SRI supports national recycling initiatives
E-waste is a valuable resource and its management is a key economic factor, potentially providing ample employment opportunities and producing secondary raw materials.
In developing and emerging countries, the recovery of raw materials is mainly carried out by thousands of uncontrolled workers in what is referred to as the “informal” sector. This involves numerous risks, such as environmental pollution, health hazards and the cross-contamination of hazardous substances.
SRI recycling initiatives are implemented in 6 countries in collaboration with private and public institutions. Pilot recycling operations are supported jointly so that best practices and recycling standards can be introduced via technological collaboration. To ensure the social, environmental and economical sustainability of the supported operations, technical guidelines and financing mechanisms are developed. The recycling initiatives are implemented in Egypt, Ghana, Peru, Colombia and South Africa, each tailored to the countries current state of its recycling industry.
Colombia faces a rising tide of e-waste. Approximately 110,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated annually, which must be managed in an appropriate manner in order to protect human health and the environment.
Egypt is the third most populated country in Africa and it has one of Africa’s highest GDP. The e-waste generation of the country is therefore one of the highest of the continent. In addition, some e-waste is also imported, partly illegally.
Ghana is one of Africa’s known hot spots for unsound management of e-waste. The pictures from burning cables, smoking piles of TV-cases and children taking-apart computers have been published on media channels throughout the world.
According to Peruvian custom statistics, over 107 thousand tons (t) of electrical and electronic equipment have entered the domestic market in 2014 through imports.
The country project in South Africa aims at clarifying the feasibility and the organisational setup for a possible implementation of a recycling plant of CFC-containing cooling appliances.