Added: Feb 16, 2021
Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
WEEE Centre collects e-waste from companies, NGOs, government and individuals to repair, upcycle, recycle or extract its valuable components for reuse.
E-waste management in Kenya represents a significant challenge: half of the estimated 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste produced in Kenya in 2019 was not disposed of appropriately. Much e-waste contains harmful materials which are detrimental to the environment and human health when not properly disposed of. Many of the discarded devices can be repaired and reused, giving mobile connectivity access to someone who may not otherwise be able to afford it. For equipment that cannot be repaired, precious metals and recyclable materials can be extracted, and their material value recovered.
WEEE Centre is a recycler that processes all types of electrical and electronic waste for a safer environment and improved human health. As well as serving their mother company, they collect or receive e-waste from at least 8,000 clients, including learning institutions, embassies, corporate clients and residential customers. All products received are dismantled and treated differently; each fraction has its own processing line. Products are either recycled locally or exported for recycling where facilities are not yet present in Kenya. Electronic waste can be repaired, upcycled, recycled or have its remaining value extracted. Certain repaired products are sold to second-hand electronics dealers. WEEE Centre is also committed to building awareness on e-waste. The company hosts community sessions in their offices and has collaborated with commercial partners, such as Safaricom, to set up over 100 collection points. Beyond Kenya, they are part of a growing continental network with partners in 15 African countries who do similar work, and to whom they provide training and support. WEEE Centre is ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 certified.
This case study has been created as part of Footprints Africa's work to build the first ever comprehensive mapping of circular economy initiatives in Africa. This will lay the foundation open-source database that can inspire local initiatives, as well as inform the global dialogue, which is largely focused on the European and American contexts. We are doing this in collaboration with the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN). ACEN's vision is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people through new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate its environmental resources.
The objective is to build an open-source database featuring 500 cases by the end of 2021, with strong regional representation. These will feature in the Knowledge Hub and are also being mapped by GRID-Arendal.
Stretch the lifetime
Use waste as a resource
Team up to create joint value
Incorporate digital technology
Maximise lifetime of products after use
water and sewage