South Africa’s first e-waste collection day

Submitted by: Amanda Botes, Monday, October 29, 2012

<p>E-waste is the fastest growing type of waste in South Africa (Image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_12421226_small-heap-of-mixed-electronic-waste.html'>inganielsen / 123RF Stock Photo</a>)</p>

E-waste is the fastest growing type of waste in South Africa (Image credit: inganielsen / 123RF Stock Photo)

South Africa’s first nation-wide e-waste collection day will take place on the 1st of November 2012.  The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) together with local e-waste handlers and recyclers, the e-Waste Alliance (eWA), “re-“ and DESCO have organised a collection drive for e-waste in the country.

Collection points will be based at selected shopping centres in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Port Elizabeth as well as Jeffares & Green offices. Shopping centres and offices for drop off include:

  • Cape Town: Central Square Pinelands (The collection day for Cape Town will take place on the 3rd of November 2012)
  • Johannesburg: 37 Sunninghill Office Park
  • Durban: The Pavilion
  • Pietermaritzburg: Liberty Midlands Mall
  • Port Elizabeth: Greenacres Shopping Centre

All the e-waste that is collected will either be refurbished or recycled and disposed safely as a last resort. Susanne Dittke, event co-ordinator explains, “We must stress that any e-Waste that is collected will be re-furbished, repaired, re-used or recycled where possible, and ONLY safely disposed of if no other treatment options are available.”

The event is an attempt by the IWMSA to educate the public on the dangers of disposing of e-waste at landfill sites and to encourage responsible reuse, recycling and disposal practices. Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman, President of the IWMSA says “In a bid to provide collection solutions and to educate the public as to the importance of correctly disposing of this potentially extremely hazardous form of waste, the IWMSA and all partners of this year’s collection drive strive to ensure an informative and fun occasion including super prizes for lucky participants.”

E-waste is any unwanted electrical equipment and includes items such as microwaves, fridges and washing machines; consumer electronics such as televisions; and IT products, which includes computers, cellphones and printers. Electronic waste can contain hazardous substances and when dumped on landfills can enter the soil and the water table. South Africa has experienced a rapid growth in e-waste due to the growth in the Information and Communications Technology sector.

For more information on the event contact Susanne Dittke at envirosense@xsinet.co.za or on 021-5320940. 

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Amanda Botes