The global surge in technology adoption has brought about numerous benefits, but it has also led to a concerning rise in illegal e-waste dumping. This dangerous practice not only harms the environment but also poses health risks to communities.
The producer responsibility organisation (PRO) Circular Energy is taking a strong stance against this growing issue and is calling on government, industries, and consumers to collaborate in eradicating illegal e-waste dumping.
Consumer behavior crucial in the fight against illegal dumping
E-waste, consisting of discarded electronic devices, is a complex issue, exacerbated by the hazardous components within these items. Improper disposal techniques used in illegal e-waste dumping frequently have negative effects on the environment and human health.
Patricia Schröder, spokesperson for Circular Energy emphasises that Illegal e-waste dumping has far-reaching implications. “It poses a threat to the health of communities that are already susceptible. It also contaminates soil, water, and air. To deal with this threat, fast action is required. For instance, government and businesses can work together to close regulatory gaps and impose severe fines on those responsible for illicit e-waste dumping. This will send a clear message that these actions will not be tolerated.”
According to Schröder, consumer behavior also plays a pivotal role in combating the issue. “Our choices as consumers hold immense power. By disposing of our electrical and electronic products responsibly, we can create a shift towards responsible recycling and discourage illegal dumping.”
Proper disposal as easy as making one call or drop-off drive
To facilitate responsible disposal, Circular Energy has partnered with Woolworths to establish drop-off points across the country (a list of which can be viewed here), with containers for small portable batteries and household lamps.
“This initiative aims to make it easier for consumers to dispose of these items properly,” Schröder explains. “By utilising these drop-off points, consumers can contribute to responsible waste management and help prevent the escalation of illegal e-waste dumping.”
To make matters even easier, consumers can also request collection through Circular Energy’s website, ensuring that responsible disposal is within everyone’s reach.
“This service empowers consumers to be part of the solution without compromising convenience,” she explains. “For instance, we recently received a call from a concerned citizen, informing us of illegally dumped fluorescent tubes in a roadside rubbish bin in Gauteng. Our team responded swiftly to remove these tubes and recycled them in a responsible manner.”
She concludes by pointing out that Circular Energy’s comprehensive approach encompasses not only consumer education but also industry collaboration.
“We advocate for extended producer responsibility, urging manufacturers to take accountability for the entire lifecycle of their products. By promoting responsible manufacturing, usage, and disposal, Circular Energy aims to close the loop on the e-waste issue.”
For more information on Circular Energy please visit:
LinkedIn: Circular Energy