September 3, 2014

Kenyans Recycle E-Waste

We love sharing stories about e-waste from not only in our state and our country, but also around the world. Today we’re bringing attention to the current battle against e-waste in Machakos, Kenya, which is an industrial area located outside the capital of Kenya.

It is here that workers gather to dismantle and disassemble e-waste that is deemed hazardous and has been collected from across the world. They are dismantling some of the world’s approximate 50 million metric tons of e-waste from last year!

According to the AP article discussing this Kenyan factory, the sheer amount of e-waste generated on a global scale this past year was enough to fill a hundred Empire State Buildings. That comes out to a rough amount of 15 pounds for every human alive, according to the U.N. Environmental Program!

As we know, a lot of this e-waste ends up being exported to developing countries such as Kenya. Before, it would often sadly end up in a landfill or would get burned, causing hazardous materials like lead, arsenic and mercury to be released and pollute the environment.

Now, doing their part, Kenyans are guarding against that. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta signed regulations that require the electronics to be disposed of at government-licensed facilities that uphold standards in the international community. Further, more in-depth regulations that will likely be written into an environmental act are still on the table as Kenyan leaders continue to work on them.

Electronic Recycling

In the meantime, the less fortunate in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, collect these e-waste materials for dismantling. They help out the environment a great deal while scraping together a little money in the process.

Vintage Tech applauds East African Compliant Recycling, the name of the company doing all the dismantling in Machakos. Since beginning business at only the end of last year, they already have gathered and sold over 130,000 pounds of e-waste.

The East African Compliant Recycling company funds itself by selling the e-waste to countries that are then able to isolate all of the precious metals and minerals within the electronics so they can be reused.

For more cool topics and stories regarding e-waste and responsible recycling, continue to check out our blog!