E-waste recycling centre launched in Nairobi

An electronic waste recycling centre has been launched in Nairobi as part of efforts to deal with the problem of disposing of toxic computers and printers and other e-waste material and to raise awareness of the environmental impact of dumping ICT equipment.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Management (WEE) centre was established by British charity Computer Aid International in partnership with Computers for Schools Kenya.

The centre will begin by collecting recyclable e-waste from government offices before extending its recycling programme to include homes and private business premises.

The recycling teams will also collect electrical equipment from major landfill sites such as Dandora in the eastern Nairobi suburb of Embakasi. One of the challenges facing the recyclers is how to deal with the criminal gangs operating at Dandora, where they extort money from all vehicles that enter the site.

In Africa, obsolete computers are generally disposed of in landfills, where they are dismantled for spare parts by people who expose the environment and themselves to grave health risks.