The IWMSA (Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa) in association with eWASA (the e-Waste Association of South Africa) will be hosting an e-Waste collection drive in Gauteng on Saturday 19 November 2011 from 09:00 to 14:00.

The aim of the drive is to encourage people and businesses to bring all their electronic and electrical equipment waste (e-Waste) to the nearest collection point to be safely refurbished, dismantled or recycled. There will be in excess of 24 collection points across Gauteng accepting e-Waste on this day.

“e-Waste can be defined as anything that uses electricity or a battery and is no longer needed. This includes unwanted equipment such as computers, printers, fax machines, cell phones, toasters, microwave ovens, cabling, ink and toner cartridges, or any other electrical or electronic goods or direct parts thereof. Everything in the home or at the workplace that is driven by electricity, including battery operated items, falls into this category”, explains Lene Ecroignard, Research and Development expert at eWASA.

“People often hold onto e-Waste, even if they are no longer using it, because it has a perceived value,” says Jonathan Shamrock, Vice-chairperson of the Central Branch of the IWMSA. “But these items are merely creating clutter and could be put to far better use if refurbished or recycled. For this reason we felt it was pertinent to launch our e-Waste collection drive so that people can be informed about what e-Waste is and how to dispose of it correctly. e-Waste should by no means be discarded with your usual rubbish and should always be taken to a verified e-Waste disposal point,” Shamrock explains.

e-Waste drop-off points on 19 November will be Africa e-Waste offices in Midrand; Flora Farm Nursery; Vodaworld; Hartebees Mall; Hi-Fi Corporation Boksburg, Clearwater, Fourways, Stoneridge, The Glen and Woodmead; Holy Rosary School; Incredible Connection Kolonnade Mall; Kolonnade Retail Park; Makro Centurion, Crown Mines, Germiston, Silver Lakes, Struben’s Valley, Wonderboom and Woodmead; Multichoice offices in Randburg; NG Kerk Moreletta; All Pick n Pay franchise stores (for CFLs, batteries and printer cartridges only); Pick n Pay Hyper Centurion and Rooihuiskraal Veterinary Clinic. “As a result of the ever-increasing desire for newer, smaller, and faster technology, waste electrical and electronic equipment is now one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world.

Toxic or hazardous substances in electronic waste are typically heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium, amongst others. Electronics also contain small amounts of gold, silver, copper, platinum; all precious metals that are in finite supply, along with plastic, lead containing monitor glass and other metals. Apart from being essential to keep as much hazardous waste as possible out of landfills, reuse of materials reduces the need to deplete precious resources,” says Keith Anderson, Chairman of eWASA.

The IWMSA and eWASA hope to host many more such e-Waste collection drives in Gauteng in the future to continue building awareness and consumer consciousness around the management of e-Waste.

For more information on the e-Waste drive and for e-Waste disposal points in your area go to www.ewasa.org orwww.mywaste.co.za or contact the eWASA office by email at info@ewasa.org or telephonically on 031 575 8119.

The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information contact the IWMSA on  011 675 3462 or visit www.iwmsa.co.za