10 Jun 2013 09:50
By Etuna Shikalepo
WINDHOEK, 10 JUN (NAMPA) ? The electronic waste recycling and disposal function of the City of Windhoek (CoW) is now ready for roll-out to its full potential.
Electronic waste, e-waste, e-scrap or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) describes discarded electrical or electronic devices.
The City announced last month during its Council meeting that the entire system will be at minimal cost to the CoW as Transworld Cargo will be responsible for all expenses pertaining to the collection, containment and transportation of waste and recyclables created in the operation.
The Kupferberg landfill site located on the western outskirts of Windhoek is only fit for the disposal of general and hazardous waste in the capital.
Transworld Cargo (Pty) Ltd. is a Namibian forwarding company which recycles e-waste in the city by collecting it, dismantling it and marketing the recyclable products.
The company will collect it free of charge from bulk e-waste generators in the capital.
Transworld Cargo's Manager for Business and Organisational Development, Frank Gschwender told Nampa on Monday that the e-waste project has already been piloted, and is now ready for roll-out.
?E-waste processing is very labour-intensive, and our experience confirms international practices that every two tonnes of e-waste continuously collected creates one job in the dismantling sector alone, with additional employment effects up- and downstream,? he noted.
Gschwender said the Windhoek-based dismantling and material recovery facility allows for the dismantling of electrical/electronic devices, and its sorting into valuable and non-valuable components.
This requires practical experience and material know-how, and is an interesting technical job which provides new insights into electronic items used on a daily basis.
Gschwender stressed that dismantling jobs are complemented upstream and downstream, especially in storage, transport and trading businesses.
Unfortunately, the whole recycling process is not yet taking place inside the country as the local recycling industry is still in its infant stages.
A considerable part of the dismantled material needs to be exported to specialised recyclers outside the country, such as neighbouring South Africa.
?However, even within the initial stages of the project, we realised an increasing interest of local businesses in engaging in local recycling. There are ample opportunities for local entrepreneurs to explore new business fields, and thus to increase the local value-addition,? he noted.
So far, there is no firm data on e-waste available in Namibia.
Gschwender nonetheless said it can be estimated that between 1 500 to 2 000 tonnes per annum are produced on a national level, and between 300 and 500 tonnes annually in Windhoek.
70 to 80 per cent of those volumes can be recycled, with the remainder eventually to go to the landfill.