09 July 2013 Olusosum Dump Site

Piles of rubbish at the Olusosum dump site. The site is government run by the agency Lagos Waste Management Authority ( LAWMA ) and is one of 6 sites taking in general waste from all over Lagos. E-waste is not allowed on site, but some does appear from the general waste collected. Local people make a living out of collecting and selling the waste for recycling. Some of the people live on site, too poor to pay for accommodation elsewhere. © Greenpeace / Kristian Buus


Do you recognise this image – the drawer on the far side of the desk that you never really open anymore, and when you do, it budges centimetre by centimetre because you’ve stuffed it so full with old batteries, bits of cellphones and all the remotes your dog chewed? You do? 

It’s ok to admit. I used to have one, and sometimes I still do. It normally happens when I get a new phone, or my toaster gives in. I shove my electronic waste away somewhere in the depths of a cupboard so that I can ‘deal with it later’ and sometimes only get around to that after a year. 

Last year, we spoke a bit about E-waste and how it’s our, the consumer’s, responsibility to hold companies responsible for the products they produce, post consumption; we also spoke about the issues of irresponsibly-dumped electronics in Africa and China, and the health effects that had on humans, the environment and animals. Since then, we launched the 18th edition of the Green Electronics Guide internationally, which gives you the consumer, power through information about which electronics companies are responsible enough to be worthy of your support.

Even though we all try to recycle as much as possible and support electronics companies that are doing the right thing by going green, this doesn’t mean we always know what to do with our old and broken electronics. 

Luckily, this Saturday is South Africa’s second national E-Waste Collection Day and eWASA (E-waste Association of South Africa) will be hosting a collection of e-waste nationally, along with several partners; there will be various drop off points nationally on the day, giving you the perfect opportunity to clear out that dusty battery drawer and get rid of your e-waste clutter; not only will you finally have all that space back, but you will be doing something great for the environment, in one easy movement. Talk about simple and convenient.

To find a drop off point near you, visit www.ewasa.org/collection_day.html