of psychology, medical law, bioethics, and psychological medicine being the focus through to PhD level. Combining this theoretical education and personal experience, Sarah has spent the last 20 years working and advocating for an improved mental health sector and societal perceptions of mental health from the perspective of a person who personally experiences mental illness.

Since 2011 Sarah has worked as a service user academic with the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago. Through this role, she has promoted and progressed service user-led and co-produced education and research.

This work has resulted in the establishment of "World of Difference" – a service user academia education and research team, which Sarah currently leads. The education and research programs being led or co-produced by the World of Difference team are focused on ending discrimination, and promoting recovery, inclusion, and respect for the human rights of people who experience mental distress.

From psychiatric patient to Associate Professor (and psychiatric patient)

Sometimes I wonder where to start. Should it be the serious assault I suffered at the age of eleven or should it be when I was officially diagnosed with a serious mental disorder after I was sent for my first ‘vacation’ at the psychiatric facility? Ultimately it doesn’t really matter – what does matter is that I have always had people in my life that have supported me unconditionally, despite the serious impact that my struggles have had on my life, and theirs, at times (and I will talk a little about this). Furthermore, their expectations about who I am and what I am capable of have never changed. Their perspective has always been that given the impact of my illness I'd just need a bit more support to realise my dreams and aspirations (and I will talk a little about this).  I never knew that my ultimate aspiration was to be a ‘disruptor’ which is how I describe what I have been doing for the last thirty years (and I will talk a little about this). Essentially, I try and disrupt the status quo – the status quo being the belief that people like me don’t recover and achieve, that a broken system can’t be fixed, and that most people really don’t care that much about any of this….unless it is personal to them (and I will talk mostly about this). I look forward to sharing my personal and professional knowledge and experiences, and most importantly, my hope and vision for the future with you.

Friday April 14th, 2023 - Dr Gavin Wallace - Nuclear New Zealand (from a scientists perspective)

Dr Gavin Wallace QSM

Gavin joined the Institute of Nuclear Sciences of DSIR in 1968, specialising in nuclear physics. 

After completing his PhD, he developed a technique for elemental analysis of samples using X-rays and semiconductor detectors, then helped to design and build an accelerator mass spectrometer. This was primarily used for radiocarbon dating, and was the first AMS facility in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Once this was routinely processing samples commercially, Gavin switched to developing industrial applications using radioactive sources, both domestically and overseas. This was commercial work covering research, design, building and installation on-site. 

Gavin managed a group of 20 people he fondly refers to as the ‘Toy Factory’. 

He was also engaged as an Expert in this field by the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

Gavin retired from the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences after 41 years. He doesn’t glow in the dark! 

Since then he has continued to work on contract for GNS, touring the country to deliver radiation safety courses to industry. To date, 225 courses, training over 2,100 people. 

Aside from science, he completed 50 years as a volunteer firefighter, and currently heads the local historical society.

Friday June 9th 2023 - Judi Jacobsen - Child Centered Play Therapy: The Heart of Relationship for Every Child

Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) is a form of child counselling for children from ages 3 through to 12.

The most natural means of communication for tamariki is through play. Play therapists enter the child’s play world to communicate with them and help them understand and resolve psychological and psychosocial challenges, e.g. trauma, separation of parents, loss of a loved one, chronic illness, etc.

In play therapy, tamariki are able to express their experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided and self-healing process. They are helped towards healthier and better social integration, growth and development - Te manawa whanaungatanga mō ngā tamariki katoa: the heart of relationship for every child.

Friday September 8th, 2023 - Dr Roger Hill - The excitement of analytical chemistry - an oxymoron?

Roger was born in Te Aroha and grew up on a dairy farm, before attending Auckland University between 1969 -1976, graduating with a PhD in Chemistry.  His first and only employment was with a small company called Analytical Services Ltd domiciled in Cambridge, which involved setting up and then managing the privately owned soil testing laboratory.  After eight years, he left to start Hill Laboratories, in partnership with his wife, Anne.  The new laboratory was immediately successful, and the ongoing growth has resulted now with the employment of over 300 people in Hamilton (450 people nationwide), with satellite branches in Christchurch, Blenheim, Wellington, Tauranga and Auckland.

Roger and Anne have two sons and five grandchildren, and their elder son, Jonno, is now running the business.


This product has been added to your cart