Namibians continue to recycle e-waste

09 June 2021 | Technology


Namibia continues to recycle old and obsolete electronics, also known as e-waste.
2020 saw many businesses close down, cease operations and reduce output due to Covid-19.
However, local recycling joint-venture NamiGreen, has seen an increased interest in recycling of e-waste, with 26% more e-waste received and recycled than in 2019.
The total amount of e-waste recycled reached 135 220kg, or the equivalent of 13 500 desktop computers not ending in landfills.
NamiGreen chief executive Per Hansen explained that an increased awareness on recycling throughout Namibia, great service, availability, and professional handling of e-waste is attractive to their clients.
“Many residents and organizations, private or public, literally have garages, rooms, hallways and even containers filled with old electronics, computers, and IT-equipment that they no longer use. Essentially, the equipment is just taking up valuable floor space that could be used for better purposes. That is where NamiGreen comes in - we offer our clients a free collection service in Windhoek and Walvis Bay, and depending on the amount of e-waste, we usually finish the job in a day or two.”

Importance
Before e-waste recycling operations started in Namibia, the practice was to chuck old electronic gadgets and devices in the bin, which means landfilling the devices.
The problem is that most electronic gadgets and devices contain hazardous materials that can cause harm to our sensitive eco-systems, to our human and animal health as well as pollute drinking and fishing waters if the electronics are not recycled properly.
According to Hansen, NamiGreen has seen a growing concern for the Namibian environment amongst residents and organizations in Namibia.
“Many people and organizations congratulate us on doing something for the environment, and that we also create jobs from something that would otherwise end up in the trash.”

Dampened growth
Despite 2020 being the best year in the history of e-waste recycling in Namibia, 2021 is forecasted to have a more relaxed growth.
Many businesses had to close in 2020, and 2021 offers a high degree of uncertainty in terms of job creation and business start-ups.
NamiGreen says that they are seeing the impact of these challenges now but offer consolation that it is not the first time that Namibia has seen hard times.
According to Hansen, an increased awareness from society, increased governmental focus and the work of organizations like Recycle Namibia Forum all help put a focus on e-waste issues.
For more information about e-waste recycling, visit https://www.namigreen.com

Fact box
•NamiGreen is a joint venture between Transworld Cargo in Namibia and Danish PEHANSEN, founded in 2018. It has roots dating back to 2013 when the initiative was started by Transworld Cargo under the name Transworld Cargo E-waste.
•E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world, according to the United Nations.
•According to the UN, 80% of all e-waste generated annually on a global scale, is not recycled.
•More than 55.6 million metric tons of e-waste was generated globally in 2019 (latest figures). In 2030, this is forecasted to reach 70 million metric tons annually according to the UN.
•The continent with the highest recycling rate is Europe, recycling 35% of all its e-waste. Asia comes in 2nd at 22%, the Americas at 17% and Oceania at 6%. Africa only recycles around 0.5% (UN).


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