E-waste collection & recycling
Closing the Loop
Working with local people & partners to collect end-of-life scrap phones in African countries lacking recycling infrastructure. This ensures the e-waste is properly collected locally and shipped to certified recycling facilities. There is no damaging impact from e-waste building up in landfill and the reusable materials like gold and silver are circulated back - as for example a source for jewellery. It also creates local jobs.
Why did we choose this project?
The explosion of e-waste is having dire consequences. Wealthy countries transport most of their electronics to poorer ones, where it ends up as e-waste in landfill and as it breaks down, harmful chemicals are released, often finding their way into the water supply. The value of the metals contained in the electronics means that locals, often women and children, attempt to recover even the smallest amount of a precious metal by hand using toxic chemicals. We need to move to a circular economy – that is, one where we use less, and we reuse more.
How does it work?
Pinwheel members’ funding facilitates the collection of end-of-life scrap phones in Africa. The electronics are then properly recycled locally or shipped to certified recycling facilities. The projects also see people in Africa engaged in profitable and useful jobs, including entrepreneurs setting up small collecting companies and students working to pay for education. More than 2,000 people have been employed through this work.
How do we know it's working?
We have real confidence in Closing the Loop – they have many years of experience in e-waste collection in Africa, where they have prevented almost 3 million scrap phones from ending up in e-waste dumps. The TCO Certified framework is an independent validation of how they work as an Approved Collector and is recognised by governments and NGOs.
Verified by Pinwheel
28 Feb 2021
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