E-waste collection drive concludes in Benin

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Ericsson to showcase best performing networks at AfricaCom 2018.
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MTN and Ericsson remain committed to ensuring that the growing consciousness of the environmental impact of e-waste achieved during this campaign be nurtured. (Image Source: cnbc.com)

MTN and Ericsson’s electrical and electronic equipment waste (e-waste) collection and awareness drive in Benin has ended. According to both companies more than 20 tons of e-waste was collected.

The campaign was geared towards creating awareness about the importance of minimising the potential environmental impact associated with the disposal of decommissioned electrical and electronic equipment in the country.

Though the close of the project means that the 20 foot container located at Stade de l’Amitié of Kouhounou has been shut down, MTN and Ericsson stated that they remain committed to ensuring that the growing consciousness of the environmental impact of e-waste achieved during this campaign be nurtured. Hence, both companies are investigating the possibility with the government and other stakeholders of developing a long term process to manage e-waste more sustainably in Benin.

Malik Melamu, MTN Benin CEO: “This initiative was not only geared towards sensitising the public on the detriments of e-waste, but to empower them to do something about it by taking advantage of the 20 foot container to dispose of their own e-waste. In partnering with Ericsson and the government to show individuals and organisations that something could be done about limiting the impact of e-waste in our country, we have stirred up an impactful conversation whose results have far-reaching positive consequences for the future. We are pleased to be a part of this.”

Slated to last a month, the collection period was extended to enable more individuals and organisations do the right thing and properly dispose of these items. Led by MTN, some of the organisations that participated include Canal plus, Diamond Bank, UNICEF, PNUD, SGS, SCB and Top Ingetract.

All collected e-waste has been transported to the Ericsson approved recycling partner in Durban, South Africa. The revenue from materials did not fully cover cost of transport and materials handling. Securing proper and safe recycling is key and part of Ericsson global requirements and we will not risk it by using unproven partners or processes.

Zunaid Hoosen, Country Manager, Ericsson Benin: “At Ericsson, our ambition is to be a responsible and relevant driver of positive change in the Networked Society. Helping to create a new positive culture in how the general public handles and disposes e-waste is the sort of change we like to see. We are appreciative of our partnership with MTN. This partnership has ensured the viability of the E-waste initiative in Benin. The success of this pilot has demonstrated vast opportunities such a project can have in the region. We are now exploring other opportunities across sub-Saharan Africa to replicate this success, thus limiting the environmental impact of e-waste across the region.”

Globally, Ericsson provides product retrieval and safe disposal services for equipment that have reached its shelf life, as part the company’s extended producer responsibility. Ericsson offers the program to all customers, guaranteeing that this e-waste does not end up in trade-restricted areas, landfill, or in places where unethical business practices are taking place.

Staff Writer