Dell Steps Up E-Waste Recycling In Africa


Dell is joining members of the E-Waste Solutions Alliance for Africa in opening the region’s first large-scale e-waste recycling facility in Nairobi, called the East Africa Compliant Recycling. The organization is creating a new e-waste business to be supported by a new regulatory model tailored for developing countries. 

Developing regulations from Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority will help generate capacity for the new e-waste hub by requiring electronics companies to meet certain thresholds for e-waste collection and treatment, says Dell. The regulatory model was developed by Kenyan officials and representatives from non-governmental organizations, and the IT and e-recycling industries.

At the heart of the business model are shipping container-housed collection points located throughout Kenya. Each collection point functions as its own independent small business, purchasing e-waste from newly-trained individual collectors. To date, four collection points have been established – two funded by Dell – with at least forty more planned.

Once a shipping container is filled to capacity, its contents are resold to the main hub where the e-waste will be sustainably processed into material fractions and sold back to the technology industry. Each stage of the model is designed to be profitable for participants, from individual collector to collection point to hub.

In addition to protecting the environment, the model is aimed at creating thousands of green jobs at the facility and across supporting logistics and collection networks, in part by converting existing informal-sector e-waste “pickers” into trained and legitimately-compensated e-waste collectors. Dell and others have invested in training programs to educate workers on the safe collection and recycling of e-waste.

[Image courtesy: Dell]

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