More than 5000 televisions have been handed into a Hastings depot during the first week of the Environment Ministry's TV Takeback programme.
The 16-day amnesty gives people a chance to hand in their unwanted televisions, following the switch over to the digital network, which was completed at the end of September.
Hastings District Council waste minimisation officer Dominic Salmon said he had been surprised by the response from the public after seeing the number of television sets handed into the Hastings collection depot, at the former Mega Mitre 10 site on St Aubyn St. "We've had 2000 vehicles come through to drop off about 5000 TVs, which has been enough to fill about 22 shipping containers."
A collection point in Napier reported there were more than 900 televisions handed in by the end of Tuesday. The TVs would be transported to RCN e-Cycle's depot in Auckland and Wellington, where they would be dismantled and all the usable material recycled.
"Each container can take about 220 to 260 televisions and when you picture those containers together, it's quite a large area which would has been prevented from heading to the landfill. As a result of the response, we've had to locate through our partners RCN, more containers as well as put one more staffer on to keep up with the demand."
Mr Salmon said Hawke's Bay and the West Coast were the first regions to switch over to digital television and work on collecting the old analogue sets was being monitored by the Minister for the Environment.
Following the free recycling period, which finishes on October 28, TVs will be accepted at the Environment Centre or the Henderson Rd recycling depot but there will be a small charge.