|Title||The development of a Cape Town based regional integrated e-waste management facility- a replicable concept for sustainable e-waste management in developing countries|
|Publication Type||Proceedings Article|
|Year of Conference||2008|
|Authors||Dittke S, Newson G, Schluep M, Kane C, Hieronymi K|
|Conference Name||Waste Management Conference (WasteCon2008)|
|Conference Start Date||06.10.2008|
|Conference Location||Durban, South Africa|
|Keywords||Dismantling, Integrated e-Waste Management, MRF, refurbishing|
|Abstract||E-waste is currently the fastest growing waste stream in South Africa as well as in many other African countries. Informal collectors, dismantlers and recyclers based in Africa play an increasingly larger role in the processing of e-waste under generally unacceptable social and environmental conditions. |
In direct response to this trend, and as part of Hewlett Packard’s international Extended Producer Responsibility, the project “e-Waste Management in Africa” was started in 2007 in cooperation with the Global Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa). This project is investigating the e-Waste situation in various African Countries, including South Africa, while actively supporting the development of practical, socially just and environmentally acceptable local e-waste management solutions.
To this end, the project has been funding the development of a pilot project in Cape Town, South Africa since February 2008, supporting the start-up of a low tech/highly labour intensive material dismantling and recovery facility (MRF) for the pre-processing of e-waste.
The aim is to test the feasibility of an integrated value adding local e-Waste management system, designed to maximize the potential of refurbishment, repair, reuse, dismantling and recycling of equipment, with environmentally responsible disposal as a last resort only. The project also seeks to incorporate the current informal e-waste processing activities, by transforming them into sustainable and environmentally sound operations.
The MRF acts as a nucleus, raising awareness, and providing training and education to previously disadvantaged individuals as a means of creating opportunities for entrepreneurship in the technical maintenance, dismantling and waste-to-art project sectors.
This study presents an analysis of the implementation of the MRF, presenting quantitative massflow data, financial numbers and social indicators as well as challenges and opportunities encountered in each phase. It will propose a blueprint concept for the sustainable instalment of MRFs into the specific environment of developing countries.