Electrical and electronic wastes from Damaged computers, mobile phones and electronic gadgets can now be put to good use again in Rwanda as a recycling and dismantling facility in Bugesera District in the Eastern Province has come on stream.
In June 2014, $1.5 million (about Rwf 1.26 billion) was invested by the Rwanda Green Fund in a project aimed at recycling and dismantling electronic wastes. This facility will help reduce the harmful effect caused by electronic wastes to human and the environment. Some of the waste materials will be recycled while others will be dismantled.
Olivier Mbera, the programme project manager under the ministry of Trade, Industry and EAC affairs (MINEACOM), said the Rwf 1.26 billion facility seeks to proffer annihilation to electronic and electrical waste while preventing a negative impact of electronic wastes on the health or the environment once the equipment has become junk. It’s also a means of strengthening the country’s economy by creating green jobs for youths, women and people with disabilities.
Benefits Of Facility To Government
According to Mbera, survey showed that Rwanda has an annual production possibility of between 10,000 tonnes and 15,000 tonnes of electronic wastes. This figure is expected to increase at a CARG rate of almost 6% due to the high demand of electronic and electrical equipment within the country.
Apart from providing a more conducive environment, the new facility which is the first of its kind in the country is expected to help the Government save billions of francs once electronic wastes are dismantled and recycled for reprocessing.
The project was funded mainly by the National Climate Change and Environment Fund (FONERWA), and also by other agencies which includes the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Rwanda Development Board.
The facility is said to dismantle and recycle over 15 types of electronic and electrical equipments (EEE) which includes: personal computers, printers, mobile phones, photocopying machines, television sets, air conditioners, washing machines, car batteries, dry cell batteries, stabilizers, refrigerators and electric cooking stoves. After six months of operation, the facility had collected 120 tonnes of electronic waste, recycled 400 computers, and stopped 279 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emission.
Electronic wastes comprises of different components varying from metals to plastic to aluminum and so on. Plastics are crushed and washed to enable them to be reused by industries, metals are crushed and compiled and used by steel manufacturing companies, while circuit boards, for printed circuits, will be sold to smelting factories to be recovered and reused.