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The challenge: e-waste is a growing problem globally

E-waste is an ever-growing problem across the world. Because of the quick introduction of new electronics to the global market, many people discard electronic devices after only a few years of use.

Each year, the total amount of electric and electronic equipment the world uses grows by at least 2.5 million tonnes. In 2019 alone, the world generated 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste. That’s about 7.3 kilograms per person and equivalent in weight to 350 cruise ships. By 2030, the global total could swell to 74.7 million tonnes, almost a doubling of the annual amount of new e-waste in just 16 years. Discarded electric and electronic products are forming the fastest growing domestic waste stream worldwide.
Growing global demand is outpacing our capacity to recycle or dispose of electronic products safely. Once they’re obsolete and discarded, these products can end up accumulating in the environment, polluting habitats and harming people and wildlife.

The solution: responsibly recycling e-waste

From 23 August 2021, it is illegal to dispose of all types of electrical and electronic waste to landfill in South Africa. This means that companies must partner with a licensed recycler of electronic waste equipment to be compliant.

AST Recycling is committed to making an impact in Africa and tackling a growing problem of e-waste. Its mission is to contribute to the circular economy and zero-waste future that is cleaner, brighter and more sustainable for all.

AST Recycling is committed to the Three R’s – Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. In fact, it’s one of their core values. The company is focused on achieving sustainability through the life cycle of equipment, increasing usable life, and offering responsible recycling solutions at the end of life.

All e-waste is recycled in an environmentally responsible way at their certified recycling facility in Johannesburg.

Contributing to a sustainable future

AST Recycling embodies the social entrepreneurship empowerment model by providing local entrepreneurs with the opportunity to earn a sustainable  income through supplying its buyback centre, located at the head office in Johannesburg. 

Many of AST Recycling’s larger suppliers provide this same opportunity in other provincial and local regions across South Africa and into Africa. Through job creation and enterprise development, AST Recycling aims to create and transition a network of larger and smaller businesses to contribute to a circular economy.

AST Recycling is proud to have many customers  who own and operate sustainable small businesses, allowing them to support their families within economically marginalised communities, underprivileged areas, and rural areas. 

Engaged in the circular economy

IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) is an integral part of IT equipment life cycle. Ever-changing technology drives many businesses to purchase new servers, PCs, laptops and other devices even though the old ones are still in working order. The AST Recycling team collects electronic waste from organisations and transports it to a recycling facility – where it will be repurposed, repaired or recycled as agreed.

Donated ICT material that is still in working order is refurbished and either sold as pre-owned, or donated to schools, educational programmes and community upliftment programmes. All refurbished and dismantled products have data sanitization done on the data storage media using bespoke data sanitization software, rendering all data beyond forensic recovery, thus helping both AST and it’s client to remain fully compliant with the PoPI Act and GDPR regulations as applicable.

AST Recycling offers a secure and environmentally friendly management of end-of-life IT assets in line with local and Global standards. The company professionally manages IT asset management  techniques that are vital to perform zero error standard in data handling and, data breach, and data leak prevention.

AST Recycling uses an approved software driven  data sanitisation solution which overwrites the data three times and then provides a certificate of sanitisation, confirming that any data previously saved on those drives is beyond forensic recovery and also rendering the hard drives safe for re-use.  The solution offered by AST is compliant with the International NIST 800-88 standard as well  the United States Department of Defence standard for data sanitisation, DOD 5220.22-M, which means it’s acceptable for military-grade sanitisation. The solution offered is conducted following our  ISO 27001 certified processesa dn procedures.

AST Recycling also has an initiative to help members of the public responsibly recycle their household e-waste. To help curb the surge of e-waste and promote the effective recycling of electronics in South Africa, AST Recycling has partnered with hardware chain Leroy Merlin and has  rolled out the installation of e-waste recycling bins at all four of the DIY retailer’s stores in Gauteng. The AST e-waste bin is custom designed to securely contain the e-waste until the bin is full, at which point AST recycling collects the contents for responsible recycling.


E-waste recycling bins

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