MUST Launches E-Waste Management Project
Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) has launched an E-waste management project to boost environmental conservation.
Speaking during the launch the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo said that in a circular economy, the intention is to produce no waste or pollution. He added that instead, products, parts, and materials are used, cared for, repaired, reused, and recycled as much as possible in an environmentally friendly manner. Prof. Odhiambo said that this is intended to be the preferred alternative to the dominant economic development that contributes to a lot of disposed e-waste.
The Vice-Chancellor appreciated MUST’s key partners, the GIZ, WEEE Centre, and Pan African E-Waste Solutions Limited for bringing on board the E4D team to support the University’s collection center under the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Toolbox, a partnership of leading European development agencies, including British Council (UK), Enabel (Belgium), Expertise France (France), GIZ (Germany), LuxDev (Luxembourg) and AFD (France).
The project is co-funded by the European Union and by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The consortium is led by Enabel.
E-waste is creating the world’s fastest-growing waste stream: electronic waste. According to global e-waste monitor report for 2020, 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste are produced each year, and if left unchecked this could double to 120 million tons by 2050. Globally, only 17.4% of e-waste is managed appropriately.
E-waste is expected to increase by 5% to 8% on the back of increased use of ICT equipment globally. In Africa, the growth rate is higher than the average. The ICT sector in East Africa has been growing by more than 15% across the region. This rapid growth of ICT and the economy has contributed to massive generation of electrical and electronic waste.
“Meru University of Science and Technology is the first University in Kenya to train students on e-waste management. MUST is going to churn out a group of the first technically trained 175 students trained on e-waste process management in June 2023. This group is going to double up as agents for our collection center as we continue scaling up. In the midterm we are looking forward together with our partners to establish a mini recycling center that will act as a teaching factory cum income generation center that will surely help in this circular economy for youth job creation,” Prof. Romanus Odhiambo
MUST has positioned itself as a center of excellence for waste management. Currently the University has a fully functional Sanitation Research Institute (SRI).
The University plans to upscale the current technician courses to Bachelors, Masters and eventually PhDs, where research about the problematic e-waste fractions that are difficult to recycle will be conducted and also come up with novel ways of recycling to reduce the costs in order to achieve more impact by recycling more tons of e-waste at minimal costs.
“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere”, Annie Leonard
Sammy February 23, 2023 12:20 am
Wow, so fascinating.
Alice February 25, 2023 8:19 am
Great step indeed