According to United Relations report, the world production of e-waste rises 8 percent by weight in every 2 years as incomes rise, and prices fall. In 2016, we threw away 44.7 million metric tons of everything from end-of-life refrigerators and television sets to solar panels, mobile phones and computers, up by 3.3 Million metric tons from 2014.
The demand for smart and sustainable technology is going to affect the daily output of our cities especially with the lack of appropriate legislation on e-waste management.
On average, Kenya’s six cities and major towns – Nairobi, Kisumu, Thika, Nakuru, Mombasa and Eldoret – generate 6,000 tonnes of waste daily. However, only 3,962 tonnes are collected, according to the National Environmental Complaints Committee report released in June last year.
The illegal dumping of waste causes complications especially when inappropriate methods like open burning, which is not future-oriented, are used by the informal sector to recover valuable materials, bringing heavy impacts on human health and the environment.
This products emit hazardous materials such as lead in circuit boards or cathode ray tube glass, mercury in liquid crystal display (LCD) backlights, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame-retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the accumulation of chemicals in soil, water and food. Inhalation of toxic fumes from reagents such as cyanide or other strong leaching acids to extract rare earth metals, copper and gold also cause health issues.
“Most Kenyans are unaware that there appropriate ways of getting rid of their electronic materials whether it’s a fridge, a smartphone or washing machine. Mountains of e-waste are indeed growing across the globe, but this waste can be turned into a valuable resource that will protect human health and ensure humanity uses the planet’s increasingly strained resources,” LG’s East Africa Marketing Manager, Moses Marji.
LG offers a customized e-waste take-back & recycling service that meets needs and requirements in the countries where e-waste regulations are in place, and provide product and packaging take-back & recycling service voluntarily.
The products’ recyclability at the design step using LG’s recyclability evaluation tool, with the goal of improving recyclability where practicable. Through these activities, LG seeks to contribute to conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.
According to the United Nations, urban areas will house 60 per cent of people globally and one in every three people will live in cities. Our very own Konza city holds great promise, with the ‘African Silicon Savanna’ driven as a first-class tech innovation hub.