Assesing the E-waste management practices in Kampala
Namanya, Allan Francis
Kuzegera, Martin Mukisa
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E-waste is a generic term used to describe various forms of electronic and electric equipment that have ceased to be of any value to their owners. Annually, it is estimated that about 50 million tonnes of E-waste is generated globally, with most being produced in Europe, United States of America and Australasia. It accounts for approximately 8% of the total municipal waste generated in these developing countries. In Uganda, the growth rate of the ICT industry estimated at 33.3% in 2006/2007, increased importation of both new and second hand electric and electronic equipment (EEE) and the ever decreasing prices of EEE, indicate that e-waste generation will most likely increase in the near future. E-waste contains valuable metals such as Gold (Au) and Copper (Cu), as well as potential environmental contaminants especially Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB), Brominated flame retardants among others. Most developed countries export the e-waste to poor countries, with the majority of this e-waste is disposed of in landfills. In developing countries, recycling techniques include burning and dissolution in strong acids with a few measures to protect human health and environment. This research was aimed at assessing the management practices of e-waste in two divisions of Kampala (Makindye and Central division) by estimating the quantities of e-waste of the different categories of EEE using the market supply and consumption use models obtaining values of up to 161,995 kg per year for televisions, 41,212 kg per year for desktop computers, 14,195 kg per year for radios and 58,394 kg per year for mobile phones for Makindye divisions alone. The primary and secondary data for the mentioned methods was obtained from various stakeholders involved in the e-waste stream for instance Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority among others. Structured questionnaires for the survey were designed and distributed to a random sample of households in Makindye and Central divisions. The results were statistically analyzed and examined to represent the public responses and knowledge concerning the e-waste status. The research findings showed for instance that 60% of the respondents were aware about e-waste. In addition, 53% were aware of the hazardous components contained in this waste. The commonest disposal practice of e-waste, was selling the waste equipment to as second hand equipment to informal recyclers (41%). The informal recyclers and refurbishers also demonstrated the potential for resource recovery albeit being on a small scale as well as the fact that there was a realization of need of more formal involvement in order to realize this potential.