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Recycling station to address SA’s rising e-waste tide

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 19 Mar 2021

To deal with the challenge of electronic waste (e-waste), AST Recycling has set up an e-waste recycling station at Jackal Creek Golf Estate in Roodepoort, Johannesburg.

This, as the world marked Global Recycling Day yesterday.

Challenges in responsibly disposing of digital and tech devices are well-documented, andbased on the past global e-waste assessment reports, the situation continues to be a hurdle for many countries.

Data from the International Telecommunication Union shows the African continent recycles less than 0.1% of electronic waste.

E-waste recycling company AST Recycling is confident the recycling bin at Jackal Creek will be the first of many stations that will be set up nationally.

According to the firm, people want to recycle e-waste but they don’t know where to go to dispose of it.

In addition, e-waste recycling drop-off points have to be close and convenient for people to use them, it notes.

Before the e-waste recycling bin at Jackal Creek was set up, estate manager Johann van Niekerk says he received a number of requests from among the estate’s 5 000 residents for a recycling solution.

Van Niekerk engaged with AST Recycling, which then launched the e-waste recycling bin on the grounds of the golf estate.

“The Jackal Creek estate management association cares about the environment that we all live in and we are pleased to be part of any initiative that can contribute to making the world a better place,” he says. “We identified a need for an e-waste solution and, together with our other efforts to recycle paper and glass, this project will have a positive benefit for our environment.”

The AST e-waste bin is custom-designed to securely contain the waste until the bin is full. Once it is full, the recycling company will send a truck to collect the contents.

Rodney Peters, head of IT asset disposal recycling, says there’s a huge gap in the market for recycling e-waste. “People know and understand that it’s important to recycle and properly dispose of potentially harmful electronic components, but finding a recycling point is nearly impossible. So we’re working on getting other estates involved, along with office parks and shopping centres.

“Another aspect that holds people back from recycling their e-waste is that they have concerns about data security, even when the machine is defunct or has been erased.”

According to AST Recycling, it has ensured its e-waste bins are completely secure. “Once the electronic devices or components are brought in for recycling, they are subjected to full data sanitisation, so that no information contained on them falls into the wrong hands. All hard drives are destroyed – never to be reused.”

Peters believes that providing a countrywide e-waste recycling solution will contribute to reducing waste in landfills and reducing environmental harm.

“By making it easy to recycle electronics, we believe the environmental damage from this waste stream will be mitigated.”