Firm partners scavengers on e-waste processing

Nigeria’s foremost electronic waste recycling facility in Lagos, Hinckley Recycling has begun training of the informal sector, especially scavengers in the process of handling e-waste.

The informal sector consists of scavengers and scrap dealers buying electronic waste from households and companies premises. They recover value from the e-waste using crude methods, which result in harm to themselves and the environment.

E-waste-connected health risks may result from direct contact with harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), from inhalation of toxic fumes, as well as from accumulation of chemicals in soil, water and food.

Last week, Hinckley Recycling teamed up with the Association of Vendors for Used Electronic and Allied Products for the training of its members, the first batch of the scavengers had a one-week practical training on methods to dismantle and handle e-waste.

The Manager Director, Hinckley Group, Mr. Adrian Clews said the disposal of this equipment at end-of-life poses a challenge to the environment and the country at large.

He explained that hazardous fractions common in e-waste include mercury, lead and cadmium all of which can be fatal to human health. According to him, these hazardous fractions need to be extracted and related responsibly by a formal recycler.

E-waste consists of all sorts of electronics ranging from computers and mobile phones, to household electronics such as food processors, pressure, cookers, computers, televisions, videocassette recorder, stereos, copiers and fax machines.

Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled. Hence, the proper and responsible recycling of the E-waste is receiving a considerable amount of attention by the environmental agencies.

Hinckley is liaising with some Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to ensure that some of these unwanted, non-working or obsolete products, which may pose health and environmental hazards to humans, livestock and ecology, are properly managed. The company provides recycling services, asset redeployment, internal office recycling, data destruction and charity donation programmes.

Clews said that Hinckley is combating the problem of informal recycling of electronics that has caused untold harm to the health of Nigerians and the environment through the training of scavengers.

He also disclosed that blood tests are being carried out on some of the scavengers to ascertain if their dealings with dangerous chemicals have health implications.

He advised government agencies to provide a control on the informal sector and develop the framework for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Nigeria.

The association President, Mr. Ifeanyi Maduagwu lauded the company for providing such opportunity, and appealed that other government agencies should emulate their kind gesture.

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E-waste
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