Advanced electronic waste recycling company, Enviroserve East Africa, has lauded the office of the Auditor General for highlighting grave risk that improper disposal of electricity bulbs is posing to the health of unsuspecting Kenyans.
While commenting on Kenya Power’s successful efficient lighting project the Auditor General’s office had advised the electricity distributor to consider end management for bulbs to lower mercury and lead poisoning.
Kenya Power is expected to launch an expanded phase of the efficient lighting project involving energy saving bulbs.
Nearly all households are disposing bulbs and dead electronics into their dustbins, where they end up in landfills. “The immense risk posed by mercury and lead to health in Kenya is as high now as the lack of awareness of the same, Enviroserve East Africa MD, Dez Page-Morris has warned.
The company which collects electronic waste for ‘certified safe disposal’ wants Kenyans to be sensitized to separate waste at the point of disposal and to volunteer the toxic materials for proper disposal.
“At our sorting facility in Nairobi, leading companies already deliver their redundant electronics such as computers, routers and cables. We want the public to embrace a similar culture of disposing of old electronics and such other trash as bulbs with advanced recyclers, with assurance that it will be dealt with responsibly and with no harm to our environment,” said Page-Morris.
Enviroserve is expected to launch a campaign in Kenya dubbed “towards zero toxic e-waste to the landfill” that will involve public sensitization and installation of special bins in malls and schools as a way to encourage the public to dispose of end-of life electronics responsibly.
“Our state of the art facility in the UAE handles specialized waste materials such as aerosol cans, military appliances, IT equipment and commercial avionics. It is also the only refrigerant reclaiming facility in the region,” said Page.
Scientists have identified mercury and lead poisoning from both electronic waste and light bulbs as posing greatest risk to human health.
The rise of this risk globally is attributed to the fast rate at which companies and individuals are refreshing electronics.
According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, the world will produce more than 49.8 million tonnes of electronic waste this year.
Only about 15% of this will be properly recycled. Kenya is expected to generate close to 25,000 tonnes of similar waste this year and more in future following a progressive emphasis on information technology as a denominator in education curriculum and population growth.