Rwanda: e-Waste Recycling Project to Generate More Green Jobs

20 October 2020

E-waste collection and recycling has created over 400 green jobs which is expected to increase once the recycling facility and nationwide collection points are fully operational.

According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020 statistics, 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste was generated worldwide.

The new report also predicts global e-waste - discarded products with a battery or plug - will reach 74 metric tons by 2030, almost a doubling of e-waste in the past 16 years.

This makes e-waste the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream, fueled mainly by higher consumption rates of electric and electronic equipment, short life cycles, and few options for repair according to the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

The demand for electrical and electronic equipment has increased significantly in Rwanda due to the general economic growth and modernization.

As a result, the 2014 inventory survey on e-waste and the expected amount of e-waste to be generated in Rwanda showed an annual increase of 6 per cent and a total quantity of ten thousand (10,000) tons of e-waste generated each year plus the quantities generated in the past years.

However, Olivier Mbera, the General Manager of EnviroServe Rwanda, a public private partnership e-waste recycling facility in Bugesera District said that the facility is operating below capacity adding that once the facility and nationwide collection points are fully operational, it will increase green jobs.

The facility operates at between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of its capacity collecting between 3,000 tonnes and 4,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year yet between 10,000 tons and 15,000 tonnes should be collected, he said.

Collection points have been set up in different districts of the country and all districts could have collection points by the end of this year.

The move could see green jobs increasing to 600 direct green jobs and thousands of indirect green jobs considering the collection and supply chain.

Each collection point in every district is set to create green 100 jobs along -waste management value chain leading to thousands of jobs.

At least 300 informal repair technicians will be trained countrywide on sustainable management of end of life electrical and electronic waste from collection of e-waste, repair, refurbishment, and dismantling.

A nationwide awareness campaign has been launched in partnership with Rwanda Environment Management Authority to build a sustainable e-waste management ecosystem in Rwanda.

The main aim of the campaign is to sensitize informal e-waste handlers to operate in fulfillment of national regulations governing e-waste management in Rwanda, which were launched in April 2018.

RURA issued the Regulation n°002 of 26/4/2018 governing E-Waste Management in Rwanda.

"Enviroserve Rwanda believes that through the partnership with GIZ Eco-Emploi, it is the right moment to empower Rwandan youth especially women and informal technicians with technical knowledge and skills,"

"Through theoretical and practical oriented training and apprenticeship at the state of art e-waste recycling and dismantling facility which will enable the creation of green jobs in e-waste collection, repair, and recycling, promote the circular economy and sustainable consumption and ensure sustainable management of e-waste in Rwanda," Mbera said.

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