National e-Waste recycling facility launched

On Monday, environment minister, Vincent Biruta and a number of guests launched Rwanda’s first National e-Waste recycling facility located in Bugesera District. Although the facility worth Rwf 1.26bn is under the ministry of trade, industry (MINICOM), it was funded by Rwanda Green Fund.
Officials tour the e-Waste recycling and dismantling facility in Bugesera (Photos by Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)
Officials tour the e-Waste recycling and dismantling facility in Bugesera (Photos by Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)

On Monday, environment minister, Vincent Biruta and a number of guests launched Rwanda’s first National e-Waste recycling facility located in Bugesera District.

Although the facility worth Rwf 1.26bn is under the ministry of trade, industry (MINICOM), it was funded by Rwanda Green Fund.

During a past interview with The New Times, Olivier Mbera, the programme manager of the project, said the Rwf1.2 billion facility seeks to offer an “end of-life” solution for electronic and electrical waste while preventing a negative impact of electronic waste on the health or the environment once the equipment has become junk.

‘The new e-waste facility will benefit the conservation of natural resources, the creation of green jobs (1000 jobs), the reduction of risks from hazardous materials affecting human health and environment” Mbera added

Over 15 types of electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) will be dismantled and recycled to generate other valuable materials.

They include; personal computers, printers, mobile phones, photocopying machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, televisions, washing machines, car batteries, dry cell batteries, stabilisers and electric cooking stoves.

After six months of operation, the facility has collected 120 tonnes of e-Waste; recycled 400 computers, 279 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emission mitigated and 60 tonnes were dismantled.

An inventory survey on EEEs and the expected amount of e-Waste to be generated revealed that there is an annual growth in the generation of e-Waste in the country, at about 5.95 per cent. The survey indicated that Rwanda has an e-Waste annual generation potential of between 10,000 tonnes and 15,000 tonnes.

However, the amount of e-Waste is expected to keep on growing given the current high demand of electronic and electrical equipment in the country.