As we celebrated International E-Waste Day this week, the objective was to promote the correct disposal of electronic equipment to enable the reuse and responsible recycling of the items.
It is estimated that 50 million tonnes of e-waste is produced each year, left unchecked this could more than double to 74.5 tonnes by 2030 and 120 million tonnes by 2050. Half of this is personal devices such as computers, screens, smartphones, tablets and TVs, with the remainder being larger household appliances, heating and cooling equipment.
We are all guilty of having a draw or cupboard filled with old, broken or unwanted electronics like decoders, modems, play stations, kettles and cell phones just waiting to be given a new life. We should ensure that our e-waste doesn't go to landfill, as this causes environmental problems like leaching into the water table and toxins being released into our atmosphere.
The level of e-waste recycling in South Africa is extremely low, with 6 kg to 7 kg per year of e-waste generated for every South African citizen. This equates to only 7% to 12% of this volume being collected and recycled formally. As part of the initiative to create awareness around electronic waste and responsible recycling, AST Recycling collected all of the old and broken computers of Tswelelopele Secondary School and donated new and refurbished computers to upgrade the school’s computer centre, which were received from some of the corporate clients.
This kind of donation not only equips the learners with technology that assists their learning and development but allows them the opportunity to connect with the world. We need to take care of our people and our planet if we are to be part of the change.
We encourage not only the learners of the school but the community at large to be part of the solution and not the pollution. Rethink your relationship with electronics. Reuse, Reduce and Recycle your old, broken and unwanted e-waste. AST Recycling collects our e-waste and it’s as easy as booking a collection on their website www.astrecycling.co.za .