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Big lift for Kenya’s e-cycling

Kenya – East Africa Compliant Recycling is getting ready to kick off sustainable e-cycling in Nairobi, Kenya. IT equipment leader Dell has come forward to help create the regulatory model for the plant tailored for developing countries which has been hailed as the ‘region’s first large-scale e-scrap recycling facility’.

According to Dell, shipping container-housed collection points scattered across Kenya are ‘at the heart of the business model’. Each collection point functions as its own independent small business, purchasing e-scrap from trained individual collectors. Four such collection points have already been established – two funded by Dell – with at least 40 more planned.

Once a shipping container is filled to capacity, its contents are resold to the main hub in Nairobi where the e-scrap will be processed into material fractions and sold back to the technology industry. ‘Each stage of the model is designed to be profitable for participants, from individual collector to collection point to hub,’ Dell states.

It is hoped the project will create thousands of jobs at the facility and across supporting logistics and collection networks. The idea is that the many waste-pickers crowding the informal e-scrap sector will be transformed into legitimately-compensated e-scrap collectors via special education programmes covering safety and other relevant topics.

Another Dell-sponsored project launched in November has already enabled a group of women from Nairobi’s Mukuru slums to purchase and resell waste. In its first two weeks, women participating in the venture collected 1.5 containers of e-waste which was resold to the new recycling hub.

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