A framework for the re-use, recycling and disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment: the South African case
In this thesis, A framework for the re-use, recycling and disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment: The South African case, the researcher did an investigation on current practices in South Africa dealing with e-waste from the household sector in urban areas. E-waste is all electrical and electronic equipment that has come to the end of their life, and it is the fastest growing waste stream globally. The concern related to e-waste is that toxic elements are released if the waste end up in landfills or is exposed to the elements of nature. In South Africa around 360 000 tons of e-waste is generated yearly of which only 10 to 15% is recycled. No model exists for South Africa to deal with the e-waste problem and the researcher took on the study to address the issue. A mixed methods study was conducted in which a survey was conducted amongst 522 South African consumers and 20 industry stakeholders were interviewed. The study amongst consumers revealed that convenience, a positive attitude towards e-waste recycling, and environmental awareness were the biggest contributors to recycle e-waste. The biggest drivers to achieve success are however not supported, and through the research, solutions could be identified and proposals were made to address the shortcomings. The interviews revealed how the problem can be addressed from the point where electronic devices enter the borders up to the disposal stage. A framework has been developed during the study which will address financial aspects, collection initiatives, transportation, new recycling facility setup, and the overall management of the whole process. The study revealed that the South African Government must introduce dedicated e-waste legislation, but the management of the system must be done by a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) which involves different stakeholders. The stakeholders will ensure there is transparency and a corruption free system. It is the wish of the researcher that Government seriously consider the proposals captured in the framework before South Africa drowns in e-waste.
- Engineering