Samsung Electronics South Africa announced a partnership with key industry stakeholders on a recycling initiative that will educate consumers on e-recycling and the disposing of electronic goods in an environmentally responsible manner.
This partnership will ensure that customers can easily recycle their electronic products by visiting one of 18 Makro retail stores across South Africa and using the Desco/Samsung recycling bins located at the entrance of the stores.
Items that can be recycled include: mobile phones, IT equipment and household appliances. The reason for this is that there is a rise in volumes of electronic waste with a growing need to ensure these items do not end up in landfills. The recycling campaign aims to collect an estimated 3 tons per month, per bin, during the campaign period.
A significant part of this new recycling initiative is that it will ultimately lead towards job creation in the green economy – as the greater volumes of e-waste require processing the recycle plant at Desco, therefore leading to more employment at its e-waste management facility. Furthermore, as demand for e-waste recycling grows, more opportunities will be generated to support independent recycling companies.
1. 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.
2. Global figures predict that the average person produces roughly 12kg of e-waste annually.
3. Only 10-15% of this is recycled worldwide while the remaining 85% is sent to landfill or is incinerated.
4. Currently between 200 000 and 400 000 tons of e-waste is generated annually in South Africa.
5. Desco is the largest specialist e-waste recycler in SA and processes around 5 000 tons per year, which means that a very large percentage ends up in storage or even worse, landfill.
6. SA e-waste management companies only recycle around 25 000 tons per annum at present, or between 9% and 12% of what is generated.
7. Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver.
8. A large number of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.
9. It takes 244kg of fossil fuel, 22kg of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor.
10. Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes, LCD desktop monitors, LCD televisions, Plasma televisions, Portable DVD players with LCD screens.