HP recently announced that the East African Computer Recycling (EACR) IT e-waste recycling facility in Mombasa is operational. The EACR centre was established by HP and Irish NGO Camara Education to create a sustainable IT E-waste recycling industry in Africa. The aim is to recycle end-of-life IT from Local businesses.
The benefits provided by this facility include jobs creation being the economic benefit and also environmental and health bundled in. E-waste is a growing problem in Kenya and other parts of Africa, and an issue that businesses, NGOs, the public sector and IT vendors need to work together to address. According to Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority, each year the country generates 3,000 tonnes of electronic waste.
The EACR facility receives end-of-life IT from Camara Education’s schools, business and public sector customers as well as from the informal sector in Kenya. Operating to international health, safety and environmental standards, the EACR centre dismantles and separates end-of-life products into their different parts, including plastics and metals. Components requiring more complex recycling processes are sent to facilities that have the technology needed to retrieve the valuable resources.
The EACR centre has already collected IT from more than 100 customers, and in the past month alone has processed nearly eight tonnes of IT from Kenyan businesses and informal collection schemes. A single customer, an international petroleum company with offices in Kenya is set to deliver eight tonnes of IT waste. Regional business clients already using the facility also include Bamburi Cement. The EACR centre’s long-term aim is to capture up to 20 percent of IT e-waste in Kenya.
Currently HP runs IT recycling projects in more than 50 countries across the world. Through the HP Planet Partners return and recycling programme, launched in 1987, the company has a corporate goal to recycle 900,000 tonnes of hardware and HP print cartridges globally by 2011. To date 884,000 tonnes have been recycled and more than 186,000 tonnes have been reused.