WASTE NOT, WANT NOT... THE e-WASTE SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
What you will find on this page:
- A contact list of ITA Members involved in the recycling and refurbishing of end-of-life electronic- and electrical goods.
- What is e-Waste?
- Interesting news from WWF - Sustainability in the ICT Sector and "The First One Billion Tonnes of CO2 Reductions from ICT Solutions"
- A load of old rubbish? Where to take your sorted household waste...
- Why is e-Waste considered hazardous waste?
- So what now? Where can my computer go to retire?
- Who is Responsible?
- What is the ITA e-Waste initiative all about?
- The Process...
- I want to know more!
Where do I take my unwanted electronic, electrical and IT equipment?
Feel free to contact any of the following e-Waste Recyclers that have registered with the ITA and subscribe to the ITA Code of Ethics:
|RECYCLER||CONTACT PERSON||CONTACT DETAILS||Links to WEBSITE and slide show|
|Sindawonye||Alwyn Bester||082 806 6845 firstname.lastname@example.org||www.nfshred.com|
|Global e-waste Solutions||Colleen Mossman||083 745 8022 email@example.com||www.globalewastesolutions.com|
|DESCO Electronic Recyclers||Costa Airaga||(011) 979 3017 firstname.lastname@example.org||www.desco.co.za|
|Computer Scrap Recycling||Johan Combrinck||082 555 4513 email@example.com||www.computerscraprecycling.co.za|
|Xperien Asset Recovery Management||Wale Arewa||083 277 9020 firstname.lastname@example.org||www.xperien.com|
|Pikitup (all Pikitup garden refuse sites in Johannesburg are now e-waste collection sites!)||Maserame Matiwane||
082 855 9364 email@example.com
|Reclite SA||Patricia Webb||082 492 7356 firstname.lastname@example.org||www.reclite.co.za|
|Sylvara Technologies cc||Willy Kriel||083 601 2775 email@example.com||www.sylvara.co.za|
|UNiROSS Rechargeable Batteries||Michael Rogers||083 453 4132 firstname.lastname@example.org||www.uniross.co.za|
|Rentworks||Cahl van Wyk||083 445 2414 email@example.com||www.rentworks.co.za|
|Computers Unlimited||Dave Outram||011 708 4029 firstname.lastname@example.org|
Queries regarding the e-Waste projects can be directed to:
e-Waste Project Co-ordinator
What is e-Waste?
e-Waste or WEEE (Waste from Electrical & Electronic Equipment) is the waste that is generated when an electrical or electronic item has reached the end of its useful life and needs to be disposed of.
Interesting news from wwf - sustainability in the ict sector
"WWF is working globally with the ICT industry to identify and pursue the contribution of this sector to a more sustainable economy and way of life: http://www.panda.org/ictWe are involved in global alliances around improving ICT energy efficiency: http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org... but are particularly keen to promote a change from a view of sustainability as a risk-issue to one of opportunity: http://www.panda.org/news_facts/publications/ict/information_technologies_climate_change/index.cfm We invite the SA ICT industry to participate in work to quantify the potential of this sector locally." Download - "Identifying the First Billion Tonnes of CO2 Reductions using ICT Solutions" A LOAD OF OLD RUBBISH? WHERE TO TAKE YOUR SORTED HOUSEHOLD WASTE... Why aren't we separating our glass, plastics and biodegradable produce out of habit? In may countries it is law to recycle - but not here. But that does not mean you shouldn't do your bit. Start by separating your rubbish yourself. Then contact the right people in your area...
- Paper and Glass. You can drop it off at your local recycle bins, usually in the parking lot of supermarkets. See www.paperpikup.co.za for ones in your area.
- Paper. Call Sappi on 0860 221 330, or in Gauteng and Durban call Mondi Recycling on 0800 022 112, or 021 931 5106 for Cape Town. You can also call Nampak Paper Recycling on 011 974 1965.
- Cans. See www.collectacan.co.za for info on where to drop your cans off to be recycled, and a list of organisations that recycle cans.
- Vegetables and Garden Waste. Create your own compost heap at home! For more information visit www.health24.com.
- Recycling Services. The Abundance Yoga and Holistic Centre in Cape Town started a recycling initiative where for R20 - R40 a month (depending on where you live), they will collect all your recyclables once a week. You just put it out in a strong rubbish bag and they'll do the rest. Contact them on 021 674 2497.
- General Recycling Info. Call the Durban Solid Waste Recycling office on 031 302 1665, Pikitup in Johannesburg on 011 712 5200 or www.pikitup.co.za, City of Cape Town Waste Management Department on 021 487 2479. Also visit the National Recycling Forum website on www.recycling.co.za for more information.
If you know of any other recycling initiatives, please drop us an e-mail on email@example.com. Happy Recycling!
I can just dump it on a landfill site, right? WRONG!! e-Waste is considered hazardous waste! e-Waste is both valuable as a source for secondary raw material and TOXIC if treated and discarded improperly. Rapid technology change, low initial cost and even planned obsolescence have resulted in a fast growing problem around the globe. e-Waste is of concern largely due to the toxicity of some of the substances if processed improperly. The following toxic substances are typically found in computers and other electronic equipment:
- Arsenic is a poisonous metallic element which could lead to various diseases of the skin and decreased nerve conduction velocity that could cause lung cancer.
- Barium is a metallic element found in fluorescent lamps that forms a poisonous oxide when in contact with air. Short-term exposure to barium could lead to brain swelling, muscle weakness, damage to the heart, liver and spleen.
- Beryllium has been classified as a human carcinogen since exposure to it can cause lung cancer.
- Brominated Flame Retardants (BFR's). The three main types of BFR's used in electronic and electrical equipment are Polybrominated Biphenyl (PBB), Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) and Tertrabromobishpenol-A (TBBPA). Combustion of halogenated case material and printed circuit boards at low temperatures releases toxic emissions including dioxins which can lead to severe hormonal disorders.
- Cadmium components may have serious impacts on the kidneys. It is absorbed through respiration and taken up with food.
- CFC's are compounds composed of carbon, fluorine, chlorine and sometimes hydrogen. It accumulated in the stratosphere and have a deleterious effect on the ozone layer.
- Chromium and its oxides are widely used because of its high conductivity and anti-corrosive properties. Chromium VI is easily absorbed in the human body and can produce various toxic effects within cells.
- Lead is the fifth most widely used metal after iron, aluminum, copper and zinc. It is commonly used in the electrical and electronics industry as solder, lead-acid batteries, electronic components, cable sheeting, in the glass of CRT's etc. Short term exposure to high levels of lead can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma or even death.
- Mercury is one of the most toxic, yet widely used metals in the production of electrical and electronic applications and could cause brain and liver damage if inhaled or ingested.
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB's) are a class of organic components used in a variety of applications, including electrical fluids for capacitors and transformers and could cause cancer in animals and other serious health defects.
- Polyvinal Chloride (PVC) is the most widely used plastic and is classified as hazardous because it contains up to 56% chlorine which when burned produces large quantities of hydrogen chloride gas that could lead to respiratory problems when inhaled.
- Selenium. Exposure to high concentrations of selenium causes selenosis characterized by hair loss, nail brittleness and neurological abnormalities.
So, what now? Where can my computer retire? (for a list of e-waste recyclers affiliated with the ITA go to the top of the page) Reduse, Refurbish and Recycle are the three R's that form a key element of the waste minimization effort. It promotes the reduction of waste in the design phase, reusing or refurbishing goods instead of simple disposal and lastly the environmentally sound recycling and/or disposal of waste.
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has put together a National Waste Management Strategy that will culminate in the Waste Management Bill which will control all aspects of the flow of waste. One of the cited intentions is to reduce the flow of recyclable and hazardous waste streams into landfills.
Who is responsible?The National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998) (NEMA) provides the framework for integrating good environmental management into all development activities through the principles that refer to avoidance of pollution, waste reduction, re-use, recycling, “polluter-pays-principle” and extended producer responsibility. As a consumer it is your responsibility to ensure that used equipment is not included in residential waste. (For more detailed information on applicable legislation contact the ITA).
What is the ITA e-Waste Initiative all about? For centuries business was done without consideration for the environment. This resulted in damage to natural resources. However, environmental issues have become a matter of public concern and as knowledge regarding environmental damage has become more complete, the pressure to change our current behavior has increased. Much of this pressure has been targeted towards industry, which is often identified as a major source of pollution. These days’ companies have to respond to a wide range of environmental pressures. The unfortunate truth is environmental concerns have the capacity to affect both the short- and long-term health of each firm, as no firm is immune to environmental risk. Traditionally, environmental issues were viewed as a constraint to businesses, but the business community has now realized that efficient management in the environmental arena can benefit the entire company and open new opportunities for increased profit through improved production and operating efficiencies, reduced liability exposure, increased competitiveness and from a generally enhanced corporate image. Organisations are definitely developing a new green mentality and we are on the verge of an “environmental revolution”. To this effect the ITA, a non-profit body representing the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Industry, stands at the threshold of a new era in its endeavors to guide its members and industry partners to implement environmentally sound solutions that will ultimately address the growing e-Waste problem in South Africa. The ultimate aim of the ITA e-Waste initiative under the banner of the “ITA Recycling Guarantee” is to contribute to strategies aimed at reducing global warming, to improve the living conditions for local residents based on better managed waste streams, resource protection, reduced health risks and an improved economic situation. The ITA is working closely with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) which mandated the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) to study the situation of e-waste recycling in developing and transition countries, of which South Africa is one of the partner countries. The South African “Knowledge Partnership and Capacity Building Project” is one of three projects world-wide, and the focus locally is on the development of viable business models which ensures e-waste recycling adds to job creation and poverty alleviation while remaining in line with the waste minimization efforts of the government and international treaties such as the Basel Convention. Information contained in this booklet is a direct result from this partnership. The following principles will guide us in the implementation of an environmentally sound e-Waste Management System in South Africa:
- RESPONSIBILITY. Manufacturers/importers need to commit to the recycling of their products and ensure that the recycling solution operates smoothly.
- SIMPLICITY. Foremost the consumer, but also traders, manufacturers and recyclers, must master e-Waste recycling.
- RELIABILITY. Crucial steps in the recycling chain require independent, trustworthy control.
- LIQUIDITY. If the market value of the recycled material can’t pay for the process, additional funds have to be introduced, such as the Advance Recycling Fee on new equipment that allows for their return free of charge.
- Producer responsibility.
- Nationwide acceptance.
- Controlled recycling.
- Secured financing.
- Consumers must return disused end-of-life electronic and electrical equipment to retailers, manufacturers or importers. When the system is implemented, the consumer will be able to hand in end-of-life equipment at points of sale, authorised collection centers or make arrangements for collection via the ITA.
- Manufacturers and importers must take back their brands from retailers and consumers.
- Recyclers must guarantee non-polluting recycling processes and obtain necessary licenses.
You can also visit www.e-waste.org.za, the official website of the e-Waste Association of South Africa, our partner in this initiative.