e-Waste should not be discarded in the general municipal waste stream, but should go to verified e-waste disposal points, say the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa, IWMSA, and the e-Waste Association of South Africa, eWasa.
The industry encourages business and private users to take used electronic, electrical and ‘white goods’ equipment waste to any of 24 collection points to be safely refurbished, dismantled or recycled.
“e-Waste is anything that uses electricity or a battery and is no longer needed. This includes unwanted equipment such as computers, printers, fax machines, cell phones, toasters, microwave ovens, cabling, ink and toner cartridges, or any other electrical or electronic goods or direct parts thereof.
“Everything in the home or at work that is driven by electricity, including battery operated items, falls into this category”, explained Lene Ecroignard, eWasa research and development expert.
“People often hold onto e-waste, even if they are no longer using it, because it has a perceived value,” says Jonathan Shamrock, vice chairperson of the IWMSA Central Branch. “These items create clutter and could be put to better use if refurbished or recycled”.
e-Waste drop-off points on 19 November are;
• Ekurhuleni Germiston Makro
• Ekurnuleni Boksburg Hi-Fi Corporation
• Flora Farm Nursery
• Hartebees Mall
• Holy Rosary School
• Jhb Fourways Hi-Fi Corporation
• Jhb Randburg Multichoice
• Jhb south Crown Mines Makro
• Jhb Woodmead Hi-Fi Corporation
• Jhb Woodmead Makro
• Midrand Vodaworld
• Midrand, Africa e-Waste office
• Pretoria Centurion Makro
• Pretoria Centurion Pick n Pay Hyper
• Pretoria Kolonnade Mall Incredible Connection
• Pretoria Kolonnade Retail Park
• Pretoria Moreleta NG Church
• Pretoria Rooihuiskraal Veterinary Clinic
• Pretoria Silver Lakes Maktro
• Pretoria Wonderboom Makro
• Randburg Clearwater mall Hi-Fi Corporation
• Roodepoort Struben’s Valley Makro
• Stoneridge Hi-Fi Corporation
• The Glen Hi-Fi Corporation
* Pick n Pay branches all accept used CFL bulbs, batteries, and printer cartridges, but not other e-waste.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. Toxic or hazardous substances in electronic waste are typically heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium and iron.
Most e-waste in Africa goes either to landfill, where it eventually pollutes soil and groundwater, or is ‘cherry-picked’ for one or two components, while the rest is landfilled or illegallyl dumped.
South Africa’s Waste Act encourages waste reduction, re-use and recycling, and provides for penalties against dumping. Electroincs and computing suppliers are increasing their e-waste management efforts in anticipation of compulsory take-back measures.
Electronics also contain small amounts of gold, silver, copper, platinum and precious metals from a finite supply, along with plastic, leaded monitor glass. Hazardous waste should be kept out of general landfills, says eWASA chairperson Keith Anderson. IWMSA and eWASA plan further e-waste collection drives in Gauteng.