All set for e-Waste Collection Day

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The average person produces roughly 12kg of electronic waste (e-waste) annually and only 10% to 15% of this is recycled worldwide, while the remaining 85% is sent to landfills or is incinerated.

This is according to figures from the e-Waste Association of SA (eWasa).

In an attempt to better handle this e-waste, the association is calling on the public to recycle their unused electronics on e-Waste Collection Day this Saturday. The recycling initiative was established in 2008 to offer a sustainable and environmentally sound e-waste management system for the country.

Any products that run on electricity or batteries become e-waste at the end of their life cycles and need to be disposed of in a specific manner.

eWasa has partnered with Makro, Incredible Connection, Pick n Pay and Hifi Corporation stores countrywide to offer drop-off points where the public can bring their unwanted electronics to be refurbished, dismantled or recycled.

While e-waste is toxic if handled and discarded improperly, it can be valuable when used as a secondary raw material, eWasa says.

And one man's junk can most certainly become another's treasure, as is demonstrated by the work of Kodjo Afate Gnikou, a 33-year-old inventor from Togo, who is using e-waste found in a scrapyard in his local community to build a fully functioning 3D printer. His creation is the first 3D printer to be built from e-waste and has earned Gnikou NASA's International Space Apps Challenge award.

Those looking to safely dispose of their outdated electronics can visit the eWasa Web site, which lists drop-off zones in all areas.

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