E-waste requires highly specialised handling procedures due to the hazardous or otherwise high-value nature of some components

E-waste requires highly specialised handling procedures due to the hazardous or otherwise high-value nature of some components

An electronic waste recycling start-up, based in the Propella Business Incubator in the Eastern Cape, aims to be one of the first companies on the continent to fully recycle electronic waste (e-waste).

Propella is a partnership between the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, the Industrial Development Corporation and the private sector and is focused on generating renewable energy.

“Should we receive our required funding we will be the first electronic waste plant in Africa to have an end-to-end zero-to-landfill facility,” says Enrico Vermaak of eWaste Technologies Africa.

E-waste statistics

According to the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, e-waste makes up five to eight percent of municipal solid waste in South Africa and is growing at a rate three times faster than any other form of waste.

eWaste Technologies Africa moved into the Propella advanced manufacturing hub in April this year.

“Being housed in Propella has given us the opportunity to have our warehouse, research and development facilities and office space all located in one building, which is a massive benefit to us,” he says.

Seeing the gap in the market for what the minister identified as a lack of recycling infrastructure, eWaste Technologies Africa was set up to dispose of electronic waste.

Funding

“We have secured Research and Development funding that has allowed us to procure entry-level electronic waste recycling equipment, and are working with world leaders in the field of electronic waste recycling, as well as chemical engineering and process consultants, to establish a one-of-a-kind facility in Port Elizabeth,” he says.

Value-added services include on-site data destruction, data sanitation and asset management. The company currently has four full-time employees, and sees potential for more job creation as it grows.

Source: News24