Dell funds collection sites of East Africa’s first e-waste hub
IT giant Dell is funding two collection sites for the first large-scale e-waste recycling facility in East Africa and has plans for 40 more.
The opening of the East Africa Compliant Recycling in Nairobi marks the introduction of a new regulatory model tailored for developing countries. The model was developed by Kenyan officials and representatives from non-governmental organisations and the IT and e-recycling industries and requires electronics companies to meet certain thresholds for e-waste collection and treatment.
Other African nations have monitored the development of new regulatory model, with a view to replicating the approach.
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 businesses, 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 is 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 programmes to educate workers on the safe collection and recycling of e-waste.
Jean Cox-Kearns, Director of Compliance, Dell Takeback, commented: “It is so exciting to see this sustainable model be implemented on the ground in Nairobi, creating green jobs and implementing a solution that deals with e-waste being generated both in Kenya and the greater East African Region, and providing environmentally sound management of e-waste collected.”